Alright Moms, I see the question asked many of times; How do I travel with kids? Let me tell you that my two year old daughter has been to 13 countries before she turned one. We’ve been on a plane to Barcelona while she was teething at three months. I’ve been peed on while the seat belt sign was still on. I’ve been on a twelve hour layover with two kids under two WITHOUT MY HUSBAND. Can you say, where’s the bar? If you want travel tips with kids, I got ya!
Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” I couldn’t agree more! You can not walk out the door to the airport without having somewhat of a clue on what you’re doing.
First things first, know your airline! Go on the airline’s site and see what baby items you can bring. If you’re traveling with Delta it’s different than traveling with American Airlines. They all have their own rules. Know if you can bring that pack n play and the stroller for free.
2. Car Seats
Make sure you check the side of your car seat to see if it’s compliant with the airline’s rules. You’ll get that new flight attendant when your sleeping 6 month old is in their car seat wanting to know if that car seat is up to code. Speaking of car seat, if you have the infant carrier there are these cool little groves on top where a seat belt can slide though. You might already know that but I didn’t! I was so used to using the base in the car, I didn’t even know there was another option.
3. Check In Online and TSA Pre-Check
Use the check in online option. Trust me, you’ll want to save all the time you can with kids because you’ll probably have a blow out in the car on the way to the airport and time is money! Sign up for TSA Pre-Check. When your hands are full and you’re trying to take off your shoes while holding an infant it’s not so much fun. With TSA Pre-Check you don’t have to take your shoes off, or get everything out of your bag. The line is always faster too. It doesn’t cost any extra money. You just have to go on the site and register.
4. Pack your carry-on, Correctly!
Ladies, keep the Michael Kors purse packed in your checked in bag. You won’t need it or want it! Go get yourself a backpack, not a diaper bag, and pack it based on need. Just take your wallet and phone out and put it in the backpack. You’ll want to stack the backpack just like a deck of cards. Put the items the baby will need first on top. What items are those you ask? The bottle/sippy cup, snacks, toys, diaper and wipes. When you sit down take these things out of your back pack and into the little pocket in front of you. It’s not if you’ll use these items, but when.
Other items you’re going to want in that backpack are four changes of clothes. Wait! It’s just a two hour flight. Honey, my two hour flights have turned into overnights. Planes break and you need to prepare for the worst. Pack ten diapers and a fresh pack of wipes. If your kid is old enough, have the iPad readily available. Speaking of iPad, make sure it’s fully charged the day before and loaded with your littles favorite movies. Keep the charger in the bag as well.
If your baby is nursing, good for you! That’s the easiest way to travel with a babe. If not, I prefer the pre-made formula boxes. You don’t have to travel with the big bottle and worry about putting it in the fridge. They already have these little boxes of pre-made formula. Open it, pour it in the bottle, all done! If you have a toddler that loves milk as much as mine does, they have these little packets of toddler milk powder. I found both of these items at, gulp, Walmart. I’m a Target Basic B myself. I’m sure they sell them other places, that’s just where I’ve purchased them.
5. Diaper Changes Onboard
It stinks! Literally. I’ve gone to change my baby’s diaper in that tiny bathroom and then she peed all over her clothes. Make sure when you’re on your way to the changing table to bring the wipes, diaper AND a change of clothes even if they didn’t soil them. They just might pee while you’re changing them and then you have to go back to your seat, find a change of clothes, go back, see there’s a line, all while your baby is down to diaper in that cold airplane. Also, when you’re loading the plane ask the flight attendant where the changing table is. Not all of the bathrooms have them and you’re not going to want to dance around the serving tray going back and forth trying to find it.
6. Strollers and Baby Carriers
If you can help it, bring the umbrella stroller. I personally love the Summer 3D Lite I wouldn’t suggest the big bulky double stroller, jogging stroller or whatever strollers there are out there. Bring the sleeve that comes with it because that stroller is going to get tossed around! I made this mistake and now my stroller looks like I got it from the dump and my precious Starbucks cup holder broke off.
You can keep the stroller all the way to the plane so don’t check it. They’ll check it at the gate and you’ll get it back at the gate when the plane lands. If it’s not there, sometimes it happens, it’s going to be in the OVERSIZED luggage pick up. We’ve made the mistake of thinking it wasn’t there, left the airport all while not knowing it was just on another belt.
Bring the baby carrier. I love my Tula Carrier It’s all cute with little airplanes and compasses and it’s pretty comfortable. If you just have one little baby I honestly prefer just the carrier and skip the stroller. It’s a personal choice though. The baby usually will go to sleep in the carrier. Mine has a little pocket upfront big enough for my phone and some money. I like to keep those items there so I’m not digging through my backpack at Starbucks. It’s also fun when you forgot about that money and find $20 next month when you go to use it again.
7. Study Your Layovers
A lot of airports have play places for kids or a USO. USO is only available for military members but they offer free food, toys, movies, bed, shower. It all depends on that specific USO. Those kids are going to want to run around and get their energy out, and let them! You’ll be thanking me when they’re asleep on your next flight.
Do you have an American Express card? Me neither, I like Master Card and Visa but if you do you get the Delta Sky Club 50% off. Delta Sky Club? I’m not a member. You don’t have to be! You can purchase day passes. The Delta Sky Club is AWESOME! If you have a long layover, it’s so worth it. They have free food, comfy couches, TV’s, and FREE BOOZE! You heard me! All you can drink beer and wine! Plus, when you have a cute little baby and you’re sitting in your oversized chair watching The Bachelor they have people come around asking if you need anything. Yes, more wine please! Not sure if they do this with non-parents but I was treated like a queen. Beats sitting in the terminal for four hours with a baby that wants to crawl straight to the isle of traffic. The Delta employee helped me make a circle of chairs so my son had a little play place to himself.
Alright you traveling momma’s! That’s all I have for now. If you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll answer them as soon as I see them. Good luck and God speed!
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