It is January 2021, and I have had the pleasure of not only flying with a toddler during COVID, but also road tripping with a toddler. Keeping a two year old entertained during travel can seem challenging or intimidating, but I am here to tell you, with the right tips and tools, it can be a breeze! Let’s get into it!
Flying with a Toddler During COVID
We decided to fly home for Christmas since we stayed in Houston for Thanksgiving. The flight to Memphis from Houston is only an hour and five minutes, so we thought it would be a quick and easy for Mason (that is my son’s name). Before we fly out, we make sure to pack his backpack with the following:
- Face mask
- Diapers (we are still working on Potty Training)
- Vaseline / Aquaphor
- Hand Sanitizer
- Disinfectant Wipes
- An extra change of clothes (Accidents can happen)
- Mobile Hot Spot
- Snacks! (Ziploc bags of Baked Cheetos, Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn, and Apple slices)
- Water, Juice, and Milk sippy cups (the airport allowed me to travel with water if for a child)
- Toy that he enjoys playing with
- Activity Board (gifted to Mason by his lovely godmother!)
- Mason’s Blanket
Those all make the flight experience less stressful. You feel ready for whatever. Aside from these items, Mason requires a car seat when we go to the airport and when we land, so we pack the car seat in this cover before checking it with our suitcases. We transport Mason through the airport in this stroller. It is amazing and folds down to go over our heads on the plane! Clutch to have if you know you plan to travel with a little one. Getting him to be still at the gate was probably the hardest thing, because he wants to explore and touch things. With COVID, we simply cannot let him do all that, so to give him some freedom, one of us will take him for a walk while holding his hand so he cannot get out of our reach.
Once we are on the plane, my husband wipes down everything with disinfectant wipes and then we get Mason strapped in. From there we give him his toy to play with until the plane takes off. Once we are in the air, we pull out the activity board and go over Letters, shapes, numbers, and colors. He will play with the magnets (one at a time cause we do not have time to lose any on the plane) until he falls asleep. We usually book flights around his nap time.
When we land, we get the stroller from the carry on above our heads and get Mason strapped in for the ride to baggage claim. He will have his toy, be napping, or just people watching while we head that way.
Road Tripping With A Toddler During COVID
We recently had to travel home at the last minute, so plane tickets were out of the question. The drive from Houston to Memphis is 10 hours. Yep you read it right…10 WHOLE HOURS! When Mason was a baby we would make the drive starting at 3am so Mason spent majority of the ride sleep, but now that he is older and more active, we decided to get on the road around 7am. Waking Mason up for the ride is the last thing we do before leaving. We get him up, dressed, and give him a sippy cup of milk. Once he is in the car, he will enjoy the views for a little while before going back to sleep.
Once he wakes up for the day, we break out oatmeal or rice. We will warm up food at the house and put it in aluminum foil then put the packaged foil inside a yeti cup. It keeps the food warm for him to eat when he is ready. Not to mention, you can create a bowl with the foil. We keep plastic silverware in a plastic bag for feeding. After his breakfast, he gets his juice sippy cup and then a toy to play with for a few hours. When we get to the half way point (Texarkana), we stop and get gas, change Mason’s diaper, and find food. This time also gives Mason a couple of minutes to get out of his car seat and walk around.
When we get back on the road, Mason will start his snacks. Apple slices, cheetos, or popcorn, Mason will eat a little of them all while sipping water and playing with his toy. After his snacks and playing / talking, he dozed off for his afternoon nap. By the time he is awake again, we are almost into Memphis. We will pour him a sippy cup of Milk to enjoy when he wakes, and call my mother to fix him some rice for when we get to the house. This past drive we did not break out the iPad at all, but he may have gotten someone’s phone at one point or another.
You see, as long as you keep the toddler occupied with snacks, a toy, activity of some sort, or a tablet, traveling does not have to be a bad thing. Driving was way easier during COVID because we were in our own confined space. There was not as much worry about touching things and what not. My husband wiped / sprayed the rental down before we got in. Flying was harder due to the restrictions and making Mason wear a face mask. He is normally at home and never had to wear one, so demanding he wear one out of nowhere took a little time for him to grasp, but once he got the hang of it, we were A OK!