5 Tips on Flying Overseas with a 18 Month Old


You heart starts racing. Your palms get sweaty. You start thinking about the worst case scenarios and the mean stares you’ll get from the dude in a suit sitting in the aisle across from you. Should you cancel the flight? Should you make treat bags for everyone sitting around you? Because that’s what all the mom bloggers are suggesting right?


I get it. Flying with a young kid makes you nervous as hell. But let’s calm down because it’s really not that bad. The anxiety leading up to the travel is always worse than the actual traveling! To put some of your anxiety at ease,

Here are 5 tips for flying with a 18 month old Toddler:

  1. Have an open mind

    Pack what you need and be prepared as much as you can, but then be ready to do whatever’s necessary to entertain your child. We packed a lot of fidget toys but Addie didn’t want to play with them. She liked water cups, the iPad, and running down the aisles. We go with the flow.

  2. Bend your rules. They’ll be fine

    You enter survival mode when you fly with kids. Rules are easier to enforce at home, so if you’re usually a hard no on screen time or you give snacks only at 3pm, consider bending some of your rules to make traveling more fun for everyone.

  3. Snack and toys

    TOYS WE BROUGHT: Fidget toys, Washi tape, popsicle sticks, sticker book, coloring books with no color markers, and an iPad. Some other ideas were watercolor books and a container with lots of compartments that you can get from a crafts store and put small toys (or snacks) in each hole. I thought that was a fun idea but didn’t want the bulk of a container.

    SNACKS: Here’s a good snack list that I found, and packed it in a big ziplock bag. Stay away from snacks with high in sugar to avoid an overly hyper child. For reference, we packed snack size goldfish bags, raisins, GoGo squeez applesauce, grapes, and Annie’s bunny graham bags.

  4. Tire them out before take off and landing

    Before they need to be strapped in, let them run around and get their energy out. The last thing you want is trying to calm a wiggly toddler and there’s nothing you can do about it! But if you’re lucky, your toddler might be sleeping for take off and/or landing and in that case, let them sleeeeep.

  5. Keep your packing minimal as possible

I know it’s tempting to bring all the “just in cases” but only bring what you really need. Like, do you really need your sleeping pillow? That extra blanket? Ask yourself if you really want to deal with the added bulk and chasing down a toddler at the same time. Keep your carry-on to a backpack and small carry on luggage. Even better if you can get it down to just a backpack. Here’s our packing list for your carry on! Adjust as needed.

Hope these tips help as you plan for your flight! And just remember…

Everything will be okay.

I always come back to this whenever I start freaking out before a long flight. Because it’s true. I’ve found that most people understand. Whether it’s a flight attendant or another mom that understands, people are quick to offer help when they see you on the struggle bus. So go on and plan traveling with kids, it’s all worth it!


See how Addie did on the 10 hour flight to Japan below!