The Adventure Starts Here: Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Last week, I posted all about our 3 days in Baltimore.  While I have many tips when it comes to traveling with a toddler, these are some things that we learned from this trip!


Be flexible.  This really should apply to any vacation, but it is especially true when traveling with a child.  When planning our activities, we had a few "must do's" and then a list of things to do if we had extra time or the weather wasn't ideal.  We knew we wanted to go to the Zoo and the Aquarium.  Since the zoo was outside, we said that we'd go whichever morning had better weather.  On Friday night, they were calling for rain Sunday morning, so it meant we'd be going to the zoo Saturday morning and to the Aquarium on Sunday.  It turned out that Sunday was the better day weather wise, but we couldn't take that chance based on the forecast.

Originally, we thought we'd spend more time just walking around the Inner Harbor and even get down to the baseball stadium for a picture.  But it was chillier and windier than we expected, so we were glad to have some inside options... Port Discovery and the Thomas Train Exhibit.  Also, when traveling with a child, you never know what will happen to their naps.  Some kids will want to sleep more, while others will power through.  This also depends greatly on their age.  It's best to go with the flow and have a few back up plans.  Our plans also got a little shaken up by the protests that turned into riots.


Do some research.  Before we left, we went on the websites of Port Discovery, the Zoo, Aquarium, and our hotel to do some research.  Simply by doing this, we found out that Port Discovery offers a discount on tickets if you have an Ikea Family Card (who knew!?), we could get discounted tickets at the zoo by showing them our local zoo's membership card, AND we were able to buy discounted tickets to the Aquarium and skip the line from our hotel!  These little things add up and you never know what you'll find unless you look!


Bring snacks!  Noah is notorious for not eating much at restaurants.  Instead of worrying if he was getting enough to eat, we decided to pack some of his favorite snacks.  This was a lot easier to do since we were driving, but it's still doable if you are flying.  Before we left, I made a huge batch of Apple Zucchini Muffins (Noah's favorite).  I was so glad to have these in the hotel... Noah would eat one for breakfast when he first woke up and sometimes as an evening snack before bed.  We also brought some apple sauce pouches and fruit snacks to bring with us on our excursions.  These came in handy at the zoo when he needed a little snack to tied him over before lunch.  You do not want a "hangry" child!


Wear comfortable shoes and layers.  This applies to both the adults and the kids.  I don't know about you, but we walk so much more when traveling compared to at home.  Comfort comes before fashion in my opinion.  It was chillier than we expected (mainly because of the wind), so I was glad to have a shirt, sweater, and then my jacket on.  When we went to the zoo, I had Noah wear his Spring jacket with his Northface fleece on top (both of which had hoods).  And since we went to mostly casual places (even for dinner), we lived in sneakers all weekend.  I recently found these at Loft that are not only stylish, but surprisingly comfortable!


Bring toys or activities.     I let Noah pack his backpack with a few toys.  He chose a few of his trains, which he never really played with.  I packed him this box of 4 puzzles and a new Mickey Mouse activity book.  Originally I thought the puzzles would be good at restaurants (since it has it's own carrying case) but we ended up only doing them back at the hotel.   It was the perfect quiet activity to do when we needed a rest between excursions.  And of course, the iPad or our phones (since Noah's iPad doesn't have 4G) came in handy in the car and at restaurants.

In case you missed my posts from last week (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3), here's a video summarizing our long weekend in Baltimore :)


  1. These are such good tips! Especially the being flexible one. We found that to be especially true on our trip. I had gone into it knowing that Mason napped at 1pm but if we were out, we would make it work. Most days he was ok, slept in the car a little, but not as long as normal. But when your on vacation and you have a limited time to explore, you gotta do what you gotta do!

  2. I recently saw a woman at an airport with a toddler wearing heels and a pencil skirt. It was a disaster. Team comfort all the way!

    1. Whatever?! Seriously?! HAHA! I can't even believe that, I can hardly keep up to my toddler in an airport in flats (and yoga pants).

  3. That is the sweetest video, ever!!! Glad you guys had a great vacation and I love your tips, especially researching and planning ahead. We don't travel a lot besides to visit our families but we plan to change that in the coming years so I'm going to have to remember some of these tips!


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