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5 Preparation Tips When Flying With A Toddler

Getting out the door in order to catch a flight can be more stressful than going through airport security, especially with a toddler in tow. In order to minimize the number of “I either need to scream or drink” moments during our travel days, I’ve identified 5 things to do the day before flying that streamline leaving the house while maintaining sanity.

1. Make breakfast the day before. When I’m scrambling eggs, I make enough for travel day and put them in the fridge. I do so thinking that I will eat breakfast when my child eats. In reality, I heat them up and eat during the car ride to the airport. Hey, I got the dishwasher loaded while he breakfasted, I get to sit through and entire meal albeit in a vehicle, and I won’t be hangry at the airport. That’s a win win win right there.


Leftovers and day-old scrambled eggs reheated and on the go.

2. Wash your hair the day before the trip. Confession time. I wash my hair once a week. Washing my hair the day before traveling means that I can often go an entire trip without washing it again. More importantly, my shower on travel days takes less than three minutes. If you normally wash your hair every single day, try skipping a day to see if the saved time is worth the tradeoff of day-old hair.

3. Pack diapers rather than buying them at your destination. Pampers Swaddlers, nighttime diapers, and swim diapers when applicable, I pack them all. As the diapers are used, suitcase space is freed up for purchases or any extras that accumulate during travel.

4. Change out the car seat. Our standard car seat is bulky and weighs 30 pounds making it less than ideal for airport travel. I bought the Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat specifically for flying, because it’s lightweight (7.5 pounds) and portable. The night before a trip, I uninstall our everyday car seat and install the Cosco rather than stowing it. It saves trunk space and keeps the fourth seat in the car free for items I want within reach. Plus, I can uninstall the Cosco at the airport and attach it to the Brica Roll ‘n Go Car Seat Transporter with my son still sitting in it. Keeping him seated is helpful when getting through ticketing and on to security.


Sleepwalking through Midway made possible by the Cosco Scenera and Brica Roll ‘n Go.

5. Consider what is already at your destination. For our trip to visit my mother-in-law in Florida, I’m not packing sunscreen, shampoo, body wash, etc…because she already has all of it. I’m also not taking many children’s books, because my mother-in-law has a library card. Going to the library will give us an extra outing, and we’ll have a new selection of books while on vacation. Got the gist?

When preparing for travel, may getting out the door be swift, may airport navigation be seamless, and may your flight be smooth. Safe travels!

Categories: Family & Parenting

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