travel with toddlers- HELP!

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As I write this, there are 4 days left before our big graduation trip. Yep, 4. I haven’t started packing (though, I do have one of those Whole Foods reusable bags sitting at the foot of my bed that’s full of overflowing with stuff that I don’t want to forget, so that counts for something, right?).

I am a pretty low-maintenance traveler (Adam and I went to Europe for a few months before we had Burke and Piper [that’s us in Spain, circa 2005] and I think I packed 5 shirts and 2 skirts for the whole trip!). However, this trip feels like a whole new ballgame to me.

I’ve been doing some reading- I love Cheri’s tips for road tripping with toddlers, Anneliese’s helpful international travel advice, and these tips for travel with kids. But I am still feeling unprepared!

Which is where you come in- I’d love some tips and suggestions for traveling with toddlers. A few specific questions I have-

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*What should I pack for these Smooches? The trip is 5 weeks long and to {mostly} really warm locales (Greece, Turkey, Dubai).

*Also, if you have any must-pack essentials to suggest for me, I’m all ears!

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*Have you been to Greece (Athens and the islands) or Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, Troy, Ephesus)? We’d love your must-see (or must-do, or must-eat) suggestions! And if you have any kid-friendly ideas for any of those places, I’d love to hear them!

*Any suggestions for helping toddlers stay occupied (or asleep) on really long plane rides? I’d especially love to hear any ideas you have for Piper Jane (she’s 20 months old and not interested in movies yet).

*Do you have any tips for helping kids with jet lag? Please help!


*What are some healthy travel snacks that your kids love?

*And while we’re talking food- what are some foods you’d pack for those occasions when you need a quick, on the road (or train, or plane, or beach) meal?

*What is your Travel Secret Weapon (aka- what other advice can you give me about traveling with toddlers)???

Can’t wait to hear your ideas, friends!

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  1. Wikki sticks, pipe cleaners, tons of snacks, stringing Cheerios, vinyl cling stickers (plane windows), Crayola color wonder, and lots of Mickey’s Clubhouse on the I-pad kept out daughter very content during 5 plane rides between 9 mos and 22 months.

    1. THANK YOU Amanda! Looks like a little trip to the Target dollar bin and Amazon (ha!) are in my near future. I will have to try to load up the iPad with Piper-friendly material too. πŸ™‚

  2. We can’t fly with one of our kids so I am no help on tips, but have a GREAT time! Can’t wait to see photos of all of you reunited πŸ™‚

  3. Make sure you have gum or gummies for you little ones to chew during take-off and landing. The changing pressure in the cabin can cause ear problems big time. My 27 year old daughter still has a problem with this. You can buy ,I think they are called Ear Planes, that you can put in their ears to help with the pressure. My daughter never goes anywhere without them. Have a great trip.

    1. Good reminder- thanks Deb! I put a couple packs of gum in the overflowing foot-of-the-bed bag! πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for the link back to our post. Sounds like you have an awesome adventure coming up. I love Istanbul and the Greek Isles. I was there pre-kids though so don’t really have any suggestions for that. Definitely do Santorini.

    Istanbul is a beautiful city to wander round in and there are so many mosques and palaces to explore. Get a fish sandwich from down on the river where the boats go to cross the Bosphorous. Ephesus is really fascinating but it is a long day so take lots of breaks.

    I’ve written a post about flying with kids
    Bring a handful of your child’s favourite small toys for the plane, some books and some colouring. For jet lag, just make sure they are getting lots of rest and drinking lots of water. I don’t feel it affects the kids as much as adults as they tend to be sleeping around the clock anyway, where as adults have the set night time sleeping patterns every night. They could be a little cranky and unsettled for a couple of days. Just give them lots of cuddles and quiet time.

    food: raisins, cheese sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt, carrot sticks, pretzels
    Have an amazing time!

    1. Caz- LOVE your blog! How have I not seen it before?
      And thanks for the tips- I love the ideas about food. Also, love the tips for Greece and Turkey! Off to check out your flying with kids article. πŸ™‚
      kirstin @ kojo

  5. Triangle crayons instead of round ones….they won’t roll away. I always pack an empty sippy cup for each kid (even the almost five year old) so that on the plane they can keep their drinks contained. Good luck!

