I love travelling as much as I love Jiu Jitsu. Combining both I carry what many people know as a BJJ lifestyle. I travel the world, sometimes to work as BJJ referee, sometimes to compete. Other times to attend training camps or teach seminars and sometimes just for fun. I love to know new places, to meet new people, to discover the world.
Some weeks ago I wrote an article on travelling with infants. You can read more about it here. As I said on the previous article, having kids make travelling if not complicated, at least different. And much more expensive. I also stated that travelling with “newborns” and babies up to 2 years old is not hard at all and it is all about having the right mindset and going for it.
However, toddlers are another completely different world. I am not going to lie to you. Travelling with them is not easy and it requires some good preparation and LOT of patience.
So here my list of 8 tipps for travelling with toddlers
1. Baby wipes!
Even if all your children are long out of nappies, don’t forget the baby wipes. They are very useful for washing faces and hands, cleaning toilet seats and a long etceterea.
2. Be app-y.
There is no need to carry a bag full of toys to entertaint your toddle. Neither there is a need nor it is wise. Every extra bag will make your life during the travel miserable. Even if you are not a fun of electronic babysitting, a device (tablett or mobile) with toddler-friendly apps in it, will save your life over and over again.
And also a portable DVD player in case you are travelling by car or train or the aircraft doesn’t have one. I guarantee you 90 minutes (or the length of the movie) of silence in your travel to relax, recharge energy, read a book… almost like if you hadn’t any child with you!
A notebook and crayons are the only things I carry together with the DVD player if we have a long travel ahead.
Forget toys, snacks are how you keep a child busy and happy during travel. Fruit, chips, cookies, there is so many different posibilities I can pull out of my carry-on at any moment. It does not matter if it is not the most healthy thing to do. It is just one day!
4. Tell the police
It works for me, so I share it with you. Warn young children of the ‘Plane Police’ or flight attendand who are looking out for children who behave bad. I am not suggesting you scare them to death, but often they don’t care about you punishing them without sweets or without tv or sitting in a corner to think about what they have done . However, they DO care about what teachers, police or another authority may say. It proved to be very effective in stopping my toddlers climbing over seats or kicking the seat in front.
5. Be early but do not board first.
Well, I read in many other blogs about parents who travel to do the boarding first. I do not advice it. Toddlers are full of energy and unable to sit quiet on their seats for long periods. That is why I prefer them to be running around and playing in the waiting area and wait to be the last to get into the plane.
Fight attendants already told me off for boarding the last, since passangers with kids are suppossed to board first. But I still do it. After all, it is me the one who has to deal with my kids the whole trip.
6. Spend more money if necesary but:
- Check the majority of your stuff, even if it means paying an extra fee.
- Do so few transfers as possible.
In order to save money, I did the mistake of getting the cheapest flights or not checking all my luggage many times. I regreted it so badly every single time I did it. I know travelling with kids is expensive and believe me, I know how hard is to earn your money and how painful to pay an extra fee of 50€ to have your luggage checked-in or how much more more expensive is to have a direct flight instead of one with stop-overs. But the shortest and straigh-forward trip the better for you, for your kids and for all the passengers arounf you :-D, specially if you are travelling with more than one kid.
7. Educate them!
Either the DVD player, the book and crayons or sometimes their favourtie sleep teddy bear they can’t travel without, I always teach my kids to carry their own stuff. I give them a backpack of the size according to their age/size and told them, you can take with you ONLY what it fits inside your bag and you are able to carry by yourself. I explain them, i have my own suitcase or backpack and will not be able to carry their things.
I think, it is important to educate them on the matter and I did from the very begining, since they were able to walk. They are very sweet little backpacks for toddlers or the Trunki suitcase (see below). It is not about what they can fit it inside, but about learning that they are the one responsible for their things and that you are a mum but no some kind of mule to carry everybody else stuff.
8. And always: keep calm!
Extra tipp: I and my kids love the Trunki suitcases for kids. They can sit on it and you just pull, making the walking distances, for example in airports, much easier to overcome with toddlers. Kids can also ride them or pull them by themselves if they want or have to because you don’t have free hands.
Do not forget to check our next BJJ Mums Camp in Sicily! For more information click here or go to the tab “Camp”