Travel Guide for Family with Toddler

Bali!, Bali! , Bali!.... applauded me and my son for almost a month prior to the actual trip exuberantly and hubby would laugh us off with an eye roll. The excitement levels were high because this was our first international trip as a family. We have done road trips with our little man here..but those were like taking a home run. This trip taught us what exactly happens when people say they get jetlagged. It also trained us in clicking "blog worthy" snaps while consoling a cranky baby in one arm and not to forget it taught us the most important thing that come-what-may
  Parenting is  .... never being off-duty!! 

Let's tackle the basic motto of this article that is sharing our experience of traveling with a toddler overseas, in the hope that some parent planning a trip will find this helpful. We have talked about travel experience in Part 1, this is Part 2.

As our usual style, we are dividing our observation into the following categories
  • Choosing Stay Location
  • Flexible Travel Plan 
  • Taking Off with Toddler
  • Handling Jet-Lagged 
  • Travel Essentials
  • Enjoying irrespective of the chaos 
Observe, Experience & Share
Also, Read our Travel Guide to Bali, Indonesia. 
Part 2: 

Choosing Stay Location: 

Deciding where you will stay for your vacation mostly breaks or makes your trip especially when with kids. When traveling aloof one has the liberty to change hotels in case of dissatisfaction or inconvenience.The destination can be anything but when you have a toddler try to choose a location which is right in the heart of the city where everything is easily available or accessible like good restaurants, recreational centers, 24 *7 shops or pharmacies, medical units etc.Do not choose remote locations to stay. Consider hotels with recreational activities like gym, swimming pool, spas, gardens, etc so that in case your kid gets claustrophobic like our then you are not stuck in your room, you have some space to explore even at midnight. Check if the rooms have or can arrange a microwave or if the Hotel offers 24 hours room service because if nothing works probably a glass of fresh warm milk will put your cranky minion to sleep.

Don't know about the kids, but parents require room service after they put those devils to sleep.

Flexible Travel Plan:

The itinerary is must but it is not everything excluding the airline schedule. While traveling with a toddler expect chaos! that's what these cute little munchkins do, create chaos. Thus do not be rigid with your sites-to-see-list. You might have to skip something just because your toddler is crying their heart out. Though pre-booking few tours and rides might save you some bucks, when with kids cost cutting your shopping budget is advisable.

Out of 5 days on our Bali itinerary, we had kept two days unplanned so that we could shift our site seeing options by a day or two if our son gets too tired of traveling. We had researched on things-to-do just in case we sail the waters smoothly but alas our son did get queasy and that one day of chilling at the hotel poolside instead of site seeing did well.

Best Western, Kuta

Puri Saron, Seminyak

Taking off with a toddler: 

Many parents across the globe of the different age group kids have tried to pin down this experience in various articles over the internet. Each parent will face a different set of challenges. The most common one is, how to keep your kid engaged on long-haul flights? 

What worked for us in our ten hours flight to Bali, Indonesia?
  1. Rubik's Cube
  2. Tablet Full of Offline YouTube Videos
  3. Sleep
  4. Food

 What did not work in flight worked wonders during our hotel stay.
  1. Coloring books and crayons 
  2. Stickers 
  3. Story Books
  4. Pulling out wet wipes 😝
Few tips to make your air travel with a kid bit easy:
  • Try booking flights during nap times or in the night, thus a big chunk of your time onboard will be spent sleeping. 
  • Carry they fav. blanket or soft toy or whatever they use when they snuggle in bed to sleep. 
  • Comfortable clothes, pulling up or pulling down should be an easy transaction. 
  • Dedicate one carry on bag just for toddler's activity kit. Toys, books, colors, etc should be easily and quickly accessible.
  • During take-off and landing due to altitude fluctuation kids may suffer some pain in ears. If they are wide awake then give then a sugar candy to suck on too. If they are sleeping, they probably won't feel much but still, cover their ears with your palm or fingers.  This should help them continue their activity or beauty sleep respectively and will help you get some time to regain your sanity. 
  • If you haven't treated your child with a new toy or a new candy in a while this will be a right time, of course, don't get too adventurous because kids can be unpredictable. 
    • Ex: If your kid loves the minions but a minion with flashy blue eyes or a loud sound can be scary. So if they have a big minion soft toy at home then carry a miniature version soft toy on board. Gotcha?
  • Check with the airline for the food options else pack for the trip. Do not experiment with food on board. Carry what your kid has eaten before. 
  • Use a sippy water bottle [Like this] it will help unblock the ear canal as well as keep you and the kid dry as it will avoid spillage.   
  • Electronic gadgets like tablets and mobile have to be shut down during takeoff and landing and at a time when you need them the most, because your kid just won't sit and fasten his seat belt. Sound familiar. Yep, Yep our kid too. So what you do, POP two more candies in his mouth, Do it else they won't shut up. You are going on a holiday so what the hell let the kid have his time too. So you can put him on 'the sugar-free diet' once you are back home. 

Handling Jetlagged Toddler:

We traveled to the far east Bali, Indonesia by taking a ten-hour long flight from Mumbai, India. Though the time difference is just two and half hours it still gave us a jet-lagged toddler, who also turned out to be claustrophobic towards our tiny beach hotel room, that made things bit difficult.

We did few things right, we did plenty of things wrong and today we are documenting it because some parent out there might be googling somewhere, how to handle a jet-lagged baby...?