    1. DEFINITELY send over your Greece/Turkey info (I have some things pinned on pinterest under ‘travel’ too if you’re interested). Loved your article, too! You had all sorts of goodness- it seems like variety was the key.
      Have fun on your trip!!! πŸ™‚

  6. We went to the Dollar Store and get a bunch of small toys and then wrapped them individually and handed them out one by one over the course of the flight. The unwrapping took a while and was entertainment in and of itself. Other entertainment ideas: band-aids, painters tape (easy to remove), stickers, maze and activity book (for an older child), plain paper to draw on.

    As for snacks, I packed stuff they don’t get often so that was also entertaining. Among what I brought was the letter Cheez-its (more entertainment as they played with them before eating), apples, raisins, rainbow colored Cheerios (we made Cheerio necklaces out of them first and then they ate them). We used lollipops for take-off and landing as I didn’t trust my younger one with gum. Definitely bring empty sippies or else you’ll have a mess on your hands when the drink cart rolls through.

    Good luck!!!

    1. Wrapped presents = LOVE. Did you happen to take them through security at the airport? Did they care?
      Love the painters tape suggestion- never would’ve thought.
      Oh, and novelty snacks are a great idea!!! THANKS for all of the great suggestions!

      1. I didn’t have any problems, just left them in the carry-on bag. This was a domestic flight though so it might be different for international.

  7. I haven’t taken that long of a plane ride with my kiddos, but we have traveled on planes about every two months or so and we just took an 11 hour road trip with my 23 month old and 5 month old. The Target $ section is great for their picture books and stickers. I also picked up a notepad and some pens (I think it’s nice to have something different than crayons because it feels more novel this way) for her to draw in. Silly putty is good because it doesn’t crumble and make a mess, but is still fun like play doh. My kids don’t like movies yet either, but I found that my 23 mo. old will watch short clips and parts of episodes. She likes Blue’s Clues and Elmo…so we bough some episodes from Itunes and downloaded them on our laptop. I took a few busy bags too, which are amazing. Lots of them are small and easy to pack….or toss when you’re done. Pinterest has lots of ideas for these. If you have an Ipad, I have some other ideas too, but they won’t be helpful if you don’t. Also, did you buy Piper her own seat or is she sitting on your lap?

    As far as packing goes, we just spent a month out of state and while it is nothing near spending it out of the country, I found that having some of the things she would have at home to be really helpful. My daughter sleeps with a white noise machine and her favorite doll (which is on the larger side), so even though they were a pain to bring along, we did and I am so grateful.

    1. Ellie, I love these suggestions. Our kiddos seem to have similar interests- love the suggestions for Elmo clips and busy bags- Piper and Burke would love those! And Target Dollar section here I come. πŸ™‚
      Also, Piper Jane has a white noise machine too and I’m so thankful for your reminder to bring it (especially since I think our quarters are closer than usual almost everywhere- the white noise will be great for all of us!). πŸ™‚
      Oh, and Piper is sitting on our lap. Sounds a little like a death sentence right now. πŸ™‚ However, on the way back we’re flying business class (we used miles), so we have little ‘pods’ instead of seats. Cross your fingers for us that things go ok on the way there, would you? πŸ™‚

      1. Just a tip on the white noise machine- it may not work with the different voltage, so it might be worth looking into an I-pod app for white noise?

        We have A.C.s here that make plenty of noise, so all you have to worry about is Greece and Turkey. πŸ™‚

        See you SOON!

        1. hahahahaha! SO SO SO excited. so excited. πŸ™‚
          and we used the iphone app in mexico and it was terrific! πŸ™‚

      2. It will save you so much money that way…she’ll be fine! I’ll for sure keep my fingers crossed and maybe throw a prayer or two in there for you as well ;).

