Travelling with a Toddler

by Kyla on March 26, 2012 · 3 comments

Dexter is a seasoned traveller now, we visit Melbourne a couple of times a year to see my in-laws, have visited Adelaide to see family and have plans to go overseas again this year.

Whenever we fly anywhere we tend to fly Virgin, we’ve always had good experiences flying Virgin which is more than we can say for some other airlines and they’re competitively priced, you get better deals booking early of course and air travel in Australia seems expensive in general compared to Europe but I guess you’re flying longer distances.

Family travel is even more expensive for us now that Dexter is two and requires his own seat but it’s also much easier. We’ve been lucky with most of our flights and have been seated with a spare next to us but on those odd flights that were full it was such a struggle keeping an active, squirmy little boy restricted to our laps for a couple of hours.

Now that he always has a seat to himself there are definitely more options for keeping him entertained and here are my top items when travelling with a toddler.

Moshi Headphones for Kids

I’ve had these on my list to review for quite a while now. These headphones / ear buds for kids are volume restricted so no matter how loud they turn the volume to, it will never get loud enough to damage their hearing

They’re restricted to a specification output of 82+/-3 decibels. Which means absolutely nothing to me but I’m told that means the level is safe and will protect little ears from damage that can occur when listening to sounds that are too loud for too long.

I got Dexter a pair in the Moshi ‘DJ Style’ headphones before Christmas to use for travel (pictured above on Saturdays Virgin flight to Melbourne) and when he plays on my iPod. He loves his headphones, often wearing them around the house when there is no sound attached. For travel it makes things easier too, he’s more likely to wear his headphones than the earbuds you get on a plane.

On our flight down to Melbourne Dora was on Nick Jr. and Dexter happily sat and watched Dora, listening to it though his headphones.

You’ll find the headphones online at around $20 and the earbuds for around $10 which is a super small price to pay to protect their hearing.

Crayola Dry Erase Board & Crayons

Sometimes you come across a product that is so perfect and you really can’t fathom why you haven’t had it before. Seeing the Crayola Dry Erase Board & Crayons set was one of those eureka moments for me.

Consisting of a double sided white/black board that is small enough to fit into my handbag/nappy bag but is still large enough for Dexter to enjoy drawing on, 8 washable dry erase crayons and a special erase mitt, the Crayola Dry Erase Board & crayons comes almost everywhere with us.

You can buy crayons separately from the board pack; they come in packs of 8 and 32 and come with an erase mitt. I bought extra crayons for this trip and left the smaller, almost used up ones at home.

Every mum of a child old enough to enjoy drawing should have this, the crayons are washable (a must for me!) and erase quickly when using the erase mitt or even a towel / tea towel (adult has to do it – I found Dexter doesn’t quite have enough pressure). There’s no lids which means no hunting around when packing up and when your little one is done with their masterpiece they can flip the board over and start on another one or erase the drawing to start again.

We got a pencil case for the crayons because they do rub off and smear and I didn’t want that happening inside my handbag, we haven’t had any issues with it getting on clothes but Dexter has drawn on our tiled floor with them and it washed off quickly and easily.

You’ll find the board set at around $16 and the replacement crayons at just over $8, as always shop around to find the best price.

Favourite Book

I’m sure Dexter isn’t the only child who loves books, we have a before bedtime routine that includes four books every night. Dexter loves to read during the day as well so we chose some of his favourite books, making sure they were light ones and popped them in the bag for him to read on the plane.

His Own Bag

I know, a bag seems like a cop out item but I’ve found this to be pretty key for us, we bought Dexter a travel backpack about a year ago and every time we travel we let him help us pack it. We pack light, allowing him to carry it if he wants but make sure it contains things he will want to play with.

We let him choose his new backpack from the local bag store at the same time we bought a new suitcase, it has an insulated lunch box section that clips into the front for easy storage of drinks and snacks and lots of side pockets for him to stash cars or toys in. We’ve tried other bags, even expensive travel kit tray type bags and nothing is as effective as this back pack.

This trip the bag contained the items in this list plus his hat, drink bottle, a car and two of his Schleich figurines (a dressage horse and an Angus calf) that he packed himself to bring on holiday.

I’d love to hear what you take with you when you travel and what your tops tips are for keeping your little ones entertained when they’re trapped in a car or hurtling 30,000ft up in a pressurised metal tube.

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