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We are going to travel to the other side of the world with a toddler |

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We are going to travel to the other side of the world with a toddler

 

What are we thinking? My husband and I are taking Bodhi to Sri Lanka (An island just south of India) in January. Yes, we are traveling to the other side of the world with a 2-year-old. An active 2-year-old at that. My husband’s parents live here, but are from Sri Lanka. They are visiting family for two months right now and we thought now is the best time to take Bodhi because the idea of traveling with two little ones is even scarier. We figure it would be at least five years before we’d be brave enough to do it with two so off we go.

We are all midwife and travel doctor approved so it’s booked. We’ll travel for just over 26 hours each way with flights and layovers. I will be around 4.5 months pregnant and Bodhi will be 2 years and 9 months old. This could be wild!

I thought I’d share our current plans for toddler airplane activities, snacks and emergency activities for these long flights.

Toddler airplane activities

  • Books. B loves books about animals. We will bring his two favorites. This will occupy at least 20 to 40 minutes several times on the flight.
  • Movies. B rarely gets to watch TV and movies so we will load our iPhones and my laptop with movies for him as a treat. We will also watch the in flight options.
  • Flash cards with animals and dinosaurs and fun facts.
  • Restroom breaks. Now that B’s mostly potty trained, we will go to the restroom a lot to give him (and pregnant me) a chance to stand and move around a bit.
  • Drawing. Pretty simple but something he enjoys doing and it takes up minimal space in our luggage.
  • Looking at photos on our phones. He loves looking at baby pictures of himself.
  • Playing with one or two of his toy animals. His favorites right now are a bull (yes, he still loves cows) and a bison. We’ll probably let him bring both in his little backpack.
  • Sleep. You’re laughing? So am I. This would be a miracle.

Toddler airplane snacks

  • Real fruit fruit snacks
  • Fruit, especially cut up berries and peeled clementines (lots of it and a variety)
  • Whole grain crackers and hummus

Emergency activities and snacks

I like to plan for the worst case scenario. With B that could be a very loud and out of control tantrum. One that won’t stop after a few minutes of ignoring like some other moms and dads can get to work for their kids. Nope, ignoring doesn’t do the trick. In what I call “a toddler emergency situation” we can use the following to distract/entertain.

  • Annie’s bunny crackers. This is Bodhi’s favorite snack and something we don’t give him too often.
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood App on my husband’s iPhone. He’s only played this two or three times ever so it’s a treat for sure.
  • B’s vitamins. He loves them. I’ll save them for a “treat” on the airplane.
  • Don’t judge. Organic vitamin C lollipops. They are made with real fruit, but let’s be real. They are still lollipops. But they work in a pinch. And I’m going to have several in my purse.

Layover plans

  • Running around. A lot. We will try to get B active at each layover if possible.
  • Play areas. Minneapolis has an option. Dallas has four play areas. And London’s Heathrow airport has several play options as well. We will definitely take advantage if there’s time and we are in the proper terminal. I haven’t had a chance yet to check to see where we’ll be.
  • Healthy meals. While our flights do offer meals (other than MSP to Dallas), sitting down for a healthy meal always helps B. Plus the meal on the plane will be kind of a bonus for our growing boy.

OK, I’ll finish with my plan. The real trick to surviving this journey.

Normally I’d attempt to get by on coffee, but a little growing baby takes that option out of the picture. So I will survive on one thing.

Patience. Patience. Patience. We are going to try to go into this thing with NO expectations. I’m not assuming Bodhi will sleep. I’m not assuming any part of the 24 hours will be easy. I just know that we will make it through one way or another. I’m also crossing my fingers for understanding flight attendants and seat neighbors.

What travel tips do you have for us? We’ll take any suggestions. We want to be as prepared as possible.