        There’s an app on your ipad called White Board. My daughter is obsessed with this. She basically just scribbles on it with her finger. But it gets us through church and quiet situations for about 20 minutes at a time (which is a long chunk of time for a little kid). Also, never underestimate the power of Photo Booth. Take lots of silly pictures together and then let her scroll through them afterwards. This can eat up chunks of time as well and you’d probably be able to do it several times and she’ll never get tired of it. Good Luck! I’m sure you are going to have an amazing time.

        1. Haha- thanks for the prayers friend!
          And I love that iPad app tip! Plus photo booth- that’s genius. My nieces make little documentaries for Jord all of the time. I will have to try that too!
          Seriously, thanks for all of the help/tips/prayers!!! πŸ™‚

  8. A friend of mine went to India for three weeks with her 4 year old & 3 year old (and she was 5 mos pregnant!). I know she packed a jar of peanut butter that came in handy on more than one occasion. She also joked that she packed a suitcase of Purell & anti-bacterial wipes.

    We have a magna doodle for our toddler. We’ve taken it with us on car rides to Chicago (about 6 hours) and it keeps her occupied for a little bit. (The one we have is for toddlers – it is elephant shaped and I know it’s sold at Target – I can send you a link if you’d like.)

    As far as food/snacks, do your kids like those squeezable apple sauces? I know Trader Joes sells a few different flavors, as well as those Mash Ups (I think that’s what they are called.) I would pack a few treats but not too much candy. What about dried fruit? I know that Piper Jane might be a little small (don’t want her to choke!) but the I did notice that Target has some in the baby food isle that is specially made for toddlers. I haven’t tried them yet but I have a feeling my kid would love them (and she’s a month older than Piper Jane). I would also bring a few of the individual bags of Goldfish crackers, etc. I know they are more expensive, but they are already packaged for you and you can just throw a few in your bag. OR take a few big bags of crackers & a box of ziplock bags. Then you could just make your own.

    Hope you have a wonderful time! Can’t wait to see the pictures.

  9. If we are going on long car rides (10-12 hours), we take random little toys that we can give them if they are being good. Nothing expensive, just stuff from the dollar bin.
    Be prepared for random sickness (motion, food related, etc.). On occasion, we have packed the kids’ outfits in ziploc bags and labeled them so if we needed a quick change of clothes, we had it in an easy to grab way.
    Burke might also enjoy some of those disposable cameras. Pretty easy to use, and then he can help keep Piper entertained!
    You may want to consider mailing some of your stuff home, and even mailing it to Jordan’s so that you don’t have to deal with it on the plane.
    Have fun, be patient, and take lots of pictures!

  10. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks! (Just be careful that you don’t pack a bunch of liquid/gel-like foods in carry-ons because of TSA restrictions). Also, we buy our kids new books and save them for the trip. Jonah loves Richard Scarry books…there is so much to look at on each page. A friend of mine says she buys little toys at Cracker Barrel for her kids to play with on long car/plane trips. They have a lot of novelty items you can’t find anywhere else. Have a fun and safe trip!!

      1. Nicole, I love this idea!!! I already sifted through Burke’s toy boxes for little trinkets that I could put in one of those. Fingers crossed that I get to it!
        Also, I love it that Patrick was in Uganda. Our best friends adopted from Uganda and Joanie is our god daughter. We have such a special place in our hearts for that country- how was his trip???

    1. Ooooh, Richard Scarry- great reminder. And Cracker Barrel here we come (several people recommended this- never would’ve guessed!). πŸ™‚
      You’re so right about novelty too… thanks Nicole!!! πŸ™‚

  11. Definitely pack squeezable fruit packs. I’m pretty sure that Target sells them. Happy Baby and Happy Tot are awesome. Our family lives in Kenya and we’ve traveled a ton with our 4 kids. I usually bring a new coloring book or a look and find. Last year we backpacked through the UK with the kids and I brought lots of Dover Little activity books (buy on amazon…totally cheap and they’re really small…fantastic for when they get bored…). I also bought Monster Doodles (on amazon)…again, small and fantastic! My kids loved it! Good luck with your trip! It sounds amazing.

