Monday, January 14, 2013

Travel with Toddlers

In 17 months, the girls have been on four round trips.  I did a short rundown on flying with infants here.

It's gotten harder.

The primary issue is simple - they do more than eat and sleep now. Security was a little easier since they're WAY easier to get out of the stroller at the same time now, and you can set them down on their feet...but the rest? Harder.

The revised version of my pointers:

  • Babies in the a single stroller and an Ergo. We didn't bring car seats (sent a set ahead to Grammy and Grandpa's). We opted for the single since we didn't think we'd use it much out there (correct!), and the girls flew as lap kids.
  • Check a bag, if necessary. When we went to StLouis for Christmas, we were staying for 9 days, so we checked two bags (we were also on Southwest, so it was free), and brought the diaper bag and a bag with blankets, our coats, and toys on board.
  • Organize your diaper bag before getting to security - make sure milk/bottles are accessible as well as any other liquids (we packed a change of clothes for the babies and a couple of small books in there as well).
  • At security, remove as much as possible on line - take off jackets/sweatshirts, loosen shoes, get liquids/laptops out, etc.  When you reach the belt, dump everything you can on it at top speed. One person picks up both babies, and the other loads the bags and stroller into the x-ray machine.
  • Go through the metal detector. The person holding the babies goes over to the liquid checker guy to test the milk, if asked (we were only asked one way this time). After that, find a nice out of the way place to corral the toddlers until your shoes come back to you.
  • Reassemble, and head towards the gate. Get food since you're an hour early since you allowed more than ample time for security. Get on line for the bathroom, since there is always a line if you need to change a poopy diaper. Cross your fingers there isn't more poop on the plane, since it is inevitable the seatbelt light will be on if that happens.
  • Gatecheck your stroller. We use These Bags to keep it dry and clean. They're snagged up now after 8 flights, so they were TOTALLY worth the investment.We used a car seat bag for our single umbrella and it was perfect.
  • Feed baby if possible on take off/landing. Cross fingers they and you can sleep part of the flight.  Bring something to watch a movie on, a couple of short books, and something super awesome and travel-only like a magnadoodle*.
  • Enjoy the trip.

My big disclaimer - I have no f-ing idea how one people could fly with two toddlers. I think three babies (with one or two purchased seat) and two adults would be manageable though. I just can't get past needing the spare hands for security and boarding/de-boarding the plane.

*If you buy a travel magna-doodle and have more than one kid, consider getting two. Or steel yourself to keep it in the line of sight of one kid at a time. Or let them tire themselves out warring over it. whatever works.

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