I have traveled A LOT with my son. His first trip was when he was a little over 2 months. Since then we have traveled by plane too many times to count. Here are a few tips I have learned from our travels.
When he was an infant, travel was a little bit easier. He would sleep during most of our flights and we only had a few with tears. I would usually carry him in my ErgoBaby carrier through the airport. It was easy in the airport and left my hands free. They don’t make you remove your baby from the carrier when you go through security, so it is usually easier than a stroller.
My typical carry on bag when he was an infant included:
- diapers (AT LEAST one for every hour you will be gone – I usually add a few extra…you never know what will happen)
- changing pad
- change of clothes for baby
- bottles & formula if you do not breastfeed
- food if they are eating (squeezable baby food is the easiest)
- an extra shirt for myself (spit up happens!)
- My personal items, wallet, water bottle, sanitizer
My infant tips include:
- feed/nurse your baby during take off and landing – this helps to keep their ears from popping
- do not let your child take a nap before the flight – I usually tried to choose flights close to my son’s nap time and I would not let him fall asleep before the flight. He was usually so exhausted by the time we got on the plane that he would fall asleep during nursing at take off.
- I have never carried on a car seat – I have a great car seat cover that we use and we check our car seat (one less item to carry).
- If I bring our stroller, I usually use our umbrella stroller and check it at the gate. They will give you a pink tag, but I always lose them. Take a picture of your claim ticket before you leave your stroller just in case they ask for your ticket.
Traveling with my son now, as a toddler, is a little more work. He is usually excited about flying so he wants to stay up for the flight. So these are my tips for toddlers.
My typical carry-on for a toddler includes:
- a few activity bags (my last trip we took stickers & papers, our Brown Bear activity, and crayons)
- a couple small board books
- easy snacks that your child enjoys (squeezable applesauce, crackers, etc.)
- his Kindle (loaded with a movie and a few games)
- milk for your trip and once you arrive to your destination until you can get more
- change of clothes
- disinfectant wipes
- my items (sanitizer, wallet, water bottle, book or Kindle)
My toddler tips include, the same tips as with infants, plus:
- At least four activities per hour for the flight (toddlers have a short attention span, so you might need lots of activities depending on how your child plays – consider 3 activity bags, 2 books, and maybe a movie/tv show for a two hour flight)
- Try to let your toddler walk and run as much as possible before the flight (they need to get the energy out)
- If you have a friendly child, let them be friendly as you get on the flight. Cute smiling kids are harder to complain about if your child starts to cry or gets a little noisy 🙂
These are my best tips. Do you have any unique travel tips?