Last month, we embarked on our first plane trip as a family of three. Thankfully, it was a pretty stress-free experience, so I wanted to share a few tips from our experience*.
- Buy the seat – after doing our own research, we decided to purchase a seat for Abby on the plane (good article to check out if you’re on the fence). Sure, it was tempting to save the extra couple $$ to just gate check her car seat and hold her, but between our plane’s terrible turbulence and the stress I am sure I would’ve felt, wondering if her carseat would be damaged/mishandled, I am so glad we did this! (Side note: note that if you do bring your car seat aboard, baby MUST be strapped in and seated during take off and landing)
- Bring ‘comfy things’ – with Abby’s carseat in tow, we were able to bring a few items directly in the seat that would be sure to calm her – a toy, blanket, her pacifier and extra burp cloths all kept her environment as comfortable as possible.
- Check your airlines regulations for kid policies – we flew a ‘discount airline’ that charges for anything beyond a personal item brought onboard. However, after we checked the website, we learned a baby bag would not be counted as a carry-on, so I was able to pack Abby’s big bag with all her essentials, and even mommy’s essentials (we use the JuJuBe B.F.F.)
- Keep your hands free in the airport – we babywear (I brought our Tula) but if you use a lightweight/foldable stroller – bring that! Having your hands free for all that fun stuff like taking out your boarding pass/phone/tickets/ID/etc is so much easier than fumbling around your bag, carrying baby, and being frazzled. I was able to wear Abby through security, which made it super easy – TSA had to hand swab me, but that was not a big deal at all.
- Pack some extra wetbags – I LOVE wetbags! These are great to use to stow soiled clothing, burp cloths, diaper covers, etc…and are the perfect size to carry clean diapers/wipes with you to the restroom if you don’t want to lug your whole diaper bag with you. We brought something like 4-5 bags with us – much more organized/cuter/green than using plastic grocery bags.
So, there you have it! We will be traveling again this fall and we’ll be sure to re-use quite a bit of these tips…but, we could always use more! What do your recommend for smooth travel with little ones?
* As always, your mileage may vary (pun intended). Hah! But, please feel free to share your tips here, too!