    1. Amy- LOVE this! Someone else mentioned the Dover books, and my kids both love the squeezable fruit (definitely need to get some!!!). I love it that you’re traveling with your Smoochies- what a great experience for them~
      Also, my hubbie is interested in volunteering with Cure International (a medical relief organization). They have a big base in Kenya. Where are you guys????

  12. Sounds like an amazing trip! What a fun family adventure:) We are pretty low maintenance travelers, too, but have had to adjust a little since the boys have come along. The hardest part of traveling with kids for me is that I always seem to end up with so much STUFF!! I have found that minimizing the baggage makes for a much more pleasant experience.
    For a trip that long, I would approach it less like a vacation and more like a re-location. I would pack just a week’s worth of clothes and find places to wash them or have them washed along the way. Same with food and toys. I’d stick to basic tried and true snacks for the travel there, then buy fun local snacks along the way, rather than trying to haul a suitcase of applesauce around.
    Something we learned on our first vacation with a baby was that the trip began when we left the house, not when we arrived at the location. So, we’ve really tried to make all of the in-between super fun, too! Getting a cool snack at the airport and playing on the escalator before boarding feels really cool and exciting! Talking and learning about the airplane, the fold down table, the flight attendants, etc. makes the flight part of the adventure! I’ve found the other travelers to be really nice and understanding (for the most part) when I am treating the kids like the experience is really fun, rather than a stressful necessary step to get out of town.
    I’m sure you will have an awesome time. I always plan for the worst and hope for the best, and we’ve had such a great time traveling with our boys!
    Good luck!

    1. Miranda, love all of these ideas and reminders. I love your suggestion to adjust our expectations and to remember the reason that we’re traveling with them! πŸ™‚ And you’re right about being able to get things (and wash our clothes, etc.) along the way (especially since part of the trip will be visiting my sis in the middleeast!). πŸ™‚
      Thanks for all of the great ideas!!!

  13. A great ideaI heard was to give each kid their own roll of scotch tape. They can pull it all out, build stuff with it, see where it sticks. Pretty cheap and something (at least my kids) don’t get to play with. Also my kids love sheets of stickers to stick on things. Make sure they are the kind that peel-off easy. You can draw them a scene to add things to or just give them a sheet of paper. My almost 5 year olds loved getting a mini sticker book last week. Put them on all the fingers and toes like fake nails, covered paper with them. I think I better pick up a few more for our upcoming trip!

    1. Nicole- scotch tape- that’s genius!!! And Burke loves stickers, but I don’t have any (YET!). Thanks for the great ideas!!! πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Kirstin! Such an exciting trip! We LOVE the little Dover books for traveling. They are cheap and fun. And sometime semi-educational πŸ™‚ They sell them at Cracker Barrel, Amazon, and I’ve even seen them at 5- Below (do you have that? Kind of like an upscale dollar store)…. Might be a good time to introduce I-SPY games if you haven’t already.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Deborah- love that! Someone else mentioned Cracker Barrel- never would’ve guessed! πŸ™‚ And I love the ISpy suggestion!!!

  15. My sister has a nearly 3 yr old and a 21 month old. They both adore playing games, etc on her Kindle Fire and take turns with it on long car rides. It kept them relatively quiet on a 2 hour car ride we took over the weekend.

    1. I feel a bond with your sister. πŸ™‚ And thanks for the tip- we have a iPad that I need to load up!!!

  16. We are on the last leg of a road trip from Michigan to Texas (and back!) with our twin 3 year olds πŸ™‚ I realize that a road trip is WAY different than international air travel, but a few things that I found were amazing are 1) sun butter sandwiches cut into fun shapes (my kids are allergic to peanuts). My kids thought these were amazing, and I could pair them with fruit and pretzels to make an easy meal whenever they needed one. 2) puppets (you could do finger puppets). They put on puppet shows for each other, for themselves, and for me. The puppets occupied them longer than anything else! 3) a 1$ package of the party blowers (the silent ones that look like frog tongues when you blow them out). These are great when you just need some silence. They easily kept my children silent for 20-30 minutes on end while they played with them! Have an amazing trip!

