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  • Jasmine Norwood-Dioulo

Flying with Littles: 7 of my long-flight toddler must-haves

Remember that one time I flew from San Diego to Tokyo with two littles and 27,000 bags?

That was fun.

No really, it wasn’t bad.

Even at 5am, they're just so stinking cute!

Savannah Rose has been flying since she was just a few months old, and our 11 year old’s been on dozens of flights so he was in movie-watching, international flight food eating heaven this go around.

On the other hand, I’m always a nervous wreck 30,000+ feet in the air, but this time I only had like two moments where I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it, so that was good.

Even though Savvy’s a frequent flyer, each time we board a plane is a new adventure for all parties involved (including other passengers Lol) because she’s always in a different developmental stage, so I never really know what to expect. But of course, she wows me every time. We are convinced she’s been here before.

For our family's overseas move, our total travel time — from leaving my mom’s house in San Diego, to walking into our new home in Tokyo was almost 24 hours! Needless to say, leading up to the trek, I was a little worried about how our curious, adventurous 20 month old was going to hold up.

But major thanks to my #momfriends on Instagram who came through with all the advice, tips, and long-flight travel must-haves for toddlers. Where would this #rookiemama be with out my tribe?!

Here’s a list of toys/activities I packed in our carry on thanks to my girls. I swear by these things now:

1. Water Pen Coloring Books: I picked up two of these books from AAA for like $2 each before we left Cali and Savvy loved them! They're so cool! You fill the pen with a little water and as you press the pen against the page, colors appear! Think of it as no mess painting! **MoneySavingTip: You don't have to have AAA membership to go into a branch location and pick up discounted travel toys! You can get these books for a couple bucks, but Amazon has them for about $5/book which isn't bad either! Here's the link:

2. ONANOFF Buddy Phones: Toddler-safe earphones! Especially useful if your little one has their own seat. $20 on amazon!

3. Flashcards on a ring: I found these flashcards on Amazon for about $2. But I kept having nightmares of Savvy making it rain with the deck of cards as she ran up and down the plane aisles Lol! So I spent another $2 and ordered a notecard ring from Amazon. I hole punched the cards, and put them on the ring! Hours of learning and fun without the mess.

4. Ipad/Iphone Toddler Educational Games: If you're cool with a little screen time, Sav really gets a kick out of Balloon Pop and AniMatch

5. Travel Size Play-Dough: In theory, this was a great idea. But 20 month old Savvy Girl puts EVERYTHING in her mouth, and I just knew that she'd be eating Play-Doh for 14 hours straight. So I looked up a recipe and made sweet memories with Savannah while we whipped up edible, homemade, gluten-free play-dough! But then I ended up leaving it in the there's that. Ha #MomBrain If your little has grown beyond the putting everything in their mouth phase you can find these play-doh sets at Target, Walmart, and on Amazon. Or if you'd like the recipe for the homemade edible batch, let me know!

6. Boogie Board: This thing is the coolest! It kept all three of us entertained! Less than $23 on Amazon:

7. Puzzle with Magnetic Pieces: I (accidentally) found this at Target and it's the only puzzle Savannah Rose owns that we still have all the pieces to! I highly recommend! Amazon has the same one for $15

Savvy loved her in-flight toys and activities so much, she didn’t want to go to sleep! Oops! Ha, #MomLife = Always dancing that fine line between overstimulated and bored -- both of which can lead to epic toddler meltdowns, especially while traveling. Eeek! Thank the good Lord, we didn't have any of those on our international move. Well, not from Savvy anyway. ;-)

I hope some of these gems help you and your little babe on your next long flight! Any one heading to/from Tokyo?! Let me know!

Love Always.


P.S. I found my carry-on/overnight bag on Amazon for under $40! It's the perfect size, and has a separate compartment for shoes -- or in my case, little babe's dirty clothes after that mid-flight blowout. :-) It also has a pocket on the outside that allows your luggage handle to slip through, so it sits steadily on top of your rolling bag as you maneuver through the airport with #allthethings. Here's a link to it:

Happy Travels!

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