Tips for Traveling with a One Year Old (5+ hour flight)
JUST SO YOU KNOW, AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE, I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.
What kind of parents decide it’s a good idea to bring their one-year old to Kauai?! I guess we did, yes, we decided it was a good idea. If you also put yourself in this situation, you should realize that your vacation will still be fun, but slightly less relaxing. This post will review what we learned while traveling to Kauai with a one year old to "takeoff" a little stress.
1. Book the aisle and the window seats.
I knew that Emmett would want to be by me whether or not we purchased him a seat so we decided to save a little money and take advantage of his under 2 lap baby status.
If you book the aisle and window, you might just get lucky with an empty seat between you. Worst case, the lucky passenger can just take the aisle or window seat instead!
2. Break up a 6+ hour flight if possible.
We broke our travel from Chicago to Kauai into two legs.
ORD → LAX 4.5 hours (spent night in hotel for long layover)
LAX → LIH 6 hours
Personally, I think this helped with Emmett's jet lag so that's another reason to keep it in mind as an option.
3. Be sure to pack some in-flight entertainment.
In-flight entertainment can mean a lot of things depending on the kid, but here are a few ideas.
-Get a new interactive toy (that is preferably not too big). We brought this bird that you could pull to get the wings to move (difficult to describe, but trust me, very cool as far as baby toys go - see link below). Seemed to keep our little guy entertained for at least 20 minutes. We also brought a fidget square (link posted below). It's like a fidget spinner will all sorts of activities for babies!
-Get an extra pack of pretzels from the flight attendant. My baby loves playing with crinkly wrappers.
-Post-its. Your baby can pull them off and stick them to things and then you can just throw them away later! I’ve also heard that painter’s tape works well to keep your child busy and keep clean-up easy.
-Our baby was entertained by the strings on my nursing cover and my ear buds so as a last resort turn to these!
4. Bring food!
Your airline will let you travel with as much food as your child needs to reach their destination. Our food of choice came in the form of pouches and puffs. The puffs were extra clutch because we shoveled these into Emmett’s mouth during takeoff and landing in an attempt to pop his ears!
Side note: we also asked for the full can of ginger ale for ourselves during the in-flight refreshment so we could open it at an ideal time and not have to worry about Emmett knocking a full cup over.
5. Wear layers!
It’s always difficult to predict if your flight is going to be cold or warm so make sure to wear clothing that can easily be removed. Pack a muslin blanket which can be used to either cover your baby or as a pillow for your baby.
Our flight to Kauai (during the day) was HOT and our flight home (during the night) was COLD. There was really no comfortable temp.
6. Try your best to go with the flow.
Our trip had an extremely stressful beginning. We accidentally forgot the diaper bag (arguably the most important piece of luggage) in our car at off-site parking. We immediately jumped into problem solving mode and Jacob (my husband) went through security with me, left the airport via an Uber back to our car, and made it to the gate just as the plane was boarding. You can’t make this stuff up! Needless to say, we were near the top of the stress level charts!
Just know, things will go wrong. You’ll forget something, your baby will cry, you won’t get any rest, but that is life and you have to take the time to enjoy it because before you know it, your baby will be all grown up! Just breathe and take it all in.
Is there anything else you would like to know about our vacation to Kauai? Where we stayed, what we ate, one year old approved activities, how we dealt with jet lag? Comment below!