What No One Tells You About Traveling With a Toddler..

We live far away from family. I have a sister who lives within a few hours, but all other family is a airplane ride away. Needless to say our little guy has become quite the frequent flyer, he even has his own frequent flyer number (we love you, Southwest)! 

Listen, I used to be that person who loathed hearing a loud baby or a needy toddler on the plane. I would throw a dirty look, put on my earphones and judge away. But, guess what? You have NO idea. 

So much time goes into making sure my 3 year old will make your flight enjoyable. I sneak away days before to go to the dollar store, solo, and pick out toys that will keep him busy for 4 hours in the air. I come home and individually wrap those presents, so it gives him an extra two minutes of unwrapping fun. I schedule flights around nap time, to better my chances of him sleeping. I think and rethink what his favorite snacks are at that moment, so that he will have exactly what he wants to eat, when he wants to eat it. I throw the "no sugar" allowed rule to the side, and load up on jelly beans and Swedish Fish. I pray that the episode I just downloaded of Fireman Sam is the exact one he wants to watch that day. 

No matter how much time or effort I put into making sure my toddler doesn't disturb you, he probably will. He won't like the color of the car that I bought from the store. He will say there is too much tape on the wrapping paper. He will decide that he doesn't need a nap on the day of the flight. His new favorite food that day is spaghetti, and guess what? I didn't pack spaghetti. He will eat all the sugar and all the candy and decide that he now wants to jump around the plane. And guess what? His new favorite show on the day of the flight is Caillou, not Fireman Sam

I ask you, solo traveler, older gentleman, mom traveling without her kids, or young entrepreneur on their way to enjoy a much needed vacation, give me and my loving toddler a break. He hasn't seen his Nonnie in 6 months. He is excited to go to the beach. We are flying to see friends of ours who we have not seen in over 3 years. He is excited and he may be a bit moody because flying 30,000 feet above ground is not his usual daily routine. Understand that he may have 3 minutes of unhappiness, but also understand that he LOVES planes and he would love for you to ask him about his airplane ride or let him know you think he is a great traveler. 

At the end of the day we paid for our tickets too, and we are just trying to make the best of a situation that is completely out of our hands. And guess what, we too are annoyed by the tantrums, but we also know that he is 3 and he will get over it. We also know that in the grand scheme of things this is just a few hours out of your day. Put on your headphones, enjoy your book and say a little prayer for us! 

Happy traveling, 

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  1. I feel you on this! We are not flying but we are driving down to FL. 9 hour trip! Good Lord! I don't know how we are going to make it!

  2. I just posted about this too and I also picked out my new toys from the dollar tree! Great minds think alike! :)

  3. We fly on Friday and I already have anxiety about traveling with an infant and a toddler. How will we survive?! I'll tell you how, movies and more movies. It's tough but we make it and so do all the other passengers. ;) have a great trip!

  4. I could not agree with this more! I think more people need to stop for a second and put themselves in our shoes and realize that its an hour or a few minutes out of their lives and everything will be back to normal soon - this is our constant reality. Give us a break. Kids have off days, it happens. Thank you for the refreshing post! ❤︎

  5. I wrote a similar blog on flying with a baby but i really love your tip on wrapping little things to keep him busy, might come in very handy in a few months! Thanks for sharing!