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Traveling with a Toddler


Traveling with a toddler to Washington DC

Traveling with a toddler is an adventure. Although we are prepared for our fair share of meltdowns, we also know that there is so much sweetness to be documented.

I wrote an entire post on traveling with a baby when we traveled to Italy and Ireland with Perry when he was only 8 months old. Traveling with a toddler is a different ballgame! We flew to the Oregon two summers ago and then drove from Portland to San Francisco, so we have experience with both long plane and car rides.

The biggest thing you can do when traveling with a toddler is simple preparation. Make sure you pack appropriately and chat with your little one about the trip in advance. Below are my best tips for traveling with your little one:

DC Milestone Photographer - one year old boy smiling

1. Plane/car toys

I think that flying with a toddler is actually a bit trickier than flying with a baby. Babies sleep a little more than toddlers, and toddlers LOVE to explore and move around. We packed a handful of new, small toys that we wrapped in tissue paper and every time Perry would get ancy, we brought out one of the new toys for him to unwrap an play with.

Additionally, we packed A LOT of stickers. Stickers saved the day on more than one occasion!

DC Area Family Photographers - Marie Elizabeth Photography

2. Try to keep the nap on schedule.

Traveling definitely throws schedules off, but we found that maintaining the nap time helped everything run more smoothly. Our bedtime hours were pushed back a little bit, but we left naptime as sacred and untouched to refuel (for everyone!).

3. Portable bed

After Perry grew out of his Pack n’ Play, we began using this blow-up bed for travel. I love it because it is easy to pack since it is light and compact. It also has little rails on the side so your little one won’t roll out.

I definitely recommend prepping your little one before your trip by practicing taking naps in the bed. This way your little one gets accustomed to the bed and can be excited about using it on the trip.

4. Snacks…ALL the snacks.

This may be an obvious one, but ALWAYS have snacks on hand. Snacks can easily save the day. Keep in mind that we exert a lot more energy when we travel, so your little one may get hungrier than normal. It is a good idea to pack extra snacks to have on hand.

DC Area Family Photographer

5. Download Netflix on your phone.

This is something that we did when Perry was a baby when we traveled to Italy. We downloaded a couple of Netflix shows on our phones to have as back-up when nothing else worked during a public meltdown. This came in handy in restaurants and trains on more than one occasion. You will thank yourself later!

6. Give yourself grace.

Traveling can bring up many hurdles, let alone traveling with little ones. There will be bumps along the way, so give yourself grace. Mentally prepare for schedule changes, breaks, and anything else that could potentially throw off the schedule. After missing a connecting flight in Dublin when Perry was 8 months old, I can tell you that you WILL survive – I promise.

Traveling with a toddler

DC Area Family Photographers – Marie Elizabeth Photography

Marie Elizabeth Photography specializes in fine art Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photography based out of Washington, D.C. She also serves the areas of Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Silver Spring, College Park, and Riverdale Park. Marie is available to travel worldwide.

It is always an honor to serve as your DC Area Family Photographer. I provide a custom, luxurious experience to lead you every step of the way, beginning with a planning guide to make you feel confident and prepared, a consultation to achieve your portrait goals, a client wardrobe, hair and make-up artists, and finally, artwork to adorn your walls and preserve your memories forever. Let me be a part of your story today.

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