  1. Let focus first on avoiding a jet lag. 
    • If you travel in the night and reach your destination in morning then do not let your kids hit the bed before it is dark. 
    • Traveling from west coast to east makes you lose time thus body gets less time settle so do not plan anything hectic for day 1 at least. Settle in the hotel, go for stroll nearby, jump in the pool, go to the beach, check out the local mall, play games in the hotel room, etc basically give your toddler's body clock to readjust to the new time. 
    • Now toddlers are creatures of habit so if they are used to an afternoon nap then they are bound to get cranky in the evening of your current destination time. bear with them, play some more, take them out for another hour or go up an down the elevator of your hotel to change the scene. 
    • Make sure you have sufficient amount of their fav snack with you at least for the first day or two so that they are well-fed. Happy Tummy=Happy Tod
    • Keep them hydrated with room temperature water and juices. Avoid Ice or even Cold drinks at any cost.
  2. now still if your child still gets hammered
  3. Our son slept while we traveled to site-seeing. 
    • Do not panic. it is difficult but still, do not panic. a panicked parent is the last thing a toddler needs. 
    • First, breathe.... distraction is the only thing that will work for both of you. so now is the time to take out the entertainment supply you packed in your check-in. 
    • Coloring books and crayons are ideal, followed by story or picture books. and of course some screen time now won't do any harm, in fact, it will help. 
      Bedspread of colors
    • Next best indoor activity will be taking kids to the pool. Water is a calming agent and you are on a holiday so might as well enjoy this time to bond with your kids in pool
    • Since they are sleep deprived, they will avoid food that will be followed by constipation and then there will be crying and then there will be fever eventually. 
    • Needless to say, carry all basic medicines prescribed by your pediatrician. Also, ask for substitutes from your doc specific to the country you are traveling. Just in case if you run out of medicines.

  4. what are the actual traits of a jet-lagged baby
    • Sleepless or change in sleeping span or sleeping too much
    • Lots of crying at a specific time and mostly it will coincide with the time of his/her nap time back home. 
    • They might sleep throughout the day or have long marathon naps during the day which is unlike their usual style. Pssst...parents make use of this time...😏
    • Sleepyheads can get nauseous leading to vomiting or lack of appetite. 
    • Fever is just an extension.
If any parent who is out there on a trip with a jet-lagged kid and is reading this article, Do not worry. This phase lasts for a day or two which might consume your vital time of vacationing but it will be fine. Talk to your doctor back home if you are getting pensive. Also, just check with your hotel if they have an on-call doc or a medical clinic nearby just in case of emergencies. The moment they sleep to the clock of their new destination, you will have your bubbling charming baby back. And then be ready to run around behind them.

Travel Essentials: 

We are not going to elaborate our entire luggage because we are sure that as a parent you must already have packed the entire world in your check-in.Thus highlighting absolute necessary must-haves when you wander off with kids
  1. Medicines for kids and parents both.
    • Carry meds for Fever, Constipation, Cold, Cough, Vomiting & anything specific your child might need.
    • Betadine, cotton, band-aids & thermometer. 
  2. Wet Wipes & Tissue Packs
    • Kids are messy and Wet Wipes are saviors
  3. Trash Bag
    • Disposing Diapers, Tissues, chocolate wrappers, food cartons, etc becomes easy. Also, you use to pack dirty laundry or beach clothes.
  4. Disposable Food Containers Buy Here
    • Love these disposable food containers for two reasons they come in a nested pack so you can carry four to six containers in one pack and then use them as an when you need. 
    • Store some titbits from your breakfast buffet if your kid doesn't make it to buffet hall and carry it with you when you head for site seeing. 
    • If you are dining at a restaurant and that time the kid doesn't want to eat, pack some for the road or the hotel room. 
  5. Extra Clothes
    • Well..... kid clothes are easy to fold into a roll so don't be stringent. Pack extra. Carry an extra pair ALWAYS because the day you won't they will throw themselves in a mud puddle. 
  6. Camera
    • We love our DSLR but handling expensive lens with a hyperactive minion would have driven us bananas. We opted for NON-SLR Sony Cybershot point and shoot. We got tons of decent pictures with less hassle. Of course, rest of them were captured in our Moto G5 plus cellphone that made sharing pictures immediately easy.  
Our Travel Hamper this also included trashbags & wallets 

Enjoying irrespective of the chaos: 

Parenting is a lifetime job and it is so not easy. When you plan a holiday with your kids apart from rejuvenation your aim is to show this beautiful world to your kid. You want them to have a good experience, a beautiful memory and more so ever you want them to feel loved. So do not forget this. Toddlers are vulnerable souls because they are learning new things so rapidly, plus understanding what is right behavior, what is the wrong behavior; is another daunting task and thus their reactions are unforeseeable.

Add caption

Behave with your parents, said the tiger.LOL!

Say Cheese!

They get hyper for no reason at times

So be patient with your kids during travel. of course, they can be unreasonable and might require a stern voice to keep them disciplined, that is ok 😊 but otherwise, let loose. Enjoy their silliness, be crazy with them, take snaps even when they are crying because years later when you browse through these photos you will see how far you and your kid have come as a traveler, as human and as a family.

Do ask someone to click a family picture
Hope you found this article helpful. Leave your feedback. Feel free to ask anything we will try to answer in our capacity in terms of traveling with kids. And you know we will be available on  Instagram and Facebook, so Follow us there. Until next time, take care of your kids. Cya!!

Psst...we tried our best to capture few videos, check out.


  1. This was sooooooo required... This one's for keeps.. It will be my go-to article for my next vacation with the brats! Thanx for solving some unanswered/unquestioned miseries!

  2. These are great tips! Traveling with a toddler is definitely challenging.

    1. thankyou. Hope these tips help out some other parent.


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