Welcome to the second installment of the Travel Time with Tots: By Sky, Land, and Sea travel tips series! If you are travelling with a baby, toddler, or preschooler this holiday season, then this series is for you! Here are the four parts to this series (some of the links won’t work until the post is published):
- Travel Time with Tots: Generic Travel Tips
These are the need-to-know travel tips that can be applied to just about every travel situation.
- Travel by Sky: Take Off
Taking off into the wild blue sky to fly to your destination–wee ones in tow? Here’s what to know when in flight.
- Travel by Land: Road Trip
Are we there yet? Avoid this dreaded question and make the most out of that long road trip with your kiddos.
- Travel by Sea: Cruising Along
Hitting up the high seas? Discover some tried and true tips to make cruising with a wee one a true bon voyage.
- Fare. For most airlines, babies riding on an adult’s lap travel for free. But some may charge a discount fare for infants, and airlines may vary on the age limits. For example, many airlines allow children ages 2 and under to fly for free in an adult’s lap; children 2 and older (or children not riding in an adult’s lap) need to pay regular air fare.
- Save money. Check out Retail Me Not or another coupon website for coupon codes when purchasing your tickets. Sometimes, if you sign up for a particular airline’s newsletter, you can get coupon codes or take advantage of deals found in that email newsletter.
- FAA Approved. If you plan to bring your baby’s or toddler’s car or booster seat on the flight, you’ll need to be sure that it is FAA Approved. Only FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Approved car/booster seats are allowed on airplanes. You can see if yours is approved by looking at the labels on the seat itself. It’ll simply say “FAA Approved” on one of the labels if it is.
- Liquids. Most airports will allow you to bring breastmilk or liquid formula in quantities over 3 ounces. When going through security, be sure to pull these extra fluids out for inspection. And be prepared for them to receive extra attention. To keep it hassle-free, however, I’d recommend bringing powdered formula in single serving pouches (that way it can’t be mistaken for drugs) and ask the flight attendant for bottled water to mix it up in a baby bottle. Also, juice and boxed drinks are allowed in the maximum quantity of 3 ounces, but, again, to keep things hassle-free, I’d recommend just serving your toddler water or formula while on the plane. Lastly, liquid baby Tylenol, sealed jars of baby food, and rash creams or ointments are allowed. Be sure liquids do not exceed 3 ounces and are presented in a 1-quart zipper bag during the security screen.
- Sanitizing solutions. My friend Abe, who’s a flight attendant, said to be sure to bring along LOTS of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes on your flight because (and I quote Abe) “airplanes are filthy.” Is your child is old enough to take vitamins, be sure they take them a week before your flight to help fight against colds.
- Motorized carts. Rather than lug your luggage and your kiddos across the airport, consider hopping on a motorized cart. You’ll get to your gate faster and with more energy! On the other hand, maybe you want to make your kiddos walk to wear them out in the hopes they’ll sleep during the flight!
- Pre-boarding. Most airlines will call for all parents with small children who need extra time to board before everyone else. Definitely take advantage of this! You may be installing your car seat, stowing away 20 bags, unstowing them to find something your child wants, setting up your child to be entertained…so, yeah, take the extra time!
- Stroller. If you brought your kiddo in a stroller, you fortunately don’t need to (and actually aren’t allowed to) stuff it in the overhead compartment somewhere. Check it at the gate just before you board the plane. It should be waiting for you right after you land. I’d recommend bringing a cheap umbrella stroller in case it gets damaged. But, if you’re bringing your nice, expensive stroller and you’re worried about it getting beat up, bring a gate check bag to protect it.
- Turbulence. Be prepared for air bumps! Bring along bottles or sippy cups to prevent liquid spills.
- Binky. Since the cabin is pressurized, bring a pacifier that your baby can suck on to help relieve the pressure in his ears. I’d recommend having a pacifier keeper so there’s no dropping and fishing for binkies! Alternatively, you can ask your pediatrician for ear numbing drops (available only via prescription) to alleviate the pressure.
- Dryness. Airplanes often tend to be very dry. To prevent nasal discomfort or nosebleeds, bring some saline nasal spray for your wee one. And keep some lip balm in your pocket.
- Dirty diapers. Don’t try to change your baby’s dirty diapers in the lavatory. There’s hardly any room for you to go the bathroom, let alone room to change a diaper. Rather, change your baby in your seat (cover with a blanket or nursing cover for privacy) and store dirty diapers in a zipper baggie.
Today’s Featured Giveaway
Ride On Carry On Chair
Have you been on a flight with a wee one lately or are planning a flight soon? Do you have any tips or advice to give that was not laid out in this post? Feel free to share in a comment below!
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links.