My Dos and Dont's Of International Travel With A Toddler

top toddler travel tips
I'm sharing my top travel tips on how I survived flying and traveling to Asia with my toddler.
how to travel with toddler
Do not
go overboard with the toys. The reality is you're going to be overpacked so there's no need to stuff every single toy in your valuable carry-on space. On the plane, they will be distracted by the flight experience and will most likely pay more attention to the seatbelt than toys. On our marathon thirteen hour flight to Shanghai, Des opted to watch movies, buckle and unbuckle his seat belt, and play hide and seek with our neighbors. He hardly glanced at his toys.

Do go the dollar store and buy a few new expendable toys before the trip. I like ones that don't have spare parts so I don't have to bend over and pick them up. Take out the toys and present them one by one to maximize usage time. One of my mom friends is a seasoned traveller (eighteen flights last year with her toddler!) and recommends bringing post-it notes and stickers as mess-free ways to occupy their attention. I also downloaded a bunch of Disney movies onto his Amazon Fire 7 tablet in case of major emergencies and meltdowns.

Do not haul your entire skincare regimen onboard. You won't even get to step 1.5 of your 10 step K-beauty routine.

Do bring a small jar of vaseline and some q-tips. The dry air might cause nosebleeds in your toddler. Des did on our first flight so I made sure to coat the inside of his nostrils with vaseline on our flight back.

Do bring a few skincare necessities as the long flight will undoubtedly dry out your skin. I brought my facial spray, lip balm, and my VIICode oxygen eye mask (use code Jenny for $5 off). It's the first eye mask safe enough to wear up to eight hours. I kept it on throughout the flight and my eyes definitely look more refreshed and hydrated. Forgo full face masks as looking like Leatherface will scare your little one.

Do not waste your money on first class seats if you know your toddler is a stage five clinger. They're not going to sit still and will most likely be on your lap the entire time. 

Do pay for their own seat and pay a little more for economy plus with the extra legroom. We were able to make a little cot for Des in the space in front of us where he slept soundly.
best flying with toddler tips
Don't overpack jackets and coats. As a mom, I'm never cold anymore as I'm always moving around or have 28 pounds of body heat wrapped around me and find myself wearing one less layer than everyone else. 

Do bring a cozy sweater cardigan. I'm so glad I brought my Margaret O'Leary St Moritz cardigan as it's so soft and comfortable and feels like a blanket but is chic enough to wear out.

Don't bring heels. Okay, I guess this one is pretty obvious. 

Do bring a few pairs of dressy flats in neutral colors. I walked around in my Salvatore Ferragamo Vara loafers (the brand also carries many other comfortable styles) and Gucci Princetown mules everywhere (Check out affordable and chic options from Jeffrey Campbell and Rebecca Minkoff).
traveling with toddler checklist
Don't bring your bulky diaper bag as it's only going to weigh you down. 

Do bring a lightweight and compact backpack that can double as a purse. I brought my Clare V Marcelle backpack (on sale!) and snuffed it with snacks, diapers, wipes, phone, and wallet.  I'm also obsessed with the brand's fanny pack
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 Do pack his favorite veggie and fruit pouches. They're a great source of fiber and will keep them regular and hapy throughout the trip.

Do look for a few restaurants that serve "comfort" food. After many meals of rice and noodles, Des wanted McDonald's and devoured his hamburger. For our first meal in Tokyo, we had a western breakfast of french toast and omelettes. He was so happy and ate so much.
best toddler travel advice
best tips on traveling wih toddler
Do not wear them in a baby carrier all day if you're going to be walking a lot. Your back will break.

Do bring a lightweight stroller.  I could not have survived walking around Shanghai and Tokyo without our Maclaren Quest
traveling with toddler necessities
Do not try to cram in too many activities into one day. Remember, you're traveling with unpredictability now so try to stay as flexible as possible.

Do research toddler friendly places like parks, playgrounds, and indoor malls so that you have a moment to breathe and they have time to play. 
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how to survive international travel with toddler
Lastly, don't plan your schedule to the second and don't stress if things (like naps) don't work out. Don't compare this trip to pre-mommy trips because it's not going to be the same. You're going to be tired. You're going to be sleep deprived. You're going to experience fun in a whole new light.

 Do remember to live in the moment, shrug off the little things, and enjoy every moment because they're this small and this cute for just a little bit longer!
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