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Guest Contributor: The Stitchin' Mommy Blog

Today's guest contributor is Amy from The Stitchin' Mommy.  Make sure to check out her blog!

Hi GYCT Fans! My name is Amy and I am the girl behind The Stitchin' Mommy blog and Etsy shop. I am married to my best friend Kenny and we have a beautiful two year old daughter named Kaylee Olivia. I am a preschool teacher turned stay at home mom. When I'm not cleaning up or chasing after my little munchkin, I like to blog about my life and the fun adventured I have with my crafts, projects, and recipes. Thank you to Chelsea for giving me the opportunity to share my tips with you all.  I hope you enjoy my post!

Summer is the season for vacations and traveling. Usually, we take this time to relax and enjoy life but for those of us with kids, especially toddlers, traveling can be stressful. You have to make sure that they are entertained and that they have their favorite snacks and toys. You also have to hope that you don't leave something at home that will make the rest of your trip unbearable.

My family and I are traveling to Indiana for a wedding and since this is the first time that we are flying with our toddler, my husband and I are super nervous. I spent quite a bit of time researching tips and tricks and developing a checklist to make traveling with a toddler a little more stress-free and efficient. These are items that I think of as essentials but they are just a guideline. If there is something that you need or don't need, you can adjust this list to meet your needs.

 You can download the free PDF here

Here are some extra tips that I found:
  • Make sure to start packing 1-2 weeks before your trip. I know that this sounds like a a long time to start packing, but it helps to ensure that you have everything you need. Pack the things that you know you don't use everyday and trip specific items (Clothing you bought only for your trip, bathing suits, travel sized toiletries, etc.) The night before your trip, pack the things that you will not use the next day. Also, make sure to have your outfit for the flight laid out so that you are not rushing to find something to wear. The day of the trip, pack those last minute items (toothbrushes, hair brush, etc.) and do a quick rundown of your checklist.
  • If your child is still drinking formula or breast milk or a supplement like Pediasure, according to the TSA, you can take more than 3oz with you on the plane. Even though you are only allowed to have liquids in 3oz containers, for a small child, you are allowed to bring a larger amount. You should put it in a quart sized clear zip top bag since security will want to check it. Also, make sure that you pack extra in your checked baggage (non-perishable formula or milk.)
  • Have snacks available for your child especially if you are flying. You will want to give them something to chew on during take off so that they don't have ear troubles.
  • Since you have to buy a seat for your toddler (2+) on the plane, your toddler is allowed to bring his/her own bag. Use that opportunity to pack a backpack or small child-sized suitcase/duffle with your child's toys, blankey, lovey, books, entertainment and snacks. This way, all of your tot's things will be in one place and you won't have to dig through your luggage to find things for them when on the plane.
  • If your child drinks from a sippy cup, make sure you pack an empty one in their bag so that it is easier to give them juice, water, or milk. 
  • Pack your tot's favorite snack cup to contain their snacks on the plane.
  • Don't forget to talk to your little one about going on a trip. Ensure them that they will be ok being away from home and also make sure to bring their favorite items that they cannot live without to make them feel more at ease.
  • When going through security at the airport, explain what is happening to your child so that they are not afraid of the scanners. Have one person (mommy or daddy) go through first and show them that they will be fine. Also make sure your talk to them about traveling on an airplane and what they will see, hear and what will happen on the trip. They may not understand it all, but it may help keep them calm if you try to help them understand a bit.

(Kaylee's Travel Bag with all of her favorite things)

I hope that the checklist and these tips help you stay organized and a little less stressed for your next trip.