These two! I honestly don’t know if I could travel alone with Zain. It really takes a village and as much as I hate to admit it, he’s way more patient with him.
Well, we are successfully back from Las Vegas and everyone is in one piece. I got a lot of questions about traveling with Zain and what worked for us so I thought I would share. I had previously shared this post when Zain was much smaller but figured I should update now that he’s a full blown toddler. A couple of those tips still very much pertain to us though!
Book Flights at Nap Time
I planned his flights around nap times again this time and it actually worked out! Our flight out was at 11am and he usually naps between noon and 1pm. He played for a bit and then fell asleep in my arms which was amazing. I feel like this was actually harder when he was smaller because he was so used to his sleep training and sleeping in his crib that it may have been harder for him to adjust on the plane.
Our returning flight was the same situation! We were set to take off about an hour before his bed time. Unfortunately our flight got delayed about 3 hours but he thankfully handled it like a champ. We spent lots of time riding the tram, then grabbed dinner at CPK and thankfully found a kid’s play area in the airport. A few other kids were there and Zain played with them for over an hour which really helped us wear him out! Once we boarded the plane it was way past his bedtime and he passed out before we even took off.
Just on a side note, I don’t want it to seem like every time we fly with Zain he’s a gem because that’s not the case. This particular time ended up being easier but we’ve had flights where Zain screamed half the time, wouldn’t go to sleep and drove me bananas. So, just want to make sure we are keeping it real!
Nap success! Look at those rosy cheeks…
Pack All The Snacks
This is way more true now! Snacks can do a lot for an antsy toddlers and I made sure to pack plenty of Cliff Kids granola bars, Goldfish, Cheerios, Pretzels and a few chocolate M&M’s in case we got desperate.
Have Plenty of Activities
We ended up purchasing a cover/stand for our iPad mini for the trip. Screen time is a whole other beast to talk about but Zain doesn’t know how to use a tablet and we don’t let him watch videos or play on our phones. I’m sure this may change over time but for now I’m okay with the only screen time he gets being on our family room TV with us around.
We also ordered these headphones (thanks to Brooklyn Blonde) for him hoping it would help drown out noise and allow him to watch a movie. We downloaded Sing and Coco but didn’t make it very far. He doesn’t have the longest attention span for TV but I put the movie on about 30 minutes before his nap time and he watched for a bit and then fell asleep which was a huge help!
I also packed a few coloring books, triangle crayons and puffy reusable stickers. The kid loves coloring and stickers but I was worried he would stick them all over the place and we would be peeling them off so this was a great option. The sticker books were probably our greatest ally on our flight there and while we were in the hotel.
These puffy sticker books were a huge hit!
Get a Good Travel Stroller
We actually owned the BabyZen Yoyo previously and now have the Uppababy Minu. I loved the BabyZen in the city because it was light and easy to fold up but as Zain has gotten bigger it’s become harder for us to make work. I then recently received the Uppababy Minu and I have found a new love! It’s so much sturdier than any other travel stroller I’ve tried (i.e no plastic wheels) and rides so smoothly. It also has a basket that can actually fit my diaper bag (which no other travel stroller could do) and breaks down with one hand! It fits in an overhead bin on a plane so I don’t have to worry about it getting damaged and I just carried it on with me. If you are going to check it or any of your Uppababy strollers make sure you get their travel bags. Once you register them they guarantee your stroller so if anything happens they will fix/replace it which is wonderful!
It’s so nice to be able to carry this on!
Invest In A Travel Car Seat (If you travel a lot)
We purchased this car seat after a recommendation from a friend last month! Our Maxi Cosi Pria is a great car seat and I love it in every way (easy to wash, comfortable and safe) but it is on the bigger side, bulky and would be a nightmare to travel with. So, we invested in this less expensive option that weighs under 7 pounds and has great safety ratings to travel with. For us, we travel often enough that having a light car seat to take through airports was worth the $50 in the long run. We then use it in my parent’s car or anywhere else we may need it when we are home and it’s come in so handy!
Check Your Bags
I am always someone who loves to carry on but when you are traveling with kids do yourself a favor and check the bags! We always try to pack one big family suitcase that way we can check it as soon as we get in the airport. We also limit ourselves to just a diaper bag and Trevor’s backpack so we aren’t overwhelmed. Sometimes less is more and it definitely is when you are making your way through an airport with a kid.
Invest in a Good Travel Crib
We didn’t take ours on this trip since our hotel room had a crib (I just took crib sheets for him) but we will next month when we are staying in a Air BNB in Austin. I swear by our travel crib!!! Zain sleeps so well in it, it folds up easily and comes in a bag that has straps to wear as a backpack for ease when traveling.
I tried to round up everything I take in my diaper bag above and if you have any questions at all feel free to reach out. We are definitely no experts and just learning as we go!