Need Travel Advice for 1 Year Old

Updated on April 02, 2010
S.K. asks from Plano, TX
7 answers

We are getting ready to take our first airplane trip with our daughter and really need some tips -

Should I buy a ticket for the carseat or just hold her? What is safer?

Should I take an umbrella stroller or her carseat with an adaptor?

What do you do with the carseat situation if we have to take a cab or rent a car?

What gear should I take for a beach vacation?

Anything else?


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answers from Portland on

I traveled a lot the first year of my sons life. I would suggest holding her, but taking her car seat and checking it as luggage along with the stroller. Do you have a carrier (ergo was wonderful) for the plane ride. She is not going to want to stay in the car seat for that long save the money. If you still nurse I strongly recommend nursing her as the plane takes off and lands to help prevent pressure build up in her ears. I also recommend Oregon's wild harvest children's ear drops top help her ears during the plane ride
Also take lots of snacks and things to distract her, but also know that it is okay if she gets unhappy during the plane ride she is still a baby.
Have fun.



answers from Dallas on

I don't get a seat for my daughter when we fly. I have her on my lap. The airlines are suggesting having everyone get a seat and have kids in car seats because of the turbulence. I've flown with my daughter at least 10 times (she is a year) and we had some turbulent flights and we still did okay with holding her. I would check the car seat, I believe it is free to check on all airlines) and go with an umbrella stroller. I see the adaptors for the car seat, but I personally don't like the idea of my daughter so low to the ground. I would rent a car. It would be easier to only have to install the car seat once and be done. As for a beach vacation, it depends on where you are going. When I go to the beach this summer, the beach I'm going to has $1 stores with beach toys and I'm just going to buy them there and then throw them away. I'm just packing her bathing suit, sunscreen, and swim diapers. I do plan on getting my daughter the water shoes so that when she walks on the sand, it won't be hot on her feet. BTW, I've had friends by the car seat bags to check and load it with some clothes and other things since it is free so they don't need to pay and carry an extra bag.


answers from Dallas on

Our daughter is 15 now and she has been on many mnay plane trips since birth.

We chose to buy her a seat to keep her safe and comfortable. I'm all for safety and health and will pay extra to ensure safety.

As for entertainment, we made puppets with the air sickness bags, as for strollers.....we would stop and buy a cheap umbrella stroller when we got to our destination and then at the end of the trip just leave it or give it to someone.

Try not to stress and have a great trip!



answers from Dallas on

If you're looking to save money, just hold her on the airplane. She's perfectly safe while being in your arms.

We've traveled several times with our little baby but have always rented a car, so we rented a car seat at the car rental place, too. It's so much more convenient than having to lugg around the car seat at the airport.

Make sure to have plenty of snacks and some new small toys for your 1 year old in case of any fussiness. Hope that helps.



answers from Dallas on

If you are flying Southwest, they let you take your carseat on as long as they have open seats for no charge. If not, you can check it as you're getting on the plane and they will bring it right up to you as you get off. You can do the same with your stroller. We always take our car seat in a travel bag to have it to use in rent cars. The cheapest I found was at Wal-Mart ( It has wheels and comes in really handy in the airport.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter flew 8 times by the time she was a year and a half old. It saved a lot of money, and she was more comforted in her my arms than she would have been in a carseat. I either nursed her or gave her a sippy cup for take off and landing, unless she was asleep during those times. She never had any trouble with her ears. I always got seats in the back of the plane, as the noise of the engine is white noise to her and drowns out more of her noise. Just remember that you can't sit in an exit row when buying your ticket and also remind the ticket counter that you are traveling with an infant - I told the ticket agent one time, but they forgot and I made it to Security and had to go back to the ticket counter again. I bought a car seat bag (on eBay) and checked the seat for free and took the stroller to the gate. I always take books and toys just in case, and try to schedule the flight around nap time. She usually cried while we were at the gate but once we took off she'd sleep the entire flight.

I have used her car seat in both the rental car and in cabs in NYC. I know exactly how to install it, she's comfortable in her own car seat in a stranger car/environment.



answers from Boise on

How long of a flight is it? At that age, I just had my son sleep on my lap. He traveled through the airport in an Ergo (you don't have to take them off through security), then on the plane, I just let the straps down, and he stayed right there.

Then you can check the carseat. I would put it in the cab too, and for a rental car, that depends. One time, we had my husband go get the car while I waited with the luggage, and then put the seat in and all the luggage and took off. Another time, he took the carseat with him (less stress at the curb) and installed it before coming back for us. Some rental cars do offer them, but I'm one that doesn't like to use that stuff, but that is me.

Do you need a stroller once you are there? If you are in a rental car you may not want to take the carseat in and out to act as a stroller.

Sunscreen, hats, sunscreen, sunshade.

Oh, and at about that age, my son's favorite thing to do in the plane was to shred the magazine/newspaper and play with a drink cup. I saw a mom once try to stop this, and her kid fussed and fussed, I say, it is complimentary, and kept him entertained. I also bought some additional earplugs when I flew. You just never know their mood, and if she ends up crying due to pressure, or just for being stuck there, they may be more understanding of your consideration.

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