Kaylee Falkner

International Travel with Toddlers

Note: This is a guest post by Kaylee Falkner, Lauri and Glenn’s oldest child and only daughter.

Traveling overseas is no joke. Traveling with toddlers is no joke. Traveling overseas ALONE with two toddlers is borderline insanity!


I am a mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 1 and 3.  Every time I make the trip from Australia, where I live, to America, where my parents live, people repeatedly remark to me, “I don’t know how you do it!”

The truth is…. neither do I! Yet somehow I survive. Over the years I have made several international trips with my two daughters and have figured out a few tricks to make traveling with them a bit easier for all of us.

  • Glenn and Lauri Leadley and grandchildren
    Glenn and Lauri Leadley and grandchildren

    Exercise. Before you even step foot on the plane, find a spot in the airport to let your kids run around, play tag, and climb over chairs so they will be ready for some down time by the time you get on the plane. Many International airport terminals, such as the one in Los Angeles (LAX) have indoor playgrounds, which are great places to sit and recharge the energy on your phone while draining your kids of their energy at the same time!

  • Sunshine: When we are outside absorbing vitamin D from the sun, it helps our circadian rhythm adjust to the new time-zone. If at all possible, when you arrive at your destination, take your kids and yourself outside and get some sun. Let that big ball of energy up in the sky do its work in your body to naturally help reset your body and brain.
  • Sleep: When all else fails and your kids are absolutely overtired. Its best to let them sleep when tired.  However, I’ve found it’s helpful to limit their naps to the length of time they would normally nap at home. For example, my 3-year-old woke up at 4:00 am to go on this trip. It’s now 9:00 am and she had breakfast and is tired again and wants to take a nap.  Instead of having her nap, I’m going to take her outside to play in the park; something active but not exhausting because my goal is to keep her awake until closer to her normal nap time (12ish). After play, we will give her lunch and let her nap for no more than 2-3 hours. This is all hypothetical and of course, we want to avoid the overtired toddler monsters that can sometimes evolve from doing too much and stretching their routines too far.
  • Expect: Expect one or both of your kids to have a meltdown. Expect three days of feeling like a zombie until everyone has adjusted, but also expect to be surprised by your kids. Traveling is so exciting for my little ones. I love that they have more stamps in their passport than some people get in their lifetime. I love that my girls are growing up with a global awareness, and that is totally worth a few sleepless nights.

Kaylee FaulknerKaylee Falkner earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and has certifications in Yoga, Pilates and Ballet Barre. She is the mother of two beautiful girls and lives in Australia. Find out more about her here.