Tag Archive | "traveling with a toddler"

Tips For Cruising With Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler can be daunting at first. But if you plan and prepare well, there is no reason why you should give up traveling with your child. In fact, cruising is a great vacation option for parents with toddlers. Read on for some tips on cruising with toddlers.

Choose The Right Cruise Line

You are cruising with a toddler so you need to pick a cruise that can accommodate children. Ask about kids’ dining options, play area, cabin sizes, bathtubs, kids’ programs, toddler supply service and other facilities such as 24-hour room service, laundry services, feeding, babysitting and diapering. Some of the best family-friendly cruise lines are – Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Cunard Line.

Study The Kids’ Program Thoroughly

It is very important that you read the fine print on the cruise line’s website or talk to your travel agent about kids’ programming. Make sure you inquire about the minimum age for kids’ programming (since it can be as high as three while some require an extra fee), the program’s hours, if the kids’ program is open year round or only during peak season, what kind of qualifications and training the childcare providers have, if they change diapers for non-potty trained toddlers or you have to carry a beeper in case a diaper change is necessary and if toddlers are given their own space or do they need to share with children of different ages.

Request A Balcony or A Family Room

If you have the budget, consider springing for a room with a balcony or a family room. That way, you can unwind on your balcony or in the adjacent room while your little one dozes securely just a few steps away. Plus, having a room with a terrace is good for soothing your toddler’s meltdowns since the wind in his face and the water will provide distraction.

Request A Crib

Make sure you reserve a crib ahead of time since most ships have a limited supply. But if you are planning to let your toddler sleep in a bed, ask if the ship can provide bed rails so you can have them reserved, otherwise, just bring your own. Also, ask for a mini fridge to store milk and snacks.

Time It Right

Longer cruises (10 days or more) are not good for toddlers as the time on board will just bore your little one. Short cruises that last for 3 to 4 days are more ideal. In addition, opt for a cruise with plenty of stopovers so you can take your toddler exploring on dry land.

Provide Entertainment

Entertainment is very crucial for successfully cruising with toddlers. You need to provide your little one plenty of distraction to keep him entertained during the trip from the airport to the ship as well as on board. Be sure to stock up on small toys, board books, board games, papers, crayons, a DVD player, CD’s, some of your toddler’s favorite movies and snacks. Giving your toddler a disposable camera is also a nice way to keep your toddler busy. He will truly have so much fun snapping photos.

Play With Your Toddler

Sure, you can just bring your toddler to the play area or ask the babysitter to look after your toddler while you have that romantic dinner with your spouse. But, do not forget that this is a time to maximize bonding time with the family. During the day, act like a child and play with your toddler, do a cannonball in the pool and join as many shipboard activities as you can with your family.

Stick To Your Routine

As much as possible, plan your day on the cruise around your toddler’s usual schedule. Do not change your toddler’s mealtime, naptime, bath time and bedtime as this will only confuse your toddler and put him in a bad mood.

Lastly, enjoy the cruise with your toddler no matter what happens. You can never expect your toddler to always be on his best behaviour or do what you want. Change your expectations. Accept the mishaps and laugh it off. This is a wonderful time to bond with your toddler so do not let anything ruin this trip.

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Travel Tips For Toddlers With Autism

Traveling with children is never easy. Traveling with a toddler who has autism can be even more daunting. Here are some tips to make traveling easier for toddlers with autism.

Tip # 1: Choose A Destination Your Toddler Likes

What does your toddler like? Does he like going to amusement parks? Basking in the sun on the beach? Going out of town? Pick a travel destination that is within your toddler’s comfort zone so he can enjoy the activities.

Tip # 2: Plan In Advance

It is very important that you make arrangements ahead of time. Research the destination and the available activities in the area. Get in touch with your chosen airline, hotel as well as restaurants and other tourist spots and inform them that you are traveling with a toddler who has autism. Discuss your toddler’s needs and ask for certain recommendations.

Tip # 3: Prep Your Toddler

Prior to leaving, help your toddler prepare for the vacation. For instance, you can give him a calendar and ask him to check off each day until the scheduled trip. Watch movies and videos and read books about traveling. Look at photos of the location. Talk to him about your upcoming trip. Tell him you will have loads of fun together. You can also practice vacation scenarios. Role play how you will travel, what you will do and who and what he will see. Better yet, help him put together a “travel book” of pictures. Preparation and stimulation will help your toddler transition more smoothly.

Tip # 4: Pack The Essentials

Make a list of the things you need to bring. Aside from the basic essentials (milk, clothes, diapers, etc.), pack one or two loveys such as books, his favorite toys, pillow, blanket, DVDs and a portable DVD player. Do not forget to pack a light snack your little one will enjoy as well. These comfort items will not only help soothe him, but they will also entertain your toddler and give him a sense of familiarity while traveling.

Tip # 5: Keep Your Toddler’s Daily Routine

Traveling can disrupt your toddler’s routine which can make a child with autism feel lost and scared. As much as possible, stick to his daily schedule. Plan for breaks and downtime. For instance, you can spend a few hours at a beach and then head to a theme park or restaurant. Most importantly, stick to your toddler’s bedtime. Sleep is very crucial in preventing meltdowns in autistic children.

