toddler traveling airplaneA summer vacation at the beach or a trip to see the grandparents sound wonderful; it’s the getting there that can leach all the fun out of a summer trip. Traveling with toddlers or preschoolers is no picnic. Your children may be excited about traveling on a plane, but the reality – standing in long TSA lines, muscling kids and gear through busy concourses, waiting out flight delays at crowded airline gates and keeping active children confined and quiet once you shoehorn your family into their seats – can be one giant headache for parents.

Four Happy Travel Tips

Use these tips from Horizon Education’s toddler care and childcare teachers to keep your young children happy the next time you travel on a plane:

  • Pack a special busy bag of toys, books and treats to use on the plane. Include a mix of your child’s favorite activities and some surprises: mini Play-Doh, books, handful of Lego blocks, mini cars or dolls, small plastic animal figures, puppets, etc. Pack each item in its own plastic bag to keep pieces together. Pack snacks in small, single-serve helpings. Put everything into a special trip backpack your child can carry himself.
  • Play “I Spy” or airplane scavenger hunt (create your own or print one from
  • Preload your iPad with a few kid games and a few short videos. Remember to bring headphones.
  • If your child enjoys coloring, pick up some triangular crayons that won’t roll off airplane trays or restaurant tables. In addition to coloring books, young children enjoy creating their own books. Pick up a spiral sketch pad (or staple together some blank pages). Suggest your child draw a story about the trip and share it with her Horizon class when you return home.

Traveling by car? Even a long car ride can be less painful if you are prepared with some kid-proven distractions. Check out these 5 tips to keep your Toddler busy in the car.