I want to start off saying that I am in no way a PRO at traveling with a toddler. Hawaii was my first time with Kat and packed things I knew my child would need. Everyone knows their child best, so if there is something your toddler normally wants/needs, then make sure to pack it! Below is a list of stuff that I put together and saved me a lot of headache on this trip. I am not going to make this a "Packing List" as there is many on google. Also, every mom knows what to pack their child on a regular basis - so don't forget those! I hope this is helpful!
1. FLIGHT HOURS - This one isn't an item, but I believe its the first most important thing! My child is 2 and her sleep is VERY important to her and for me. When Kat doesn't get her nap, she becomes annoying & frustrating, as I assume does every kid. Make sure the flight times you are taking are either during his/her nap time and or evening sleeping time. Kat still naps about 3,3.5 hours a day, so on our way there, she slept for more than half the ride. Coming back was red eye, so she slept through the entire flight. Only struggle is, they are not that comfortable sleeping in their seat as they can't lay down, so I held her in my arms. Tip: put a little blanky on the handle bar and have her lay her head there so your arm doesn't get tired.
2. GAMES/MOVIES - This is going to be your life savor. As any two year old, Kat loves cartoons. I downloaded a few movies onto my phone and she entertained herself until she slept. If your child doesn't stay focused on cartoons, just take her/his favorite toys with you and take several of them! Coloring books, little toys, puzzles, etc. Oh & this goes hand in hand with toddler ear phones! It will also help with their ears possibly hurting.
3. COMFORT ITEM - Everyone knows Kat's obsession with her Bunny and her Pacifier. She will absolutely not sleep unless they are both in her possession. Make sure you take a comfort item not only on the plane but to your hotel as well, so that he/she will feel at home.
4. CAR SEAT - If you plan on going on a trip that will require you to drive around there, you have one of two options: check in your car seat, or rent a car there with a cat seat. If you plan on staying in the hotel the entire time, there is no point. You can order a car in advance that already has a car seat. Confirm before flying out.
5. STROLLER - We don't really use a stroller as much as we used to anymore. She loves walking with us and if she gets tired, we carry her. We almost didn't take it, but so glad we did! We did late night dinners at different hotels and she would just knock out in the stroller. That way, we are not rushing to get home because its Kat's nap time!
6. BLANKY - If you don't already know, the plane can get cold to freezing temperatures. Some flights have blankies, but its best to take your own. Kat has one that is super soft and wraps into a little burrito so it is easy to travel with.
7. CHANGE OF CLOTHES - This is one thing I didn't do on the way there, I made sure I did on the way back! We were ready to fly and I noticed her peepee seeped through her diaper and got all over her pants! I took it off, layed it out to dry and kept her butt naked with just a diaper and a blanky. I was so mad at my self! She hardly ever pees through her diapers now; but of course, on the plane, it was a must.
8. WIPES - As much as the plane is cleaned before you go on it... I am pretty sure it is not sanitized the way it should be, especially for your toddler! Take some wet ones with you and wipe down everything around him/her. Last thing you want is a sick baby!
9. SNACKS - If there is anything that will calm my child in public, its snacks. When I am out with her, I take every kind of snack you can think of. She doesn't love to eat, but she sure loves to snack! When flying out, make sure you take his/her favorite snacks & then some! ALSO, while descending, Kat started crying because it seemed like her ears were hurting. I gave her water sippy cup right away so she can swallow and open her ears, or give them something like gummy bears!
10. ALUMINUM BOTTLE - Depending on how long your flight is, you might want to be prepared with some cold milk/water. The flight doesn't always have cold water & may sometimes run out of milk. Be prepared! They will check inside the liquid at customs; but will let you pass with a toddler. I also took this with me on the beach! Kat had cold water at all times. :)