    1. Kim- all GREAT suggestions! And the PB&J/sunbutter &J is something we can do anywhere if we just bring the PB along (Adam and I have never been somewhere that we couldn’t find a loaf of bread!). πŸ™‚
      I also LOVE the puppet and party blower ideas- both things I never would’ve thought of. Again, thanks so much for the suggestions (and good luck with your trip!!!!). πŸ™‚

  17. One thing that might work for Piper is hiding a couple of her favorite toys ASAP. Bring them along and bust them out one at a time as needed. It should be like she’s rediscovering them all over again!

  18. Dum Dum suckers have worked great for us. They are small enough that they keep them happy for a bit, but not too big where they are drooling all over you! Let them walk the isle.

    I do work for TSA and wanted to mention like the other comment that you need to be careful what liquids you bring on the plane, assuming you are flying out of the USA. Liquids, Gels, and Creams need to be 3.4 ounces or smaller. Some of those apple sauces are small enough, but there are big ones that can’t go unless you allow them to be opened. Peanut butter, Nuttela, Hummus, Yogurt, etc. won’t be allowed through if too big. And all your liquids need to fit into a quart sized bag. One for each person. Have a great trip!

    1. Robyn- love the Dum Dum suggestions, and THANK YOU for the liquid reminders. I am pretty sure our PB is bigger than 3.4 oz- we’ll need to find a smaller one! πŸ™‚ And good tip on the applesauce (we’re shopping for that tomorrow- I will be on the oz patrol!). πŸ™‚

  19. I’m a pharmacist and I’d recommend some melatonin for sleep on the plane & jet-lag (good even for adults). It is naturally produced in the body to help regulate our sleep/wake cycles. For Piper Jane I’d use 1mg 30min-1hr before bedtime or whenever it is bedtime on the plane. Burke should be able to do 2mg. It comes in a liquid you just might have to hit a health-food store to find it. My cousin who travels alot with her kids said it worked well for them. You might even continue to use it at night once you arrive to help with the jet lag. Looks like you got many other great suggestions πŸ™‚ Happy travels & look forward to hearing from you when you return!

  20. I have a 18 month old, 3 year old and 5 year old. I always bring empty cups with us on planes to fill with drinks as well as a snack container for each kid that has a lid that is harder for them to spill. This way they can spend a lot of time snacking without spilling their snacks everywhere. I generally stick to pretzels, goldfish, raisins, nuts, etc. (things that will not get them sticky.) I keep a bag of fruit snacks and fruit peels (from Target) as a back up to stop a fit in its tracks. I generally also have candy as another way to help stop a meltdown. They youngest likes the magna doodle and cell phone toys (or anything) that makes noise and has buttons. I also made a busy book for her that has ten pages of things for us to do together to keep her entertained. Good luck.

    1. Tara, THANKS for all of the suggestions. Your food plan is genius (I feel like a multipronged approach is best, and yours has several back up plans- brilliant!). Great reminder about the containers/cups too! THANK YOU!!!! Oooh, and I love the busy book and cell phone suggestions (both things my kids love). πŸ™‚

  21. Be sure to bring stuff for emergency body fluid explosions. I don’t know what it is about plane rides, but my kids always seemed to have a diaper explosion on the plane…so I suggest packing several large ziplock bags to contain messy clothes, two clean outfits for Piper Jane, plenty of wipes and a wipeable changing pad. The most important thing to “pack” is patience! Time stops on airplane rides with toddlers…you can’t entertain yourself to pass the time, because you’re always dealing with the kiddo. So, be prepared for the plane ride to feel like forever!

