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My first 8 hour road trip with my then 7 month old son was VERY overwhelming. I did so much research and asked other parents what I should pack. Well I ended up over packing, of course, and realized if you forget something there’s always a convenience store near by!
My son is now 17 months and since he’s been on this planet we have traveled three times. One being a road trip to Branson, MO and flying to LA and Naples, FL. I have never been stressed in my life than taking an infant on the plane, but it all worked out in the end. Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way…
I cannot stress enough about the importance of travel insurance. What if a family member gets sick? Or your flight is delayed overnight? Or you need to cancel last minute? Sometimes we don’t think of anything ever happening. Well it does happen more than we know and I have heard some pretty scary stories myself. Save yourself a headache and purchase the insurance!
Make A Checklist
Always make a checklist before packing, like a week or two out because you’ll end up adding things you wouldn’t think of. Then double check it before you walk out of the house for your trip. Always check with the resort or hotel you’re staying at to find out what they have available. They most likely have a crib, pack n play or high chair you can use at no additional cost. Some resorts even have diapers and formula on site, which is a huge PLUS!
The Carry on Bag
In your carry on be sure to pack extra diapers, food, a change of clothes and sunscreen (I personally like the Banana Boat Sunscreen Sticks since they’re the right size for security). If you have older kids pack a separate carry on for each of them. Pack them stuff they haven’t seen before (or forgot about). My cousin would go to a dollar store to buy small toys and wrap them for her daughter. Then when she lost interest she would open another gift! I thought that was such a cute idea. Pack them fun snacks and juice boxes too. And, of course, bring a tablet of some sort to put some movies on for them.
Side note for infants: When the plane starts to descend make sure you have a pacifier or bottle ready to go. The descent is long and the baby’s ears will most likely pop causing them pain, which will make them cry. The best piece of advice I got from a fellow travel agent friend and flight attendant is to let the baby cry; it will help them relieve some pressure.
Getting Through Security
- When you fly with children under the age of 12 domestically you do NOT need a passport or ID for them. All you need to show is their birth certificate (take a picture of it with your phone – you do not need the original with you). Most airlines will not charge an infant under the age of 2 for a seat. All you have to do is pay the tax for international flights.
- When you have a stroller or infant formula you can go through the handicap security line. You don’t have to take your kids shoes off and you can carry them through with you. Whoever is holding the child will have to get their hands swiped.
- Pack infant formula, food and juice/water separately, in a little cooler, because TSA needs to check it and they may take a while to get to it. This way if you’re traveling with someone they can take the child and all your baggage so you don’t have to hold everything while waiting.
Checking your Baggage
One last little nugget I want to share with you is that most airlines will let you check the car seat, booster seat and pack n play for FREE! It’s also a good idea to purchase a cover for your car seat and stroller because they can get pretty dirty in the cargo. It’s much easier to travel with an umbrella stroller (pictured left) because they are light weight. I purchased the Summer Infant 3D-one Umbrella Stroller because it can fold with one hand while you’re holding baby. I highly recommend using a the J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag to put over the umbrella stroller. It’s affordable, easy to use and will keep the stroller clean. I especially love the large handle on the bag making it easy to carry down the jet bridge.
I hope these tips were useful for you and will make it easier for you to travel with your child(ren). Don’t let kids hold you back from traveling. The earlier you start the better traveler they will become.
I’d love to hear about your travel hacks. Please post them in the comments below!
Thank you Linda!! I am sure you have some great tips yourself 🙂
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