Pack a travel kit. Aside from your child’s regular luggage, always bring along a tote bag that includes an extra pair of underpants or diapers, hand sanitizer and moist towelettes for easy hand cleaning, a change of clothing and shoes, and a bunch of portable and compact toys and games to keep your child distracted during the trip. This way, you’ll be prepared for any messes, spills, and long spells spent in cars, planes, or trains.
Keep snacks and drinks handy. Pack some healthy snacks in case your child gets hungry in the car or train, as well as plenty of water and juice so that you don’t end up making too many unneeded stops. However, only give her snacks if she says she’s hungry—avoid using them as a way of calming her down or distracting her.
Be a master planner. Of course, travel always involves planning, but when you’re travelling with a young child, you need to pay attention to even smaller details than usual. Where will your child sleep? Make sure the type of bed or crib she needs is available. Will you be using a car while you’re away? In that case, you might want to think about bringing along the car seat.
Choose your travel times wisely. If you’re travelling by plane or by train, try to book your itinerary at a time when you are less likely to be in a crowd. This will make your trip a more comfortable one, and your toddler’s behaviour will be likely to affect a lot fewer passengers around. Travelling by car and need to cross the border? Try to avoid times when there is bound to be a long line-up during which your child could get restless and impatient.
Pack a lot of patience. Don’t expect your toddler to necessarily act like she would at home when you’re visiting friends or relatives. Often, a change of environment can cause a toddler’s behaviour to vary, and you might encounter problem situations that you usually don’t need to deal with at home, so be patient and keep your cool!