20 Comments on We are going to travel to the other side of the world with a toddler

  1. Megan
    December 9, 2013 at 11:06 am (136 days ago)

    You seem to already have an AMAZING plan…I’ve got no additional advice, but just good thoughts for you that he’ll blow you away and be an angel :) What an awesome opportunity that you’re taking advantage of it now…I don’t think you’ll have any regrets looking back on it!!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      December 9, 2013 at 11:25 am (136 days ago)

      I definitely appreciate your good thoughts for an easier experience Megan! While I’m totally nervous about it, I’m mostly just thrilled. I think it will be great for all of us. Plus who doesn’t look forward to AMAZING 80 degree weather, some of the world’s most incredible beaches, visiting elephants and historic sites while it’s below zero here. :)

      Reply
  2. Christie Moeller
    December 9, 2013 at 11:12 am (136 days ago)

    Can’t wait to see how it turn out!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      December 9, 2013 at 11:37 am (136 days ago)

      You and me both. ;)

      Reply
  3. jodi mama
    December 9, 2013 at 11:27 am (136 days ago)

    Wow! You seem to have thought of everything. B will have so much fun on the trip. Exciting!

    Reply
  4. Jana
    December 9, 2013 at 11:29 am (136 days ago)

    You sound very prepared, it sounds good! My only tip make sure you have all of your fruit finished before the international travel ends (so you don’t have to waste any), I remember them confiscating mine since you can’t bring fresh fruits and vegetables into another country :)….
    Good luck!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      December 9, 2013 at 11:37 am (136 days ago)

      Yes, we definitely thought of that, but with his appetite, it will be gone long before London even. :)

      Reply
  5. Jana
    December 9, 2013 at 11:29 am (136 days ago)

    p.s. what a great experience for him!

    Reply
  6. Amber @ Wills Casa
    December 9, 2013 at 11:46 am (136 days ago)

    What an amazing thing to do with him. We traveled a ton with Ramona starting early, but nothing like this. She’s always been a great traveler. Maybe wrap up a few things and when he gets restless have him open the new toy. Hopefully that engages him with the toy for longer too.

    Have fun! Can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      December 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm (136 days ago)

      Great idea Amber! Love that!

      Reply
  7. Cassie
    December 9, 2013 at 11:52 am (136 days ago)

    I have found that on international flights folks tend to be a tad more family friendly, since there really is no other way for families to get to to their destination without air travel! I took a 2 year old to Brasil and don’t remember it being that bad :) You have a plan and it will be such an awesome experience! I’d make sure you and dear hubby trade off toddler entertaining so you each get a chance to rest as well. So exciting!!!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      December 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm (136 days ago)

      Good idea to trade off. We’re pretty bad about that. We tend to both always be on. Not the best thing for each of us though. :)

      Reply
    • Jessica
      December 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm (136 days ago)

      This is an awesome pin! Just repinned. Thanks so much! I’ve had a few friends say that traveling by plane with a newborn is pretty manageable. Although we never did it. We did our first flight when B was 15 months. They all said the key is feeding at take-off and landing. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Jessica
      January 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm (112 days ago)

      Thanks Shelly! I started reading through it a couple of weeks ago. Very helpful!

      Reply
  8. AmyJ
    December 10, 2013 at 8:37 am (135 days ago)

    One other thing my kids loved when they traveled was activity books..something they could scribble in.. here is a thought … have him make his own little journal on the trip.. I know he is only 2 but 2 year old’s can do an amazing job of illustration when they know it’s their own book on the trip… have him drawn in his own style what he sees at the airport, in the plane ect… it doesn’t have to be a big book just something small that will fit into a travel bag…along with a few crayons & stickers….take pictures with your phone.. have him help you to print off later for his book… best of luck with your adventures!!! Safe Travels!!!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      January 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm (112 days ago)

      Great idea Amy! Thanks!

      Reply
  9. Katie S
    December 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm (133 days ago)

    Good Luck Jes! I’m so excited that Jamal, Bodhi and you get to visit Sri Lanka. Hopefully it’s the first of many trips. Have fun and safe travels!

    Reply
    • Jessica
      January 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm (112 days ago)

      Thanks sweet friend!

      Reply

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