    1. Laura, I love this advice. And you’re right about airplanes and diaper explosions- thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚ I feel like you guys have traveled a bunch with Littles- loving everything about this! πŸ™‚

  22. Fruit snacks are my favorite for take off and landing! I know that drinking something can do the same thing for their ears, but sometimes the timing is just off from when I want Jace drinking a whole cup full of juice or something else that would excite him. Plus, I’d rather not have to deal with a full diaper that early into a flight. So fruit snacks are something he LOVES (we don’t normally have them otherwise) and they keep him chewing and his ears popping. I also like the ease of granola bars for a mid flight snack. The longest flying time I’ve had to deal with is from West Coast to East Coast though, and that’s with layovers, and Jace was only 15 months.
    Don’t forget bags for dirty diapers–on the plane the flight attendants don’t want you throwing diapers away in the in the trash in the restrooms (they’re so small/worried about stinking, or at least this has been my experience), which means you’ll probably be handing your diaper over to a flight attendant.
    Those are my little tips. Oh, and have a wonderful time!!!!!!!!!

    1. Jill, love the fruit snack and bag tips. Ooooh, and bars, lots of bars (I am addicted to the Clif Kidz bars- not for my kids, though they like them too, for me! Haha!). πŸ™‚

  23. On our recent plane ride, I got a blank notebook and let my son go to town with stickers. He enjoyed that for a good while. Also, they have some good ideas for games that use manila folders and all the pieces stay contained inside (like a matching game using Velcro to hold the pieces down). Also, for the younger one, there is a book called “my first quiet book” that has many types of closures inside (buttons, zippers, Velcro, even shoelaces). Even though it may be skills your kids haven’t mastered, it keeps them busy forever because they are so determined, they just keep at it. Good luck!

    1. Kristy- LOVE these ideas! I think stickers are a must… Saturday = Target dollar bin. And SO TRUE about them trying and trying to do something. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the tips!

  24. oh girl, i cannot imagine!! it will be ok though…deep breaths. i can only say this calmy because i’m not the one doing it πŸ™‚ no seriously, it will go fast…i think πŸ˜‰ my secret weapon…you might want to plug your ears…children’s dramamine. it works. they sleep. i don’t think they’d sleep for 20 hours, but you can always hope right? πŸ™‚ looks like some great ideas here to go from…happy packing!

    1. alicia- already have it. πŸ™‚ you know it friend. though, I think I’m more likely to give it to them when we get there so that they don’t stay up all night after we’ve been flying for 30+ hours than anything else. πŸ™‚
      THANK YOU for the well wishes. πŸ™‚

  25. I got some magnet play sets for my daughter for her long plane ride next week. They are small to pack and will keep her occupied for awhile, hopefully!

    1. ooooh, my mom got burke a magnet set for his birthday! I’ll have to pack that- thanks for the reminder, heather! πŸ™‚

  26. For snacks: put a bit of every dry snack you can think of in a zip lock: misc cereals, little pretzels, goldfish, teddy grahams, a few m&Ms. this will keep them busy for a long time. Just put a handful in their snack cups.

    I pack all activities into ziplocks so I don’t have to spend time looking for stuff. i.e. the color wonder book and markers in 1 zip lock etc. Pack a cheap deck of cards it can be used for games or just for the little one to play with or to color on and if you loose some you just toss it when you get home.

    Wipe down every hard surface with a baby wipe as soon as you board… nothing ruins a trip like getting sick.

    Have a great trip.

    1. Love the snack ideas, and the ziplock bags = GREAT IDEA!!!
      Also, thanks for the germ-reminder! No kidding- that’d be terrible! πŸ™‚

  27. Well, I have a Cars 2 color wonder pack for Burke to take! I actually got it a while ago so he would have a present to open in Texas πŸ™‚ And I have extra packs of cards (to toss at the end of a flight if necessary) and plenty of snack size baggies if you want to divide all the snacks here. That way, you don’t have to do everything before you leave home. Can’t wait to see you!

    1. Leslie, you are so cute!!! We can’t wait to see you guys- Burke will LOVE that! Tell Hannah that Burke and Piper can’t wait to see her in just a couple of days!!!
      Love you!

  28. Your trip sounds so exciting. I’m a tad jealous. We flew with our then 18 month old daughter several months ago and I made a few very easy/inexpensive/quiet toys that worked like a charm. They literally kept her entertained for hours. You can see them here My only other suggestion would be to save a few things for each leg of the trip so there is always something new to grab their attention.

    Have a great time. I’m looking forward to reading all about your adventures.

