Oh No! Toddlers on a Plane: My Top 3 Travelling Toddler Tips

My son who is now 18 was not an easy traveller.  As a toddler he was always on the go and very busy. So when the opportunity came to travel with him and my family to Ireland I hesitated for a moment. What was I going to do with a 3 year old on a transatlantic 7-hour flight?

 To answer that question I turned to my fellow Moms and here’s what I learned and what worked beautifully for me:


I brought along 10 – just in case. These do not need to be expensive – a coloring book with a box of crayons, a small stuffed toy or a book.  If your child is being good on the flight give him a present! If he’s not being so good let him know he will not get another present unless he or she behaves. Be sure to wrap each present before you leave for the airport.

 For our return trip I collected about 10 little items to surprise him on the flight. Let’s just say leprechauns was a big theme and there are endless variations of inexpensive leprechauns you can find in Ireland, everything from pencil sharpeners to musical stuffed toys. It was a nice way for us to remember our trip and my son played with those toys for many years to come.


This is actually quite fun and you’d be surprised how many hours it can fill. There’s nothing quite like a game of Fish or War.  If you’re not sure how to play a particular card game, just Google it for instructions.

 One handy trick I learned is to purchase a simple cardholder. Toddler hands sometimes have difficulty holding up a bunch of cards and you can pick one up at any local toy store.


Don’t be afraid to load up your I Pad or DVD player with movies and age appropriate games that relate to your trip. For instance I made sure we had a copy of Disney’s 1959 movie Darby O Gillis and the Little People.  It got my son excited about our trip and primed to go leprechaun hunting while we were vacationing in Ireland.

Of course if your child has a favorite go to series bring that along too. You can’t underestimate bringing the comforts of home while travelling with your little one. Wrapping them up in their favorite blanket or using their favorite stuffed animal as a pillow while watching their favorite series always works.

 So there you have it - 3 Mom tested tips that really work. You’re welcome and enjoy your trip!

By Kathy Minton/Happy Owl Kid Apps