Stress-free Family Vacations: Tips for Traveling Abroad with Babies and Toddlers

Your child has just graduated from babyhood to toddlerdom, and you're off to the airport to begin your long-awaited holiday. You've arrived at the airport, but instead of the pleasant family check-in line you were expecting, you've stopped at the end of a long boarding line full of cranky adults and other parents with kids. Your dear toddler tugs on your jacket saying, "Are We There Yet?". "Almost," you say as your child sobs and your fellow travelers' heads turn.

Traveling with a baby or toddler is never easy, even with small babies who will sleep most of the time. Each age and stage presents its own challenges. Fortunately, they are all challenges you can overcome.

What should I pack for baby and toddler needs on travel days?

Think of the items you take for your baby or toddler on a day trip. These are the same things you should have in a day pack or baby bag for a trip to the airport.
If your child isn't potty-trained yet, don't just bring a couple of diapers and wipes. Bring two to three times what you estimate you'll need, and a full package of wipes. Include a change of clothing and plastic bags for soiled items. While you're at it - don't forget a change of clothing for yourself. Few experiences are less comfortable than a long flight with soaked or soiled clothing.

Bring neat, tidy snacks and beverages easy to dole out in small quantities. Have other favorite, portable toys and games ready. It's always a debate whether to bring a favored blanket or stuffed animal. Will it be lost in transit, or is it an essential item for a comfortable trip? It's your choice, but if your child's old enough to understand, explain that their blanket or toy could get lost while on the trip.

Even if you rarely use pacifiers, chewing toys, or bottles, bring one to help your child's ears adjust to changing pressure during the flight. Bring basic first aid items and over-the-counter medicines or natural remedies you think you or your child may need. Young children can take scopolamine and other remedies for motion sickness. Ginger and peppermint are natural remedies that relieve nausea.

What are the requirements for taking children on a plane in Canada?

Even the youngest Canadian children need documentation to travel abroad. Infants and toddlers under age two need proof of age, which can consist of a birth certificate copy. Government-issued identification, which can include a passport, health card, or citizenship card, may be required for children over age two. If you're traveling alone with your child, you may need a consent letter from your spouse or partner to take the trip. Always check for additional documentation that may be required with the consulates of all countries you will travel to, including the States.

Canadian Aviation Requirements state there must be one adult passenger per each child who is age two or younger. Why? If evacuation becomes necessary, consider how difficult it will be to exit the aircraft with two young children at a time. You will also want to consider a child safety seat. While you can have a "lap child," a safety seat that complies with airline design standards adds protection.

Ensure you have a holiday that's memorable for all the right reasons by being prepared to travel well with your baby or toddler. Stay protected while you travel with travel insurance. Use Kanetix.ca's comparison tool to find the best travel insurance rates.