As a parent, travelling with toddlers for the first time can be both fun and stressful at the same time. You can’t wait to show what the world has to offer for your little ones, but you’re nervous knowing the mistakes that you can possibly make as you’ve never travelled with kids before.
The next thing you know, you realise how much extra planning you need to ensure the trip will be enjoyable for everyone.
Travelling mistakes are often unavoidable, so it’s important to get prepared to make some and own up to them so you can do better for your next trip. However, you can always learn from some common mistakes parents make when they travel with their young kids for the first time.
In this article, we will compile some mistakes that travelling parents often make when they travel with toddlers for the first time. From some planning mistakes, to choosing the wrong hotel room for a toddler, here are some of the key things to avoid when travelling with toddlers for the first time!
10 Mistakes Parents Make When Travelling with Toddler
So, let’s dive deep into each type of mistake category you should avoid when travelling with your toddler!
Making mistakes while planning a trip with your toddlers is common, especially when doing it the first time. It can be stressful to plan your travel with young kids, as you may need extra logistics to make sure that you pack the necessary items for your toddlers during your trip.
Here are some common mistakes parents make when planning a trip with their toddler for the first time!
It’s hard not to overpack when your main concern is your kids’ well-being during your first trip travelling as a family. From bringing the essential items like a baby stroller or a car seat, to packing the first-aid kit.
However, you also need to remember that bringing too much luggage can be a hassle when travelling with a toddler. Travelling with toddlers requires careful planning and packing to ensure you have everything you need to keep your child safe, comfortable and entertained during the trip. It is definitely not something you can do overnight!
Create a packing list to prioritise what items to bring for the trip, and use these packing hacks to ensure that nothing is left behind to make the most out of your trip with your toddler for the first time.
#2 Not packing enough snacks and drinks
Toddlers can be picky eaters, and they may not like the food options available at the destination. Without their favourite snacks and drinks, it can lead to neverending tantrums, making the trip more irritable than expected.
It’s important to pack enough snacks and drinks, at least for the first couple of days of your trip, while introducing your toddler to new food and beverages at the destination.
Avoid sugary snacks at all costs, and try to give them a mix of healthy snacks and treats like berries or fruits to keep them energised!
#3 Not sticking to a routine
Travelling can be extra challenging for kids, as they have to adjust to unfamiliar situations in an entirely new place. Sticking to their routine while travelling with your toddlers can help maintain a sense of familiarity, giving them a sense of comfort to adjust to the new environments.
Meal and sleeping times are the best way to create a routine when travelling with your family. Toddlers need adequate sleep to function in their best mood, and maintaining a consistent sleep routine can help ensure they get the rest they need during the trip.
Depending on where you go for your travel, you and your toddlers may need to re-adjust your daily routine due to the change of time zone. If that’s the case, it’s recommended to start implementing your new routine as soon as you arrive at your destination, as your toddler may need some time to adapt to their new meals and sleeping schedules.
Travelling with toddlers in an airplane can be stressful for both parents and the kids. It is especially difficult if it’s your kid’s first time travelling by an airplane too. Avoid these airplane mistakes to minimise the stress while flying with toddlers!
#4 Being underprepared for long-haul flights
Airplane travel can be uncomfortable, especially for young children. It can be even more challenging if you’re planning to travel with your toddler on a long-haul flight.
Preparing for an airplane trip with your toddler is so much more than just booking a flight ticket. Not only do you need to plan your itinerary carefully, you may also need to book the best seats for toddlers in advance to ensure your kids’ comfort during the flight.
You may also need to prepare yourself to get your kid to sleep safely and comfortably on a plane and also how to keep them busy when they’re awake without throwing tantrums on board. From packing the necessary items to add to their comfort, and bringing some activities to keep them engaged during the flight, you need to ensure you’re fully equipped for a long-haul flight with your toddler!
#5 Relying on the cheapest flight available for travelling
As much as you love the cheap flight ticket, booking the cheapest flight available when travelling with your toddler for the first time may not be the best idea.
More often than not, the cheapest flight usually offers everything you want to avoid when travelling with toddlers: red-eye flight times, long layovers, less comfort and inflexible booking.
It’s always worth paying extra to travel comfortably as a family, especially if it’s your first time travelling with young children!