Tip # 6: Create A Travel Cocoon

Build a travel cocoon in the car or in your hotel room. You can use pillows and blankets to build one and then attach toys with Velcro to the side of the cocoon. This method gives off a feeling of intimacy which is comforting for toddlers with autism.

Tip # 7: Keep Your Toddler Safe

Bring a childproofing door knob, slip them onto the door so your toddler will not be able to turn the knob and leave your hotel room. Also, make sure your toddler is wearing identification. Pin a small name tag with your contact number and “autism” written on it to his t-shirt or shoelaces or have him keep it in his pocket.

Traveling with a toddler who has autism can be challenging. But with a little planning, practice and preventive measures, you can reduce the amount of stress your toddler and your family experiences while on a trip.

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Tips For Flying With Children

Going on a trip with a toddler can be challenging especially if you are traveling by air. But luckily, you do not have to endure hours of crying and embarrassment anymore. Here are some helpful advice for making flying with children easier.

Prep Your Toddler

Toddlers have meltdowns on planes for two reasons – they are scared and they feel restrained. Preparing your toddler a week or a few days before you fly will help minimize some of your toddler’s anxieties. For instance, you can watch videos or read books about flying. “We’re Going On An Airplane” by Steve Augarde and “Airport” by Byron Barton are great children’s books that show what goes on at the airport. Or, why not role play the activities the two of you will be doing. Pretend to be the security personnel and have your toddler stand in line, go through security and so on.

Dress Appropriately

Dress your little one in nice, comfortable clothes. A good flying outfit consists of a pair of jeans, t-shirt, sweater and comfy shoes. This will keep your toddler warm and at ease. Plus, dressing your toddler for the journey will make him think that traveling by air is something special.

Bring Your Toddler’s Flying Essentials

Toddlers can get fussy when on the plane because they have to sit for hours in a small space, their ears are popping and they have nothing to do. Preparing a “flying kit” will keep your little one’s tantrums at bay. Bring a backpack with you and stash it with your toddler’s favorite snacks or ask him to choose what food he wants to eat on the plane, travel toys such as activity books, papers, crayons, clay, finger puppets, books with flaps, toddler laptops and a portable DVD player and one or two of his favorite movies. In addition, pack an extra set of clean clothes just in case your toddler spills juice on his shirt. Also, it would not hurt to bring anti-nausea medications if your toddler has a sensitive stomach.

Be At The Airport Early

Checking-in and going through security can be time-consuming. Thus, it is very important that you arrive at the airport early. Doing so allows you to choose your seats and arrange whatever needs organizing. Plus, the extra time is a good opportunity for your little one to explore the airport, look around shops, play at the play area (if the airport has one), eat and go to the restroom. The more comfortable he gets, the lesser chances your toddler will have a meltdown on the plane.


Keep your cool. How will you expect your child to behave if he sees his mommy is acting fidgety? Flying with your toddler for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but you have to stay composed. If you are relaxed, the feeling will rub off onto your toddler.

Most importantly, enjoy the experience with your toddler. Mishaps and outbursts are unavoidable, but do not let them ruin your adventure.

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Choosing The Best Travel Destinations For Kids

Traveling is a great bonding activity for families. Parents can unwind and take their minds off work which allows them to focus on their children and strengthen parent-child relationship. Choosing the best travel destinations for kids need not be complicated as long as their needs and wants are considered. Here are some tips to help you out.

Tip # 1: Make A List

Make a list of the places that interests your family. Do you want to go to a place where everyone can enjoy? Then list down Disneyland or a private beach resort. Is your toddler fascinated with culture? New York has lots of museums that will surely satiate his interest. Plus, you and your partner can see a Broadway show. By listing down your choices, you can better come up with an idea that will satisfy everyone.

Tip # 2: Consider Accessibility

After making a list, weigh the pros and cons. Search the web to learn more information about each place. Guidebooks and magazines are also great resources to find out what each option has to offer – a hotel that caters to children (e.g. kiddie pools, playground or a babysitting service), attractions your toddler can explore, kid-friendly restaurants and other places of interest you can visit via a train or rental car. The more you know about a place, the more you can make the most out of the trip.

Tip # 3: Consider The Impact

If your little one can withstand long hours of air travel and jet lag, then flying to another city is perfect. But, if you are uncertain about taking a long trip with your toddler, opt for local destinations instead. Why not try camping? For sure, your toddler will have fun staying outdoors and pretend to be a hunter. There are websites that will help you choose the best family campground in your area. Stay at a hotel during the weekend. Ride a train and visit the countryside. Take a trip to a dairy farm or a fruit farm so your little one can see how his food is produced. Plus, he can even help milk a cow or pick his favorite fruits. This is a good way to get your toddler used to traveling before you take a trip across the globe.

Tip # 4: Do Not Be Too Detail-Oriented

Sometimes, you do not have to always pick a place that is family friendly. Take a break from all the preparation and expose your little one to the real world by planning a daytrip to a construction site, train track, park, zoo and taco bus. New restaurants are great local destinations as well. You and your toddler can try out new dishes which is a great way to introduce him to a variety of foods and give him a break from eating deep fried foods.

No matter where you decide to travel with your toddler, make sure to relish the experience and make happy memories you can look back fifty years from now.

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