Flight to Europe with 15 Month Old

Updated on December 11, 2008
E.M. asks from Long Beach, CA
5 answers

Hey moms! Traveling to Europe with my 15 month old. Any advice for the flight or how to deal with jet lag? And how much to travel with in terms of food? Car seat? Yikes a bit overwhelming, any advice would be great!!

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I found this site when I started traveling with my son who was only 8 months old at the time...now two years old.

My biggest thing is I make a checklist of ALL the things I need...really my prep begins two weeks before I'm due to go anywhere, by plane or car.

Airlines make HUGE exceptions for packing carry-ons when you are traveling with infants. Check and print the updated guidelines for your travel dates. I always pack everything I would normally carry in a purse into a backpack, and then have my carry-on with tons of baby supplies. Depending on the length of your flight, pack accordingly for food, snacks and then extra just in case.

Pack checked luggage with foods you KNOW you won't be able to find when at your destination, and don't forget favorite items like lovies or blankies.

For on the plane I have books, stuffed animals, puzzles, crayons, coloring books, portable DVD player, travel games, flashcards...stuff that you can pop in and out of a bag.

Try your hardest to stick to your normal routine, and don't deviate. It may be hard when you're all so exhausted, but the transition from travel to home will be easier if you do.

It's really a learning process and I always forget at least one thing!

http://www.flyingrugrats.com/index.htm

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

In addition to Deanna Leigh and Heather... YES, pay for an extra seat for your baby.

Going to Europe is SOOOO long of a trip for adults... it will seem longer for a baby. And yes, bring a car seat for the seat.. having a baby on your lap for that long of a flight will be hard.
Me & Hubby went there before we had kids... and it took about 24 hours to get to France. I was going bonkers. My friend, since she has family there, has gone to Europe with her 2 kids several times... but she always went with someone, so this helped.

Just to let you know, France (I don't know where in Europe you are going), but they have excellent baby products/food/diaper creams/diapers etc. Their FDA standards and what not are very stringent... some better than ours. Their yogurts are also very good. But some of their cheeses/dairy may also be "fresh" (meaning not pasturized like ours). So make sure.
Also, many people there are multi-lingual, so they do speak English, and are nice.

Also, bring your baby's health records/vaccination records/medical insurance with you... in the event if he gets sick abroad... you want this on hand. This is very important when traveling abroad, and especially with children or on flight.

All the best,
Susan

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H.A.

answers from San Diego on

I have only done short flights (6 hours), car rides (10 hours) and ferry trips (1 hour), but here's what I learned . . .
1. Ditto to the start planning at least two-weeks ahead. Make a list and check it twice.
2. In a gallon sized zip-lock bag back an outfit with a diaper and a sandwich sized zip-lock with 5-10 wipes. This makes it VERY easy to do a diaper/accident change. I usually carry 2 of these. I tend to pack clothing in zip-locks so I can use the bag to hold the dirty item.
3. Don't forget about yourself. If your child gets sick or has an accident, it will more then likely end up on you too. In another zip-lock baggie, pack an extra shirt and undergarment.
4. Take extra zip-lock baggies. These make great trash bags, store messy clothing, and are a leak/smell proof sickness bag.
5. Keep food as normal as possible. My children do great in planes and cars, but not so good on the ferry - so I feed them as little as possible and things that are bland, colorless and (sorry to be gross, but) easy to throw and clean up (think bananas, crackers, applesauce, oatmeal).
6. Carry-on an assortment of medications and band-aids.
7. Buy the extra plane ticket. I don't know how international flights are, but domestic, a child under two can travel for free on your lap. Free comes at a steep price and the extra elbow room is worth every penny of the ticket.
8. We've always taken our car seats, checked the older one's booster and carried the younger one's seat.
9. Take every advantage of layovers to let those little legs exercise - they need to move.
10. Quiet toys for your child and mini chocolates for those seated around you.

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W.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just went to England and Ireland with my 4 year old and 18 month old in Setember. My husband could only go for 4 days, so I flew to and from by myself...tough, but we made it through.=) This was the 3rd time going over there with my 4 yr old and the 2nd time with my 18 month old.

The Erygo backback/frontpack/sidepack was a lifesaver for me. I actually carried my 4 yr old in it most of the time.=) I would also recommend packing a lot of snacks, I packed PBJ and breakfast bars(Quaker Oatmeal bars)plus gold fish etc. We actually got stuck coming back due to fog and missed our connecting flight home and those snacks were lifesavers. Be sure to tell the airlines you want a kids meal. On the way home because we missed our connection and couldn't fly home until the following day, they didn't get a meal (I knew they wouldn't eat what was being offered to the adults so I passed)Thank goodness for all my snacks.=) Who are you flying with?

I would also recommend getting a seat for the your kiddo and DO NOT bring on the carseat. I found there was more room when they were actually awake to play and move around. When they slept I just laid them in the seat. On the way there they will sleep more because it is darker and usually night time, coming back is lighter and day because of time change. On the way home the whole 11 hours my 4 yr old didnt' sleep at all and my little munchkin only slept 2 hours, but luckily they were great on the flight.

I also brought a DVD player which occupied them, cars, doodle pros, books and a favorite stuffed animal for both of them.

Good Luck! If you have any other questions feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com. I am not a pro, but I have made the flight several times.=)

KEEP SMILIN W.=)

C.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

You've rec'd some great advice, I'll just add that the car seat is a huge burden, especially when traveling alone. Check it in so you can use it with the taxi cabs or rental car. You can also find those portable car seats for use while you are in Europe but can be folded right up and go into your luggage. I do recommend buying the ticket for the extra seat, and because safety is very important, here is a site for a safety harness I used with my 2yr old when we traveled to Mexico. http://www.kidsflysafe.com

Best wishes and have fun!
C.~

www.HelpUStayHome.com

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