    1. Emily, I am pretty sure I have pom poms and a container on hand- BRILLIANT idea!!! πŸ™‚ And love the suggestion of new- novelty is the best thing with kids, don’t you think???
      Thanks for the well wishes- stay tuned for pics. πŸ™‚

  29. This is so funny, I just wrote a whole post about this, it’s going up tomorrow! I travel internationally with my two boys by myself a lot, you’ll do fine! I would say scheduling is the most important. Having things to do, walk around, eat, sleep. Make them sleep, don’t just hope they go to sleep. Set up something that works for you. Any of their favorite toys, simple ones. Pack wisely and strategically. Bottom line, even if it’s the worst flight of your life, it will be over and you will be fine. Just have a good attitude and keep on going! Oh and for jet lag, I would try to start adjusting them on the plane. That has worked best for me. So don’t let them sleep during their normal sleep hours, but with the hours they will be adjusting to. They might (will) be exhausted, but the adjustment will be easier. And when they are up in the middle of the night when you get there, and they will be, just keep the lights off, keep calm and watch movies or play quietly. For my boys it usually takes 3 nights to get back in the swing of things. You’ll do great! And it sounds like an amazing trip, have fun!!

    1. Natalia- I love this, all of it!
      Your suggestion about starting the adjustment to a new sleep schedule was invaluable. Piper Jane slept for 6.5 hours from London to Dubai (during the new-night-time) and is adjusting so well to the new schedule. Seriously- that’s brilliant!
      Thanks so much for all of th ehelp.

  30. What I likje to do is pack small presents and keep with me, when the children start to get whiny I can give one and keep them happy for a couple of hours, can be a small package of color pencils , some coloring pages (you can print yourself with the favorite characters of the children), catalogs of toys – sounds weird right, but they can use the time to make the Christmas lists and think of what they will want so Santa have time to make them , or birthday wishes; for your 20 month old what about some different toys that you can change every few hours or small interactive books , that can have animals or the one with plastic inside the page (fabric books) so they can make sounds when turning the page and you can be calm because no RISC of eating the paper pages πŸ™‚
    For healthy snacks they like to eat apples (no bananas , it can be a disaster inside the car , really messy)
    When traveling in a airplane you first need to check what you are allowed to take with you, as well take moving sickness medication, places hot can have a lot of insects as well, take some itching cream if the children gets bitten and a spray for before , to prevent it , also don’t forget the sunscreen, basic fever medication , you don’t want to go looking for medication in another country, also Sundays usually everything is closed , also some antiseptic spray and band aids can save
    In the airplane , give some gum for the older children and something for the young one to chew while the airplane is taking of and landing, help with the popping of the ears , because of difference in air pressure , when the children sleep in the airplane, ask for wet towels, put on their faces , that will help with dry air , in a flight of 13 hours (Netherlands to Brazil) I had to change 2 or 3 times during the night flight

    Hope that this will help

    1. Sandra- What a great list!!! And checking beforehand about what is allowed to bring is such a great idea… we realized our liquid benadryl was checked-baggage-only right beforehand! Also, thanks for the reminder about Sundays- Adam and I have gotten stuck a couple of times because of that in the past.

  31. Your trip sounds great!
    I’ve done a few trips overseas with littlies, the last one a 30 hour trip by myself with a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old. It always ends up a lot better then I expect it to be.
    Make sure kids are comfortable wearing headphones. We had to practice with my daughter before we left.
    The Usborne sticker books are great. They have airplane/airport themed ones that my daughter really liked.
    The saving presents for throughout the trip thing is a good idea. Even though I never thought I packed too much, I always had more than I needed on the plane.
    Best of luck!

  32. We were in Turkey a few years ago, but without the kids so itΒ΄s totally diferent. We flew there, rent a car and drove from town to town for two weeks.

    The other thing I wanted to ask is that I read somewhere on your site that your currently favorite destination is Croatia. Have you been in Croatia. Well, I was so proud you said that (or your sister, donΒ΄t remember) while thatΒ΄s my homeland:-)

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