We did it! Our first family vacation…
And it involved an airplane!
I had read LOTS of blogs, articles, tips and advice regarding “traveling with a toddler” before we took off on our trip to Florida. Some of it, I read and used…some of it…I read and didn’t use.” However, most of the tips and tricks that I read were helpful…and luckily, we were on a quick 2 1/2 hour non-stop flight.
First things first…Going there was a bit easier than returning. Part of that was due to the time of the flights. Our returning flight was very early in the morning, and as you can see…Phoenix struggled a little with that. The “whiney/unhappy” three-year old was unleashed while boarding the plane…and I was having slight anxiety attacks thinking he would be non-stop screaming the entire flight back. As luck may have it, he settled down and even slept a little on the way home as well.
One of the best part s of vacation (for Phoenix) was getting to ride in an airplane for the very first time! He was very excited about this and talked about it a great deal before leaving, during our vacation and upon returning home. He had his very own seat, and enjoyed buckling (and unbuckling) his seat belt throughout a majority of the flight!
Although it was a short trip, the following things were helpful when making the flight “successful.”
- Stroller. We brought a stroller for my 11 month old niece to use…however, in the airports it was extremely helpful to have Phoenix ride in the stroller (even though he is 3). Oh and in case you’re wondering, my sister used an Ergo baby carrier to maneuver my niece around in!
- Light jacket/Sweatshirt. The plane definitely gets chilly, and I was glad to have packed a small sweatshirt for all of us!
- Snacks. I packed cereal bars, suckers, goldfish, granola bars, fruit…etc. I also packed a thermos for water.
- Gum. To help with the pressure and Phoenix’s ears, I packed LOTS of gum…however, he never once said anything about his ears feeling funny or popping…I had worried A LOT about this too! Mainly, he just loves to chew gum, so it was nice to have this available throughout vacation! (Bribery…)
- Small toys. I packed 1 quart size ziplock bag of toys for Phoenix. Yes. One quart size bag. He played with these “special toys” on the plane as well as when we would go out to dinner. These entertained him…YOU DO NOT have to pack a ton of toys. Trust me. He was just as happy to play with an inner tube from the pool while in the room.
- Crayons, notebook, coloring book, pens. Phoenix likes to draw, write and color, so I did make sure to pack these items.
- Stickers. This probably entertained Phoenix the most on the plane. Just before leaving, Brad’s aunt had given Phoenix a Melissa and Doug book full of different scenes and reusable stickers. He loved peeling off the stickers and putting them on the page. Highly recommend this! He plays with it still at home as well!
- I pad (with headphones). Just before leaving, Brad downloaded 2 “Jake the Pirate” shows so that Phoenix could watch them during the flight. If you had a longer flight, you could download a movie as well to keep your child (or self!) occupied.
Following our flight to and from…there is really only one thing that I wish I would have packed and did not:
- A garbage bag! I wish I would have packed a grocery bag or even a zip lock bag for garbage. This would have came in handy!
So that’s how we traveled on a plane with a three year old. We enjoyed a relaxing and fun vacation at Clearwater Beach and can’t wait to go on our next adventure together!