3 Must-Haves When Flying With Toddlers

More Airmiles Than Superman

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that we’ve travelled a fair bit with Mason… He’s two and he’s been on more flights and visited more countries than I had before I was 20! He doesn’t know how lucky he is… or even where he’s been for that matter!!



The thought alone of flying with kids is enough to put most people off, but trust me when I say this… Don’t let it! If you love travelling, holidays and exploring then having a child doesn’t mean that this has to stop, you just have to adapt it slightly.

Mauritius 2017
Mauritius 2017

I found that flying with a baby is actually a lot easier (and cheaper) than flying with a toddler! Babies basically eat, sleep, poop, repeat and this doesn’t change on a flight. Plus you don’t have to fork out for their own seat… They get a bassinet (see pic below)!! (Top tip: I found that giving Mason a bottle or something to suck on during take off and landing really helped his ears!!)

7 months old – Mason’s first trip to Dubai!

Toddlers on the other hand… let me just find the face palm emoji! 🤦🏽‍♀️

They’re on the move, they need entertaining, they may not sleep (due to excitement/them choosing to embrace their inner dictatorship skills and stubborness), they won’t eat the airline food or the snacks you packed and start demanding everything that you didn’t pack… sods law! Oh and don’t even think about using your tray table for food and drinks… Yup, that’s being tossed on the floor! They kick the back of peoples seats, sit when they don’t need to but when they need to sit and wear their seatbelt they wriggle, fight, pull hair, pinch and bite… Oh and scream! How did I forget to mention the random screaming?!

So how and why do we travel with Mason I hear you ask… Aside from the fact that we’re nuts?! We love travelling and having recently moved to Dubai we have lots of family and friends in the UK so regular flights is just becoming the norm now.

What You Need When Flying With A Toddler

Aside from patience, coffee and finally resorting to wine I can highly recommend the following…

1 – A compact, cabin size approved stroller. – They can be a bit on the pricey side but if you’re a frequent flyer and have a a baby/toddler then this is a godsend! It’s light-weight, easy to push, reclines, has a hood, has a zip pocket at the back, a basket underneath AND it’s best feature, it’s airline approved… You can wheel it onto the plane and pop it in over head storage. No more waiting for your stroller at the luggage belt or holding/running after your toddler on route to and during passport control. You can also get the carseat adapters too which makes it easier to travel with your seat! When the seatbelt sign is off, unfold the stroller in the aisle, strap in said toddler and off you go! Click here to see my comparisons on travel strollers.DXB to LondonDubai International Airport. August 2018

2 – ipad (Click here for the best kept secret iPad/iPhone parent hack) Preload this with their favourite movies and games that can be used when offline! Best apps include cbeebies playtime island and BBC iplayer kids. You can download shows and games which can be used without wifi or a data connection… Perfect!! You might want to invest in some toddler safe headphones with the noise control functions although Mason doesn’t really wear his just yet but I have seen other kids around the same age sitting nicely with them on.IMG_5045iPad, Headphones and PJ Masks!

3 – Jet Kids Bed Box – Again, a bit on the pricey side but totally worth it if you plan on travelling with your tot! We took this with us when we flew to Mauritius when Mason was 15 months old… He slept for 9 hours on it! It’s basically a fold out bed in a box that transforms a regular airline seat into a cosy bed for little ones. It comes with a rollable, washable mattress and the case has space for books and blankets etc. It’s amazing. They can also ride on it like a trunkie. I attach the bed box to the back of my travel stroller using the strap from the bed box. This means one child can sit in the stroller and the other can ride on the bed box. It makes life so much easier.  This is not an inflatable bed which are usually banned on most airlines… We haven’t had any issues using our Jet Kids Bed Box with any airline… Virgin, Emirates or BA. You can use code Carey10 to get money off when buying your bed box from Mumzworld here! 

Jetkids bed box for the win

Flying Solo With a Toddler

I have flown solo with Mason several times on eight hour flights (I did say earlier that we’re nuts!!) I honestly couldn’t have done it without the above three must haves!

DXB to London
Dubai International Airport. August 2018

I had a backpack on with nappies, clothes and general hand luggage bits… I then attached the long Jet Kids Bed box strap to the Babyzen Yoyo stroller. Mason was sat in the stroller leaving me hands free and I put things that I needed easy access to in the bottom of stroller like the iPad, baby wipes etc. Passports and my phone went in the little zip pocket. This left my hands free meaning I could sort Mason out and let him run around burning energy in the airport knowing that I can strap him in the stroller and get to where I need to stress free! I wheeled him onto the aircraft with the bed box attached to the stroller. It was so easy… I mean just imagine getting all that on and keeping hold of a toddler at the same time!

Unfortunately Mason decided not to nap on one of these flights so it was an absolute f*cking joy… note the sarcasm!!! But the transit to/from the aircraft, through passport control (where Mason finally nodded off) and luggage collection was so easy. I only packed one suitcase too which I was able to push alongside pushing the stroller. The stroller can be easily pushed with one hand even with the bed box attached leaving my other hand free to push the suitcase. Talk about a military operation! The other flight I had three cases (packed with goodies from the UK back to Dubai). When I landed in Dubai I got an airport porter to collect the bags, super easy and only cost just over £5 (27AED).

Ellis chilling!

My Final Say

If there’s any words of advise I would offer when travelling with tots it’s to be prepared and plan the practicalities/logistics in advance… Oh and get the three must haves mentioned above… trust me! You’ll thank me later!

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