Your accommodation is your second home during your travels, so it’s important to make sure that it is comfortable and safe for you and your toddlers. Here are some accommodation mistakes to avoid for your first-time travelling with your young children!
#6 Booking just one hotel room
It’s important to stay sane as an adult during your trip with your toddler, and that’s why you may need some extra space to unwind after a long day of travelling.
Booking just one hotel room for you and your family may seem adequate, especially when travelling on a budget. However, having a safe space to relax can be a game changer when you travel with a toddler. Book a room with a balcony where you can take a break when your child gets to sleep.
While hotels don’t usually charge extra for young kids, it’s also worth booking a family suite or two hotel rooms with a connecting door if you have an extra budget. Booking an extra room will give you some privacy, while your toddler will likely have more space to nap and play in their own room.
Alternatively, you can also book an Airbnb or a serviced apartment suitable for a family as your accommodation. These accommodations typically come with a kitchen, so you can also prepare snacks and meals for your toddlers to keep a balanced diet during their travel.
#7 Not childproofing your accommodation
Although a lot of hotels claim as child-friendly accommodations nowadays, it’s worth putting in some extra effort so you can ensure that you can childproof your accommodation by the time you get to your destination.
As soon as you arrive at the hotel room, you can do an independent safety check to ensure there are no potential hazards for young children. Check the potential loose wires or sharp corners to see if you could do something to maximise safety for your toddlers during your stay.
Before your arrival, you can also email your accommodation to check if they can provide childproof tools like outlet covers or corner guards. If not, packing them can be a lifesaver!
You can pack a baby monitor, especially if you plan to book two different rooms during your trip with your young children. On top of that, always double check to ensure that all doors and windows are locked and secure to prevent your child from accidentally opening them. Being vigilant is a must, especially when you travel with a toddler for the first time!
After minimising some common mistakes in planning your trip with toddlers and choosing the best flight and accommodation for your trip, it’s time to consider what else you can avoid in order to make the best out of your trip with young children!
#8 Being too ambitious with activities
Planning too many activities in a day can overwhelm your kid and lead to a stressful experience for both of you. Go easy when planning for activities in your itinerary, and be flexible on whichever changes that may come up during your trip.
Instead of focusing on checking your personal bucket list at your destination, you can prioritise the chance to spend quality time and create lasting memories with your toddlers by observing the world together.
Planning a trip with your toddler can be fun as your schedule can be loose, making room for spontaneous yet exciting activities around your destination. When creating an itinerary with activities to travel with your family, you can split them into three main categories: Eat, Play, and Explore.
Make a list of family-friendly cafes and restaurants that serve healthy and delicious food so you don’t have to worry about your toddlers eating too much junk food during the trip and often places like that have a play area for your little ones to enjoy.
#9 Not preparing for all weather possibilities
Young children are the ones that get affected the most when there’s any change in temperature and weather conditions.
It’s important to prepare yourself with all the appropriate clothing and gear to protect your toddlers from various kinds of weather.
Do proper research about the typical weather in your destination during the time of your visit, and ensure to pack your children’s clothing accordingly.
#10 Not being flexible with your plan
Travelling with a toddler requires a high level of flexibility in your plan, as they have unpredictable behaviour and needs which may need you to adjust your itinerary.
Sticking to a rigid itinerary when you travel with toddlers can add to the stress of travelling, so this is a perfect time to be more spontaneous about where to go or what to do around your destination.
You may discover unexpected places or activities that you and your kid may enjoy; all you need is just to keep an open mind and listen to your toddler’s needs to adjust to them!
Travelling with a toddler for the first time can be a daunting experience for parents, but it doesn’t have to be. By being aware of the common mistakes parents make when travelling with toddlers, you can avoid these pitfalls on your first time travelling with your family and make it smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.
Planning ahead can go a long way to guaranteeing success for your first trip with toddlers. Pack the necessary items, and be prepared for any time zone change when travelling long distances with your young kids so they can adapt to new routines more easily.
It helps to also conduct proper research to ensure booking child-friendly airlines and accommodations to add comfort during your trip with the family. Last but not least, keep an open mind since travelling with children can be unpredictable, so you may need to adjust to it accordingly.
So, are you ready to prepare for your first trip with your toddler?
Pin the picture to read the article later!
You may also like to read our post about how to get your toddler to sleep on an airplane.