This past Christmas we were pleasantly surprised when my husband’s company announced that the financials for the year were in and that they would all be receiving performance bonuses – essentially a 13th cheque! We were thrilled and suddenly had a hundred ideas as to what we could use it for. We have a dream to travel overseas every 5 years and since 2014 was to be 5 years since our last trip (we backpacked around Europe) we thought that we would put this money toward our next trip. The main difference between the last trip and this one is that we are now three –we now have a one year old and there is no way this mamma is going to be leaving her little one behind. After being exposed to hours of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” we decided that perhaps it was time for that trip to Disneyland that we have spoken about so many times.
After chatting to some friends who had recently taken a family trip to Disneyland and getting even more excited I figured the most important thing was to make sure that we booked our flights to Orlando. Once that was done the rest of the planning really fell into place quite easily. I was just starting to feel at ease about the trip when it suddenly dawned on me – this would be the first time we would be travelling with a toddler and with that comes a host of concerns.
Here are my top tips for travelling with a toddler:
- Request bulkhead seats or seats near an exit, so that your toddler has a safe spot to play on the floor.
- Minimise chances of your toddler contracting travellers’ diarrhoea by avoiding risky foods such as seafood, undercooked meats, peeled and raw fruits and vegetables, and unpasteurised dairy products. Also stick to drinking bottled water.
- Make sure to pack sunscreen, hats and insect repellent. Use them daily even if the weather looks overcast.
- Compile a family medical kit. Remember to include baby paracetamol, a thermometer, anti-itching lotion, oral rehydration preparation and Band-Aids.
- If your toddler struggles with motion sickness make sure to make regular stops along the way and offer plenty of fresh air and water to stay hydrated and cool.
- To avoid ear pain as a result of change of cabin pressure during takeoff and landing encourage swallowing by feeding (breastfeeding works best).
Follow these tips and I guarantee you that half the battle is won.