8 Healthy Hacks for Travelling with a Toddler
Over the holiday season, my husband and I took a trip down south with our daughter Arya. It was amazing to soak in some sun, and take a break after the holiday craziness – but as any mother knows, travelling with a toddler takes on a whole other level of crazy.
We’re fortunate to travel pretty frequently, and with each new trip we take, I add a few hacks to our arsenal to keep the calm. As the classic “Type A” mom, all of my relaxation is made possible by some advanced planning and knowing how to avoid as many melt-downs as humanly possible (although there are always a few that can’t be prevented!).
If you’re planning a trip coming up – try out these 8 tips that I swear by for travelling with a toddler:
Tip #1) Pack Healthy Snacks:
When we’re out for the day adventuring, I can’t always predict what healthy food will be at my fingertips. The secret to keeping my toddler happy while travelling is keeping her full. My go-to is foods high in ‘good fat’, so that her sugar isn’t spiking and dropping, which of course brings on the tantrums.
A few of my favourites are:
- SimplyProtein Kids bars
- Smart Sweets
- Horizon Nature City Snacks (freeze dried fruit chips)
- Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips
- MadeGood Granola Minis
Tip #2) Blackout Blinds:
Another ‘travelling toddler’ tip to keep her as sane as possible: packing blackout blinds for our hotel room. My kid needs sleep, period. But with all of the stimulation of travelling, the excitement and possible time-changes, blackout curtains or blinds help to make the room dark and calm her down, regardless of the time of day. My fave brand is Gro Anywhere, which comes with a travel-friendly tote. Another tip to help with this? I bring a white noise machine.
Tip #3) Be Strategic about your Travelling Time:
I always avoid travelling super early in the morning. It just doesn’t work for us. My rule for travelling with a toddler is to always book flights mid-morning or early afternoon. I also always have a plan in place for when/how to get her to nap. Although our routine is disrupted, I try not to over-tire her unnecessarily, because an over-tired kid = psychotic.
Tip #4) High-Quality Sunscreen:
Sunscreen is one of the products where I don’t mess around on quality. I love AlumierMD products, particularly their SPF40 Sheer Hydration Untinted Sunscreen. Yes… it’s got broad-spectrum protection, and is silky smooth and hydrating with vitamin A & E – BUT the main reason I love it so much, is that it actually absorbs into the skin, rather than leaving my kid looking pasty!
On our vacation, I like to take lots of pics.. and when Aria was young, I noticed any sunscreen that was non-chemical, had zinc, which would leave a white pasty layer all over her. That is – until I found this one, that’s made with medical-grade ingredients, but absorbs in perfectly. I love using it too for all of our fun in the sun!
Tip #5) Toddler-Friendly Activities:
I don’t do electronics. Instead, I pack a variety of travel-friendly activities for my toddler, play dough, colouring books, craft kits and scratch pads. Then I stash these where Arya can easily see them, so if she wakes up early in the AM, I can steal a little more sleep while she plays.
Tip #6) Backup Healthy “Easy” Meals:
Aside from a few indulgent meals, my husband and I try to eat fairly healthfully, even on vacation – so our toddler also eats fairly healthy most of the time. But sometimes, when all you can find is ice cream, its helpful to have some “easy” backup meals packed. My travel-friendly go-tos are: oatmeal, fruit pouches, bananas, dense crackers, and Annie’s mac and cheese. Don’t get me wrong, ice cream still happens sometimes.
Tip #7) Don’t forget the Wet-Wipes:
Seriously, I would be lost without the wet wipes. I use them for literally everything. I always make sure to pack a couple packs in my carry-on and a few more in the suitcase. They’re great for cleaning off surfaces to avoid spreading germs, cleaning up sticky fingers, spills and so. much. more.
Tip #8) Go With The Flow:
This is the tip that I’m kind of always working on, because “going with the flow” doesn’t come easy to me. However, keeping calm, breezy and patient, is the cornerstone to keeping my toddler calm. If I get stressed, she does too – so instead, I plan, and I back up plan, but if both of those fail, I embrace what comes with a little bit of humour.