February 4, 2023
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Does the idea of traveling solo with your toddler have you stressed? Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered! While traveling solo with your toddler isn’t always easy, being prepared with the right tools will help you tackle this and help you be able to enjoy your time with your kiddo! One of my favorite memories is traveling solo with my daughter for the first time! There were a few rough times, but overall it was such a blast and I have so many good memories of that trip! Here are a few tips for traveling solo with a toddler that I hope help you feel equipped to enjoy your trip!
Traveling solo with a toddler is all about coming prepared. The first step is to make sure you come equipped with the right toys that will keep your child entertained. One of my favorites are the Water Wow Coloring Books by Melissa and Doug. They keep my daughter’s attention for a really long time and I love that they’re reusable. We also love bringing along some cars, and a few other favorite toys. Check out the YOTO player for audio stories for kids! Here is a blog post with all my favorite toys for travel days!
I know these days there’s a lot of shame on parents for letting kids have screen time. I’m not here to throw any shade for your decisions, but I am here to say that there is no shame in letting your kids have screen time (and a bunch of it) on travel days. It’s honestly super helpful especially when you’ve tried everything else and nothing is working to entertain them. The yoto player I mentioned above is also a good substitute if you are really against screen time. But again, there’s no problem with allowing your kids a lot of screen time on a travel day; trust me, it won’t ruin them.
It’s no secret that snacks at the airport are expensive, that’s why I try to pack a bunch of options in my backpack. Things like freeze-dried fruit, mini beef sticks, applesauce, granola balls and maybe their favorite candy for a treat. Now don’t get me wrong, I also love getting a snack at the airport. There’s just something fun about it. If you choose to get some food at the airport, you can sometimes utilize GetGrab or AtYourGate apps. You can order food and have it brought to you at your gate so you have one less thing to do. Not all airpots offer this, but some do!
When traveling with a toddler, kids or basically at any stage in life, I highly recommend traveling with a fanny pack! It keeps your essential items like ID, boarding pass, phone close, while keeping your hands free. I’m a big fan of carrying a backpack with the fanny pack so you can maximize what you can carry while also keep your hands free.
As far as a your other luggage, when traveling solo, I would recommend checking the luggage, UNLESS you can pack light enough to carry it all in a small carryon or a large backpack.
When I was traveling solo with my toddler for the first time, I went back and forth on whether or not to check my baggage or carry it on. I am so glad that I chose to check it. My main concern with checking it was it not making it to my destination. But I chose to take the risk, and my bag made it. I’m so glad I decided to check it because I was able to keep my hands free for wrangling my toddler.
This could be a whole blog post of its own. When I was preparing for traveling solo with my toddler for the first time, I researched all the options for how to carry a carseat. I researched ways to carry it through the airport, gate-checking it, checking it with your luggage. I researched all the different ways to get it to our final destination. In the end, I decided to check it with my luggage so I wouldn’t have to worry about carrying this ginormous thing through the airport. Let me tell you. I’m so glad I checked it. My back would have been wrecked if I tried to carry that on my back the whole time.
The main reason I was reluctant to check it with my checked luggage was because I didn’t want it to get lost. On our last trip to Maui, my daughter’s car seat did not make it back with us and we had to get a loaner. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a hassle and inconvenient.
On this trip, I didn’t want to have to deal with a loaner if they misplaced ours. I also didn’t want to have to lug that thing around the airport. I decided to check it with my other bag, and both made it to our destination.
If you decide that you want to bring it with you past security, there are a few options. The first is a luggage belt that you can use to hook the car seat onto your carryon. Obviously, this only works if you’re bringing a carryon and it’s a bit tedious to be dealing with during security. The second option is a backpack carseat carrier. They’re convenient but also awkward to be carrying and taking on and off your back. They are useful in certain situations and with solo toddler travel if you have to bring the car seat past security. Your third option is a car seat trolley like this one. I actually like this idea, especially if you are going to be using the car seat on the plane as your child’s seat. The trolley folds up and fits in the overhead compartment.
One last travel friendly car seat option is the WAYB Pico Portable Carseat! It’s on the spendy side but it’s super travel friendly and compact! Make sure to check it out if you need a compact carseat option!
I hope that you found these tips for traveling solo with a toddler helpful! Make sure to check out my other blog post for more family travel tips!