Yep. You read it first here. I am about to share my near-no-fail tried and true way to travel with a toddler featuring one secret weapon, the luggage scooter. Get ready!
Oh, and there are probably really great mom blogs out there that share the more appropriate approach to traveling with toddlers, including healthy snacks, hand sanitizer, airplane-friendly snack and food containers, great communication, over-priced new toys to keep them entertained and parent-child activities to do while in flight.
That hasn’t been my approach although I deeply admire these tactics. Precisely none of those things have worked as a sustainable strategy for me. What is this, a corporate communications memo?! I digress…
My approach, one that I believe is more realistic for moms (especially working moms because with this approach you actually could work on the plane), is a bit more fun, much less work, and thus a more peaceful and memorable travel experience.
First things first – BUY THIS LUGGAGE SCOOTER RIGHT NOW.
No, really. Stop reading this post (but please come back because I am just getting started), click on the link and buy it. I found this gem of a contraption over 2 years ago and I swear to God the entire airport experience is 27 times better. I’ll never forget the first time Zoey zipped through MIA like a mini Mario Andretti. She was proud, people stopped us and asked where we bought her luggage scooter, the social media manager for the airport took her picture, the adults were (and still are) mesmerized and wanting a grown-up version, and Zoey was in her happy place with all the attention. Waiting in lines, you ask? Oh, basically you gain 15 new friends because EVERYONE talks to you about the luggage scooter. And then said proud child shows off her skills and all the crabby business travelers become nice. It’s an actual miracle suitcase. It’s basically Santa Claus.
Now we are through the security lines and have 60 minutes before boarding and it’s time you find the best wine bar that is walkable from your gate. You have precisely one glass of wine while you allow your toddler to eat and drink whatever they want. Because you need good company while you enjoy your adult beverage and move into flight mode. Net net – this is where all the rules go out the window and you position this as a ‘special experience’ so your toddler gradually will love traveling because they get to have the forbidden Sprite at lunch. Or breakfast. Because again, all rules are out the window, including rules on when it’s appropriate to have wine.
Let’s move on to boarding the plane time. You guessed it! The luggage scooter! Now the gate agents, tired business travelers, other moms with jealous toddlers who don’t have a luggage scooter and approximately 16 other people will become your friend. Hooray! Everyone is in a good mood and your wine has kicked in.
At your seats – toddler gets the window, obvs. You celebrate your sassy threenager for how amazing they did at the airport and reward them with a fully-charged iPad, their favorite stuffed animal from home, and a backpack filled with candy. And if mom guilt kicks in, pack 1 healthy snack and throw in an educational book or toy as needed (that very likely won’t get used). I’ve never done this but that’s because, for me, desperate times (ahem, traveling with a toddler) call for desperate measures (ahem, Sprite and sugary snacks and movies oh my)!
Alas! You did it. Grab your book. Your iPad. Your laptop. Heck, whatever you want because your toddler – whom now the whole airplane loves because of the luggage scooter situation – is happy as a clam and set for take-off. Fasten your seatbelt for what will be one of the best flights you’ve taken with your toddler.
You may be thinking, “Yeah right, Ann, this won’t happen, you don’t know my kid…” And I can understand that. We don’t know each other TOO well, after all. Which inevitably means I don’t know your toddler. But, what I can tell you is that I travel a lot and Zoey has probably taken 15 flights since she was born and I have tried many different strategies but this one continues to be the winner. The combo of fun, the luggage scooter making those around you smile, a little wine, and a lot of spoiling your kid is the magical formula. I swear by it.
Happy and safe travels this holiday season!