How to Minimize Those Travel Meltdowns

Traveling with a toddler can be extremely stressful. You need to get everything packed, wait in long lines at the airport, drive to the hotel, and then unpack and get settled – EVERYTHING is new and out of routine. So, it is no surprise that this is a lot of change for your little one. I have been through many meltdowns over the smallest things after a long day of travel with my toddler. Whether it was a drop of water spilling from his cup, or me having forgotten to pack his favorite book, it ended the same – everyone in tears. So, how do you reduce those tantrums and capitalize on the fun? I have compiled a list of useful tips I have learned throughout our travels on how to minimize those travel meltdowns.

This post may contain affiliate marketing links or products. We may receive compensation or commission when you purchase the product using our link. This is at no additional cost to yourself.

Be Consistent with Your Routines

It is very easy to fall into ‘vacation mode’ when you are traveling – bath times get forgotten, bedtimes get closer and closer to midnight & lazy morning ‘lie-ins’ become longer. However, this can be a huge mistake when you have a toddler. Toddlers need consistency, and changes in their routine alter that consistency. This often leads to them acting out because they don’t understand why things are changing. Do your best to stick to their normal morning and bedtime routines whenever possible. If you normally have bath time, then read two stories, and put them to bed at 8pm, try to do that when you are traveling as well. Plus, when you put your toddler down at their normal bedtime, you’ve got the rest of the evening to relax!

Do your best to stick to their normal morning and bedtime routines whenever possible. This is a great idea on how to minimize those travel meltdowns.

Don’t Change Your Toddler’s Diet

I have found that when we travel, it can be MUCH easier to just buy fast food or junk food, but this completely changes my son’s diet, and leads to – you guessed it – meltdowns. Do research before you leave. See if local grocery stores offer similar snacks and meals that you would eat at home. After you land, head to the grocery store and find some non-junk food options that travel well. Sometimes I end up packing a bunch of snacks with us when we travel, and then I have extra space on the return flight for any goodies we get abroad. My son loves these Fruit Snacks from Amazon.

Travel Friendly Meal Ideas: Sandwiches, cheese & crackers, pasta, veggie burgers, pre-cut apples – For more ideas read this blog post.

Get Outside

Another great idea on how to minimize those travel meltdowns is by getting outside. Let your little one run around and stretch their legs after a long day of travel. I don’t know about you, but when I head outside after being stuck inside all day, I instantly feel less stressed. The same goes for your toddler. When you let your toddler run around in a field, at the beach or playground, it gives them the freedom to let go and relax.

Sometimes one of the best ways to minimize those traveling meltdowns is to get outside and let your little one run around. This is a great idea on how to minimize those travel meltdowns.

Bring Toys From Home

This may seem obvious, but make sure to pack some of your toddler’s favorite toys from home. My son is OBSESSED with cars – we have close to 1000 cars at home, if not more. When we travel, we try to bring at least 5 – 10 smaller cars with us to keep the peace. Whatever your little one loves, make sure you leave enough room in your carry-on luggage to fit those smaller toys.

Bonus: Those toys will most likely be a lifesaver on the plane as well!

No matter how you approach it, traveling with a toddler is bound to have its challenges. Just remember to be consistent with your home routine, bring familiar toys, and spend some time outside. This way you can reduce the number of meltdowns & make the most of your trip. Do you have any other tips for traveling with toddlers? Please share them in the comments below!

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About Me

I started my travels in 2015 when I up and moved to the Caribbean without really knowing anyone there. From that point on, I haven’t stopped traveling. I have traveled to ten countries & lived in four of them.
My husband and I became a dog parents in 2019 and parents to our beautiful son in 2020 (right in the middle of COVID). We have been parents in 4 different countries already. Everyday is an adventure that I wouldn’t change for the world.

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