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.
- 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.