Y.G. asks from Henderson, NV on October 21, 2006
Air Travel Tips
In December my family (husband and twin daughters) will be traveling to Chicago for a wedding. The girls will be almost a year and a half by then. My question is, does anyone have any air travel tips for me. We booked the flight, hotel and rental car all at once as a package. I made sure the hotel provided cribs (i didn't want them to escape when they decide they don't want to sleep). The girls will be flying on our laps, and I booked a non-stop flight so there will be less frustration. I'm hoping the flight won't be full, that way no one has to sit next to us. I'm going to request bulk-head seating so the girls can play on the floor at our feet if they want to. We're going to bring the big double stroller and check it in at the gate. We were going to bring their car seats and check those in too, but decided it would be so much easier if we paid a little extra for car seats at the rental car place. I'll be sure to bring a few outlet cover plugs and i'm asking my friend that lives there if she has a baby/pet gate to babyproof the hotel room a little more. Am I leaving anything out? Thanks for your help.
A.W. answers from Boise on October 21, 2006
J. answers from Salt Lake City on October 25, 2006
You've done a great job! My only addition would be to make sure the travel times are conducive to their nap schedules. I found with my 2-1/2 year old, that if I can schedule any car time around his nap, he goes to sleep almost right away. I wouldn't try to schedule the plane time around their nap at this age--they will be too excited to sleep. Oh, also, don't bring too many toys, as they will be very interested in the plane, the people, the snacks, etc. Since there are two of you, you can manage to bring some things, but don't overload yourself. Bring some new toys (or toys that you hide for a few weeks before the trip) and also some fun snacks. The Color Wonder pens and pads are great because you don't worry about them marking up the seats, etc. Otherwise, you are in great shape! Just relax and enjoy it--they will pick up on your cues. Have fun!! Oh--another thing on the hotel room--if you can tuck their cribs in a corner or even in the closet, the girls will sleep better and you will be able to watch TV in the same room (better yet--get a suite, but that's probably not an option with your package). Also, get your crib as soon as possible because sometimes the hotels run out (there are usually local baby furniture rental places you can rent from if that happens--they will deliver and pick up from the hotel).
R.T. answers from Honolulu on October 22, 2006
I've traveled with my son as a lap child up until he was 23months old. Bring a sheet to put on the floor, you CANNOT wear the baby harness while in flight. You can only wear it boarding or leaving the airplane, but you can't have you child strapped to you while you fly. Bring new toys and don't show them to you child until the flight takes off. I personally prefer lay overs because it gives us time off the plane, room for the kids to run around in the airport, and time to stretch your legs and walk around (it gets cramped with lapchildren). However, since you already have a staight flight, try to keep your children up as long as possible before the flight, bring cotton balls for their ears (reduces popping), and pray the flight moves quickly!
S.M. answers from Salt Lake City on October 24, 2006
I just got home from a flight to Hawaii from Salt Lake (5.5 hours) with my 14 mo old Son. I entertained him with small new toys, and snacks on the outbound flight and I walked with him up and down the aisles to stretch both our legs. He of course is mobile now so wanted to crawl under the seats and into the aisles. I pretty much let him so long as he wasn't bothering others in the neighboring seats. The flight was in the middle of the day so the hardest part was just getting him to cuddle up for a nap while there was so much else to see and do. However, our return flight was a Red-eye and I gave him Benadryl to help him sleep and he slept all but the last 1/2 hour of the flight. (I know there was at least one woman across the aisle that was surprised) HA. Just call your pediatrician and they can tell you the correct dosage for their weight. Both Flights were extremely full, so the chance of the empty seat is rare. However, you can always ask at the gate if it's a possibility. Also, we flew with Delta and they've gone to a Zone boarding system. Children, and disabilities are allowed to bored with Zone 3. I didn't have any problem getting baby food on the plane but whole milk was hard to find. I bought some from the starbucks in the airport after getting through security. The airlines usually have plenty of milk on board the flight but look around while your boarding a large number of children and they may not pack enough. There are places you can rent baby supplies from in the new destination. I got a crib from the hotel and I have a stroller attachment for our carseat which you may want to consider.. it's from Go Go Babyz. Find it at the store on babycenter.com It works with your car seat and converts it to a stroller. It was VERY nice to not have to pack a stroller and the car seat, We just wheeled him through the airport in his carseat. He went from Car to plane only having to get out of the carseat to go through security. I checked the car seat at the gate with the other strollers. As for the hotel, I didn't worry about securing cabinets or getting the plug covers because there just aren't enough of them to worry about. Hotel rooms aren't that big so they aren't going to be far our of reach anyway. You might just want to consider buying a few small toys while your there and donating them to charity when you leave. Women and Childrens Shelters love toy donations.
A.J. answers from Honolulu on October 23, 2006
When my daughter was only 7 months old I took her to Philippines. She did okay because She slept almost through out the way. It was a connecting flight to Korea, two 5 hours flight. When she was 9 month old we took her to California & at that time she wasn't into just sleeping. We took the red eye flight and I made sure she played all day & just gave some power nap & not her normal 1-2hour naps. Our my was only 2yr old when we started to bring him along on our trips too & we made sure we took the red eye flight. Maybe consider the red eye flight. Some Airline provide basinets, & baby food (appropriate for their age)if you request ahead of time. And also If available you can also request to sit in the front row, where theres more leg room and also room for your girls to play.
A.W. answers from Boise on October 21, 2006
I have traveled many times with toddlers. I took things for them to do like dolls, cars, nondisruptive stuff. Also toddler leashes are great to carry because kids do not sit in one spot very long, that way they can play on the floor or walk around supervised. Good luck!
P.D. answers from Las Vegas on October 21, 2006
hi you seem to have dotted your i's and crossed your t's thy only thing I think you should bring is a special blanket orpillow or a few toys they can not live without cause when they get really annoyed with sitting down. they are going to need thos things to relax them.ASlso extra snacks ,paci, milk or whatever they may just want to snack or cuddle with whatever so they can feel at ease. A few books if they love their stories.last but not least cause I am such a germaphobe wet ones for hand face and lysol for the hotel room and one for the rental car so you can try and keep some of the germs away. germa away from the little ones. Have a great ttip.One more thing try and keep things together so you are not all unorganized. like put some things in bagies so if they spill it's ok and just toss it. so that way everything is not ruined.
K. answers from Anchorage on October 22, 2006
Honestly, I've never flown without my daughter getting her own seat (even when she was 4 months old). I have friends who are airlines employees and I've heard too many horror stories about turbulance and injuries to kids.
If you have to have them in your lap... I'd really recommend looking into the harnesses that keep them attached to you. That way, if you do incur unexpected turbulence, you have the ability to keep them from impacting against the aircraft.
I wouldn't recommend letting them play in front of you. I'd forcus more on keeping them happy with a dvd, or crayons and paper on the tray. Anything to keep them close.
If you have the ability to get them their own seats (where they can stay in their carseats) my daughter did fabulous with puppets and the portable DVD player.
K.Z. answers from Portland on October 22, 2006
Looks like others have given great advice so far! I just wanted to warn you that you may not be able to sit next to your husband, even if you have already booked it that way. I was on a flight where 2 parents who each had a lap child were seated in a row with 2 seats and had to be moved. They do not have enough oxygen masks for 4 people in a row with 2 seats! Even in a row with 3 seats, they may have 4 masks but not 5, so you may want to check into this before you are sitting on the plane with all your stuff settled in and your sheet on the floor with your kids happily eating snacks when a flight attendant comes over and says one of you and one child needs to move. Just double check with the airline for piece of mind! It would suck to have to move while the plane is boarding.