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Travelling with a toddler - the journey. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

We have been travelling to Florida and in particular to Orlando for over 20 years now. Our boys took their first trip aged 9 and 7, but this year, for the first time, we are going to be travelling with a toddler – and that takes some planning!

First of all the journey, with apologies to those of you who may travel by car, I will be looking principally at travel by air.

Without a doubt, all the domestic carriers who travel direct from the UK to Orlando expect to have young children on the flight and because of this they are well catered for. Many airlines have seat back TV’s with a full programme of entertainment for youngsters, “goody bags” containing activity books and games, and special children’s meals. The majority of passengers will be tourists and will possibly more tolerant to a plane load of young children.

If you are travelling indirect expect a broader spectrum of passengers and a flight that is possibly not as “child orientated”. Plan for the journey with books, games etc. Don’t give the child everything at once, introduce new activities slowly and remember to take some old favourites along. It may be worth considering a portable DVD player with some of your child’s favourite programmes, but remember this type of equipment cannot be used during take off or landing and even the best models probably only have a battery life of up to 3 hours. If the battery is still going strong close to landing warn your child that it will need to be switched off to avoid tears and tantrums.

On both direct and indirect flights remember to order children’s meals well in advance. If you are taking your own food for your toddler remember that there are restrictions on foods allowed in to the USA and in particular meat and fruit are not allowed so leave the apples and ham sandwiches on the plane when you leave!

When packing a carry on bag for your toddler remember a change of clothes, it doesn’t take much of a slip for a youngster to spill their drink all over them and if they are not wearing nappies take a change of underwear, they are bound to need the toilet just as the fasten seatbelt sign goes on! Baby wipes will be a godsend and something to suck during take off and landing is a good idea to help with the pressure in their ears, for a young child a drink with a straw, a bottle or even a dummy are probably the best idea as at a young age they do not have the ability to suck a sweet!

Finally on the subject of the flight, whilst travelling direct may seem the better option, remember, travelling indirect often means 2 shorter journeys with the opportunity for a restless toddler to stretch their legs.

Whatever you choose, good luck and have fun!

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