Ever since our trip to the UK with Emilia & Eduardo I've been asked to share my tips on travelling with "two under two". While I definitely don't think I'm an expert by any means having only done it once, it was a learning experience all the same and I am happy to share what I found useful!
Tip #1: Pack lots of healthy snacks & water
I packed a big bag of grapes, raisins, bananas, oat snacks & water for Emilia so that at least if we didn't have time to stop for a proper meal or if we were delayed in anyway she wouldn't crash or get too hungry. This also ensured that she had something healthy to snack on rather than the usual junk that you find on the airplane snack trolley! The only thing we didn't do very well with was water...we kept forgetting to restock the water and little people get very thirsty! Even if you are not thirsty yourself, you need to remember that the kids might be so it's important to bring plenty of water.
Tip #2: Plan around their schedule
When booking flights or planning your journey, try to make it fit with your kids' nap times. More often than not, babies and toddlers will sleep while travelling so this way if they do fall asleep on the plane or in the car, it won't disrupt the rest of their day. We booked the earliest flight and made sure to try and stick to Emilia's routine as much as possible so that she wouldn't sleep all day/be awake all night. There's nothing worse than that as I'm sure every other parent will agree!
Tip #3: Buy food when you can - you never know when your next pitstop will be!
If you are going to be travelling during meal times, make sure you plan ahead! This was a major fail on our part...since both Emilia & Eduardo were asleep on the plane and it was still very early, I didn't buy breakfast. We had figured we'd pick something up at one of the services outside the airport. Big mistake! Turns out our flight was delayed, which meant everything was behind schedule and we were in a huge rush to pick up our rental car. By the time we had left the airport we were stressed out and there were no good services nearby - by then everyone was starving! So we settled for McDonald's which I was pretty unhappy about. McDonald's is not exactly the best breakfast option for anybody... So in hindsight, buy food when you can (such as on the plane) even if you don't eat it right away at least you will have it when you need it!
Tip #4: Bring plenty of supplies (baby wipes, nappies, hand sanitiser etc.)
Perhaps a bit of an obvious one, but you can never be too prepared! So pack lots of extras just in case. And you will need a ton of nappies if you have 2 under 2! Baby wipes are lifesavers for sticky fingers, especially when travelling. And any kind of airport/train/bus station is generally filthy so hand sanitiser is a must!
Tip #5: Get a harness for your toddler
Some parents don't like harnesses and that's okay too! But personally I think they are great - especially if your toddler won't sit still like Emilia! She is always on the go and does not like to be restrained in a stroller anymore. So a harness is ideal for situations like big airports where you need to have a handle on them but they still want the freedom to run around. We had planned to get her a harness before we left but couldn't find the one we wanted in time. Next time we will definitely be prepared!
Tip #6: Pack a suitcase/backpack for your child(ren)
I found this very useful for Emilia. I packed a little suitcase full of her toys, books & snacks so that she could wheel it around and feel important :) It seemed to work very well! Of course, you will probably end up carrying/wheeling it but it's good to have lots of distractions in case she gets bored (which happens a lot when travelling!). She loved opening it and taking out her toys, then putting them all back in again! It also made her feel like a big girl, which all kids love!
Tip #7: Bring a carseat for your infant
If one of your "under twos" is an infant, bringing their carseat is the way to go. You are allowed to carry it onto the plane and it's ideal for transporting them in & out of cars, etc. as they stay asleep and you don't have to disturb them. Also most carseats will slot into strollers now so although you will have to hand that over at some stage at least you can keep your carseat.
Tip #8: Keep to a feeding schedule with your baby
As useful as the carseat is for keeping your baby asleep, it's also important to wake them for regular feedings! Otherwise you will have a scenario where your baby mixes up its days & nights as travel does tend to make them sleepy anyway. We were in and out of cars all day while house-hunting but every time we made a pitstop I made sure to wake Eduardo & change/feed him. This may seem like common sense but it's easy to forget when you're busy yourself or even neglect to do so due for the sake of convenience!
Tip #9: iPads/DVD players are great for long car journeys!
I don't agree with just plonking your kids in front of a TV screen whenever they travel and I do believe that a certain amount of boredom is good for them to experience so that they learn to entertain themselves...however sometimes journeys are very long and even the most well-behaved toddler will get restless and fed up. We benefited hugely from an iPad we got from the relocation agency. Emilia was delighted that she had Peppa to keep her company on all the boring car journeys (and was rather put out when we had to give the iPad back!). I think if you use this as a last resort & perhaps don't turn it on the minute you get in the car, that's perfectly fine!
Tip #10: Keep to the same bedtime routine
I know I've mentioned this before but sticking to the same bedtime routine when travelling is so important when it comes to getting your baby/toddler to go to bed in an unfamiliar environment. We always try to keep everything the same at Emilia's bedtime...that includes bath time, lotion, pyjamas and a storybook. We bring all her familiar toys that she has in her bed including her musical doggy which she loves and she rarely has any issues with going to bed, even if we're in the same room! Of course Eduardo was still very little when we travelled with him but the same idea applies...we bathed the two together just like at home and he went to bed very easily.
I hope these tips will help! Let me know if you have any tips to share on travelling with 2 under 2 or just travelling with babies and toddlers in general! You can watch my video here: