Luke has experienced his fair share of air travel in his short two years of life. Born in Germany with the nearest grandparent a whopping 5,000 miles away, he can count the number of times he has flown over the Atlantic Ocean on two toddler-sized hands.

His in-flight needs have changed greatly over the past 28 months, from simply having plenty of clean diapers, a change (or two) of clothes, and a sturdy ring sling carrier, to the plethora of portable entertainment options and travel-friendly snacks that now need hauling around.

As Luke and I have just returned from another overseas trip, here is a list of things we always bring in our carry on luggage. This is not a sponsored post; it’s simply a collection of favorites that makes traveling with my toddler a little bit easier.

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Traveling With A Toddler, A Survival Guide •

I always dress Luke in comfortable layers and shoes that are easy to take on and off. A t-shirt under a sweatshirt, long pants, and slip on shoes always do the trick for us and are versatile through the changing temperatures on the plane and around the airport.

Luke likes to carry around his own things when we travel. I fill his toddler-sized backpack with some of his favorite snacks and a couple of favorite books and small toys, as well as a few new ones he hasn’t seen before. I also bring a small, spill-proof water bottle that I fill up right before we board so he has plenty to drink (caution: that thing will SPRAY when you open it at cruising altitude, so either relieve the pressure periodically as you take off, catch it in your mouth as you drink the first few sips, or be prepared for some annoyed glares after you hose down all of your neighbors!).

I brought along the activity binder I made and shared in an earlier blog post and it was a huge hit on our last trip. The reusable stickers were Luke’s favorites. The small box of crayons and loose sheets of paper also provided us with plenty of entertainment on the plane. The contents of Luke’s activity binder will surely change with time, but it is definitely something we will always travel with.

Last but not least, I keep an iPod filled with Luke’s favorite movies and toddler-friendly apps and games in my bag when the above fails (which, let’s be honest, it does after a few straight hours). I try my best to keep it hidden at home so it’s extra special when we travel.


What are some of the ways you make traveling with a toddler as enjoyable as possible? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!