Alright guys, I have finally been able to compile all our tips and tricks on how to travel with a toddler internationally. We just went on a two weeks trip to Italy with our 16 month and believe we have found some fool-proof ways to make it as easy as possible.
Things to Do Prior To Your Trip:
- During booking of your flight, if you do not get your child their own seat or do not have to pay for it I suggest getting two aisle seats right next to each other. This allows both of you more range of motion and space because if your child wants to stand, they can utilize the aisle as their little walkway.
- Bring tons of diapers, wipes, books, toys and snacks that your child loves so it entertains them when they begin to get cranky. Also, bring fruit after you get through security because the snacks on planes are horrible. I put Sofia’s in my duster rose diaper bag, sadly it is sold out but they just made a backpack version here.
- Download their favorite movie or shows on your iPad, laptop or phone so they can watch and listen when they can. Airplane only have headphones and most children don’t like them on their ears because they aren’t the most comfortable, but they are not used to it.
- Bring a tons of converters because you will 100% use all of them We had four and that was perfect; one for each of our phones, one for the camera and another from the GoPro.
- Depending on where you are traveling an umbrella stroller is always great, this is the one we took, but nothing will get you around quicker and easier than a carrier, like this one. That was a lifesaver and even with our backs hurting us and you are carrying more things, it eliminates the struggle of trying to get around and have a grumpy toddler. Sofia loved the carrier and lasted longer in the carrier than the stroller.
- Bring lots of euros because when you take taxis, which we did to get around easier, you will go through it quickly. We also barely used our credit card unless it was for dinners and shopping, it is so much easier to get and pay via euros and most people do it that way. (BTW the exchange rate was better in the ATM in the country you are in)
- Check the cities weather that you will be heading too. This will allow you to better plan your outfits and I am all about planning ahead.
- Bring shoes that you are comfortable wearing and walking in for hours on end and bring extra clothes for the kiddos and yourself, so you eliminate the need to pay for the hotel dry cleaning. Also, be advised that if you go into churches you must have your shoulders and up to your knees covered to be respectful. If you don’t then you can buy a scarf from the men that sell them outside.
- Be prepared for a very long, tiring and sleepless airplane flight. No matter how much you plan or try to adjust their sleep schedule, the airplane or your lap is not the same as their own home and crib. There will be a lot of distractions so just brace yourself for the worst.
- Create a system on who will do what/carry what. Since we utilized trains to get to each city, Diego and I knew exactly how was going to carry what and when. Example: I would carry Sofia in the carrier and drive the stroller. The stroller would contain one of the large luggage, Sofia’s diaper bag and at times the Jetkids box. Diego would then pull the other two luggage and wear his backpack. We ended up becoming pros getting on and off trains, it was amazing. 😉 You can see an example of it from the feature image of this post.
Things to Know:
- If you don’t normally sleep with your child you can ask for a crib at any hotel you stay at. What’s great is that 99% of the places will have a physical crib versus a pack and play and Sofia from this experience loved it more and slept longer.
- Europeans love to smoke, so be prepared for a lot of it. Diego and I do not, so it was a little rough to find places to go that had as minimal amount of it as possible. No second-hand smoke for our little girl.
- If you head to Italy try not to go into a pizza, pasta and gelato coma, because they are at your disposal there like Starbucks is here in the states.
- Everything is pretty much walking distance ,which is amazing. We normally got taxis if it was late at night, something was too far away or our feet were in pain; which they were daily.
- In Italy everyone is extremely baby friendly and super nice!!!! Literally made the trip that much better.
- They start the day later, which means they like to stay up later. Enjoy taking your time in the morning, so that way you will be able to roam around and enjoy the city at night with a gelato in your hand.
Things To Bring On Your Flight:
- Enough snacks and drinks for your little one. Even if you think you have enough for a 9+ hour trip, bring more. Things will fall, spill and much more, so be extra prepared.
- Double the amount of diapers. I thought I had enough for the normal daily diaper usage Sofia does, but she went through them like water and thankfully we made it all the way to the hotel without any issues.
- Your toddlers favorite toys, stuffed animal, books and/or blanket.
- Download movies that they love since you will have a limited selection on the plane.
- Extra set of clothes for the parents and two sets of clothes for your kiddo. On the way back Diego got applesauce and milk spilled on him and didn’t have anything to change into.
- Bring snacks and drinks for the parents; fruit is awesome!!!
- Medicine just in case something might happen, but let’s all hope you never have too.
- PATIENCE. Be prepared to be tested in many different ways, but it will definitely make you a lot stronger and tired once you are off the plane. 😉
Thank you so much for reading and hope these tips help you all and any way possible. <3