Traveling with a toddler can be seriously challenging. After two plane rides this past summer with Ona, both which involved layer-overs and only mom traveling, I was determined to make our upcoming trip more enjoyable, maybe even catch some shut-eye on the plane. Packing Ona’s backpack with useful, compact and entertaining items to keep her busy in the airport and on the plane was key. The addition of dad was a big help too!
Our travel day started off easy enough, we purposely scheduled an early evening flight to Los Angeles so that Ona would have a proper nap before leaving home and it also allowed us the morning and nap time to get ourselves situated. Strategically choosing your flight times can make a big difference on how well your child handles the ride. For instance, Ona will absolutely not nap on the plane, so it’s crucial flight times don’t interrupt her normal nap too much. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare for our 5pm flight only to have it delayed two hours! Really? Well luckily we had plenty of entertainment to keep Ona occupied. Checkout what Ona packed in backpack for her adventure.
Ona’s Carry On
(1) Herschel Supply Co. Kid’s Backpack ($40)
Everything had to fit easily into one bag so why not it be one Ona can carry, well sort of, she drags it. Herschel seriously has some of the hippest backpacks you will find for kids and adults plus the materials are high quality and durable. The print featured here is Foxwood.
(2) iPad mini ($399) with tempered glass screen protector ($11) and the i-Blason ArmorBox Kido case ($19).
Yes, I know screen time is seriously frowned upon under 2, but if saves me from having a screaming toddler on the plane I think exceptions can be made. I do recommend using this as a last resort; exhaust all other forms of entertainment first if possible. The handy stand will keep your tablet safe as well as provide a convenient handle that turns into a stand. The glass screen protector will add added protection.
(3)Trader Joe’s Fruit Bar ($1)
We always have one of these in our bag. They are made with only two kinds of fruit and nothing else, no added sugar or juice concentrate. Ona loves them.
(5) Raw Cashews (MP)
This is a great snack for both Ona and mom. Since these nuts aren’t roasted they are much softer and easier to chew, plus no added salt.
(6) Eight Piece Tegu Pocket Pouch Magnetic Wooden Block Set ($25)
I’m not going to lie, these blocks are way over priced but they will last forever and are naturally safe. They make a great gift. We love them because the blocks are magnetic, so it’s easier to keep track of them and they come in this convenient carrying case.
(7) Pierre by Maurice Sendak ($6, paperback / $16, hardcover)
This might be my favorite kid’s book written by the author who wrote “Where the Wild Things Are”.
(8) Thermos FOOGO Stainless Straw Bottle ($13)
I’ve gotten in the habit of traveling with my own water bottle ever since airports started offering hydration stations. Free filtered water? Yes please. We love this straw bottle by Thermos because it’s seriously leak proof and can take a beating. Check out these other stainless water bottles we have reviewed.
(9) Fruit, in this case clementine oranges (MP)
I love having fresh fruit that is easy to peel and not messy to eat. Apples and bananas are great options too.
(10) Jellycat® 9” Kitten ($16.50)
I love that this stuffed animal is compact and cuddly too. If you aren’t familiar with Jellycat® they make amazing soft toys. Truth be told, Ona’s full size Cookie Monster also ended up on this trip, but seriously what ever it takes to keep her happy and feeling safe on the plane.
(11) LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($50)
I’ll be the first to admit $50 for headphones for your toddler is kind of crazy. However these headphones are Bluetooth so no messy wires. They are easy to pair with your device, are light weight, comfortable and should they last, will grow with your child for many years. Packaging says 3-13, but they fit Ona on the smallest size.
(12) Gap sunglasses ($10) with Chums Kid’s Original Cotton Eyewear Retainer ($6)
Hey we are going to Los Angeles! Of course we need sunglasses. Plus, Ona loves wearing them. After loosing two pairs in a row I decided to pick up a strap to keep them in place.
(13) Light-weight blanket (4pack for $30)
It’s a good idea to have a small blanket for the crib so why not stash it in your carry-on incase it’s cold on the plane.
All these goodies easily fit in Ona’s backpack with room to spare!
We ended up not arriving in LA until 3 hours after Ona’s bedtime, but she did great on the plane and mom even got in some snooze time, thanks Dad. We had a fantastic week catching up with old friends and taking Ona to some of our favorite places. Check out some of the highlights of our trip. Traveling with a toddler can be fun too!
Highlights from Ona’s Trip to Los Angeles
Our first full day in Los Angeles was rainy and cold, a perfect day to have brunch with friends then hit up the LACMA Museum.
When the sun came out we hit up the Santa Monica beach. Turns out Ona does not love the sand. Oh Ona!
We rented a home in Culver City via airbnb – the only way to travel when you have kids. Culver city has one of the most beautiful parks, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, that looks out over all of Los Angeles. Ona had a great time running around.
More beach time. Yes, dad wore sweat pants to the beach.
Ona got to spend some time with her new friend Sebastian hanging at the park and going out for ramen at Tsujita on Sawtelle Blvd where you can find all sorts of tasty Japanese treats. I think Ona may have fallen in love with ramen and Sebastian. unfortunately, she isn’t happy that the playground had sand.
We couldn’t leave Los Angeles without visiting Dad’s alma mater, UCLA. Ona was a big hit on campus.
Of course, Ona also had a great time relaxing in our rental house.
It was a fantastic trip. Life is good.