The Bag of Tricks {{Traveling With a Toddler}}

My bags were packed, I checked and rechecked everything that needed to make the day's worth of travel, and my anxiety was sky high. Though I wasn't flying alone I was flying alone with Marcus. Enough to put most mild-mannered mommas into a tail spin.

Because we live so far from family flying isn't anything new for Marcus. He's been doing it since he was five weeks old. But, flying alone with him is something I've only ever done twice (one of those times being yesterday).
Going into our adventure I knew I'd have to pack a pretty solid bag of tricks.
The "bag of tricks" included: 1) the coveted blankie 2) enough snacks to feed a heard of elephants 3) favorite books 4) iPad with favorite apps and new apps 5) traveling coloring books and Aquadoodle 6) a handful of Match Box cars 7) head phones 8)several diapers and wipes
First and foremost I couldn't travel without *this* genius of a gem.
The Ride On Carry On was a life saver. I could wheel my carry on with Marcus attached to the luggage. That left me with a free hand. Plus, Marcus seemed to enjoy being toted around LAX in this fashion. (Bonus points go to the head rest which detaches from the back and re-attaches at the arm rests to create a tray.)

Once we made it through the necessary rigors of checking in, dropping off luggage with TSA, and getting through security, we had over an hour to kill. I grabbed a coffee (naturally), some fresh fruit (who knew when we'd have fresh food again until we made our final destination), and water (keeping hydrated while traveling is difficult, so I make it a priority to chug water as often as possible).

While we waited to board our plane we made friends with other traveling families (smart move: kids play, parents chat), pulled out a few Match Box cars from the "bag o' tricks", and took great delight in watching planes come and go.
Once we finally boarded (I always wait until the last possible minute to board - have to get as much energy out of the little man as possible) I made a big deal of Marcus picking our seats.

*Travel tip: If you're traveling with a companion, have your companion board first (with all of your carry on bags). While your companion is choosing a seat and storing your bags you can be roaming the waiting area with your little one. We always try to board near the end of the boarding line while Dad goes on ahead of us. What's the point of just sitting and waiting in your seat for 30 minutes while everyone else is boarding/getting situated? You could be out and moving those little's legs and burning up some energy!
He was so proud of his seat selection.

From there I was able to relax a little.
We immediately pulled out the blankie (for comfort), a few books to read, the iPad for educational entertainment (with a few new apps downloaded for the flight), checked out all the little things on land below us (see the tiny ship out the window?), and I bit the bullet and paid $8 for Internet (best $8 ever spent) so the beloved Mickey could make an appearance.
For quite some time Marcus did an awesome job keeping himself entertained and QUIET!

Then it happened just like it *knew* it would. Marcus' demeanor changed ever so slightly, and the smell hit my nose like a ton of bricks. Awesome. We trudge to the bathroom, and to my surprise there was a changing table in the tiny bathroom!
I mean, it's not winning any awards for comfort, but it's better than changing a "spackle" diaper on my lap.

For the remainder of the flight we spent snacking and snapping selfies.
We took 1.7 million pictures, and he loved looking at each and everyone of them.

Roughly 10 minutes before we landed I looked over to see this:
Our travels were exhausting.

In the end it was a really easy flight. Little Man was an awesome travel companion. I know I'm jinxing myself for the next flight simply by writing those words out...

In reality, traveling is such a crap-shoot with a little one. But, when we do travel it's imperative to have a bag of tricks to pull from. I've also learned to just roll with the punches if tantrums and fits are thrown. Because... well... toddlers.

Linking up with some great ladies today on the topic of traveling with a toddler. Click the button below to read other related posts!
The Not Quite Military Wife: One Year And Beyond


  1. Wow! He's such a great traveler! Mac and I just flew to Florida last week (without my husband) and it was so hard! He was absolutely insane! Wouldn't play on the iPad at all or with any of his toys. Hopefully he will outgrow this soon!

  2. Okay that ride on carry thing! Genius!!!! I will definitely be picking up a couple of those for when we take my three on a plane...someday!

  3. He did awesome!! It's worlds easier with them in their own seat than the lap child (which I didn't do past 15mo - I don't know how ppl do it!). I'm so impressed he did so well in a seat without his car seat too! Yay for a good flight!

  4. We have yet to fly with Mia so I'm looooooooving your advice! I never would have thought to wait last minute to board! Genius idea! Same with coloring books... Mia would be so into that now!

  5. heck yes for an open seat instead of a lady with a mask on!

  6. He is so precious!!! Thanks for the tips!!!

  7. What a sweet little man. :) So glad you got there safely and with little trouble!

  8. I wish I knew about that seat before Wednesday lol
    We flew 3 hours with my 2 year old wild child niece and a bag of tricks and nothing worked! Glad you had better luck! And seriously I just want to squeeze Marcus' little cheeks! He's so cute!

  9. What great tips! And what a good traveller! I'm TERRIFIED of air travel with my son. I feel like he would just be squirmy and hate being couped up. Will have to keep these in mind! We've only done car travel but that Mickey... he's a lifesaver on land and in the air!

  10. He's so cute! I've never heard of the Ride On Carry On, but it sounds like a life saver (along with the Mickey Mouse bag full of tricks inside)! I will surely adopt your tricks once we travel to see my husband's family which probably won't be until next year. ( They live in Virginia. We live in Southern California)


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