Tips for Traveling Internationally with a Toddler, Part One: Plan Ahead

Moriah's First Flight: Traveling with a Toddler CAN be fun!

Having just returned from a 7-week international trip with our one-year old, (which consisted of 6 flights -over 24 hours of flying time-, 2 countries, 4 US States, 3 Homes and 1 Hotel ), I feel it is appropriate to pass along some of the things I have learned about traveling internationally with a toddler. And so, the newest four-part BlueCakes blog series is born. Today I’ll discuss planning ahead…


Part 1: Plan ahead

-Get all of your documents together- remember that when traveling internationally, even little babies need a passport! Call the airlines to ask what is needed and give yourself time to get these documents in order.


-When making reservations speak up! Inform the person you are talking with that you are traveling with a toddler and ask questions.


With the airlines: What are the baggage allowances for toddlers? (even lap-babies usually are allowed their own carry-on, and internationally they usually get a checked bag). Are special infant rows or bassinet seats available? Can the airline put an infant hold on extra seats next to you if the flight is not booked? In the very least, choose seats carefully: Many larger planes have a few rows in the back that have only 2 seats across due to the curvature of the aircraft. These seats can be excellent choices as they give you your own row. Seats near a bathroom or galley area may also be desirable.

With Hotels: Do you provide a toddler bed / toddler bedding? Can you reserve a room with a mini-bar (useful for storing milk / snacks) or make sure you get a room with a bathtub (bathing little ones in a shower isn’t easy and can be scary for the kid).

-Arrange for diapers, wipes, and any other must-have baby supplies to be sent to the location you will be traveling to. (Most hotels will even accept shipments and you can order pretty much anything you need online at or somewhere similar). This will give you much more space in your luggage and save you from making a trip to the store to purchase this stuff the day you arrive.


-If possible, consider renting items like a high chair, car seat, stroller, etc. if your destination won’t have these items. We rented a stroller, highchair and box of toys while in Arizona and it really make the trip a lot easier.


Have a check-up with your child’s doctor a couple weeks before you go to discuss any medical questions you may have. Arrange to bring any special medications your child may need. It is also not a bad idea to bring along a copy of vaccination and medical records, in case of emergency.


Talk to your toddler about your upcoming trip! Although they often can’t say much themselves, babies and toddlers understand a lot more than we often give them credit for. Frequently talking about “visiting Grandma” or “going on the plane- up in the sky” can help some kids prepare. In the very least, it can’t hurt.


Pack and prepare your carry-on bags


-If dealing with a time change, consider adjusting, or at least beginning to adjust your little one’s schedule over to the new time zone before traveling in order to make for an easier transition. (More on this to come in this series)


Next week I’ll continue this series and discuss Packing and Day of Travel Tips…

One Response to “Tips for Traveling Internationally with a Toddler, Part One: Plan Ahead”

  1. cec writes:

    “up in the sky!” aww i miss that cutie!!! and i love all the new posts!!

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