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In exactly a week, we will be waking up to our first official morning in Australia! In order to get there, I’ve been preparing for a long hour flight with a toddler. 16 hours to be exact. Whew. 


I’ve written about traveling with a newborn and a baby, but now we are FULL toddler mode and I’m a tad anxious. We leave Denver at 8pm and then LA at 10:30pm for the loooong flight to Sydney. I’m really hoping we are able to get her back to sleep on the plane and she/we can all sleep for a good few hours. I’m using all my good vibes and manifesting to get all three of us upgraded so we can lay down because THAT will be a game changer.


I have slowly been collecting little trinkets and new things to keep her entertained upon waking after a solid 9 hours of sleep. You gotta put it out there, right?


Over the past two months, Atlas hasn’t really been into watching TV, which generally is fine. However, when I’ve been banking on handing her a tablet and hoping to keep her entertained for hours…it’s less fine. So, I’ve picked up lots of coloring books, a TON of different stickers, bright and colorful animal books and of course an Elsa braid, should we need it.




I found more than half of the things at our local kid’s second hand store. It cost me less than $20 for the unused coloring books, all the books and those little ponies were 50 cents! The kicker here…she hasn’t seen ANY of these things before. I’ve kept them hidden so she’ll be extra surprised. I’m not going to let her know that I have a million other things unless she gets super restless.


I also have a crazy amount of snacks, including fruit snacks, crackers, goldfish, peanut butter packs, pouches, and little cookies.


Since we will be in Australia for over a month, both my husband and I will be carrying a backpack. We are planning to split the toys/snacks between us which is awesome because usually it’s me carrying it all PLUS my laptop. We will be checking two suitcases total.


I’m packing her two extra outfits, four pull-ups, wipes, an extra shirt for me (pregnancy makes you sweaty) and she’ll be traveling in her PJs. She’ll have a blanket, her lovey Elise and the sound machine, which she’ll be able to hear right next to her head but others won’t.


Another thing we are doing to prepare is talking to her about the reallllly long flight to Australia and all the fun things we get to do. When you ask her what we’ll do, she says, “sleep, read lots of books, do stickers, play with toys and snacks MAMA! SNACKS!” I like to think that processing this with her will help us all.


Otherwise, she’ll simply strut up and down the aisle in full fashion mode:



She also got to pick out new bathing suits (also second hand and less than $5) so she’s excited to wear those too.



Basically I keep reminding myself that Courtney does this multiple times a year AND with a new baby.


Since I’m pregnant, I’m lugging my big water bottle to stay hydrated, wearing my compression socks the whole flight and setting an alarm to walk around for 20 minutes every two hours. Plus, all the snacks I packed for Atlas are really snacks that I too love. 


We leave on Monday so all good vibes and thoughts appreciated! 


Also totally open to any other suggestions you might have for long distance flights with a toddler! Bring it. Catch ya from down unda, mate (I’m sorry. I had to).



  • Jo Burns says:

    Hi Chelsea, hope you have a fabulous time! Traveling with a toddler…what a blast! Toddler time is definitely different than adult time 😉 Does Atlas have her own backpack to wear? When we traveled to Peru when Nathan was 20 mos. he loved having his own backpack that he packed with his favorites: blanket, toys, stuffie etc. He would carry it very proudly through security. Enjoy!

  • Audrey says:

    So so so excited for you guys! Atlas is going to do awesome on the flight (and you are, too)!! I can’t wait to see some of your Australian adventures! Good luck with all the transportation. Sending you some sleepy (but happy) vibes for the flight! Who can be grumpy when there are endless toys and snacks??


    have an incredible time, I’m sending positive thoughts that you get upgraded or that the flight isn’t full, hope everybody gets some sleep and great neighbors.

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