Travel - Rapid City,SD

Updated on February 26, 2011
J.B. asks from Rapid City, SD
11 answers

We're planning to fly to Seattle this summer with our 2 kids. Our daughter will be 4 at the time, and our son will have just turned 2. We haven't flown for years (since our daughter was an infant), and I know alot has changed. We were planning on buying a ticket just for our daughter, but will we need to buy one for our son, too, who will have JUST turned 2? Also, do you bring a carseat? What about bags - are there additional charges for bags now, and any other special requirements I should know of. Do you have any recommendations for travel websites for flights, and possible hotel/car? I've heard of Travelocity and Priceline, but I'm sure there are others.I have read about liquids in carryons needing to be in a quart zipper bag and less than 3oz. What else do I need to know? We're planning to rent a car, do we need our own carseats for the kids or are they included? Any other tips/advice? Thanks!!

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R.R.

answers from Madison on

Hi I just relocated to WI from Seattle so if you would like any tips on kid friendly places in Seattle, email me.

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Regardless, of whether the airline will allow you to have your just turned two on your lap, my biggest advice is to buy him a ticket. Whatever the cost of the ticket will be soooooo worth it for your sanity and for the sanity of those around you.

I put my daughter's milk in sippy cups and her snacks and placed them in a gallon sized bag and each time we went through security I took the whole bag out of my diaper bag and placed it in their grey bin; no problems.

I would certainly take your own carseats. The one time we did not the car rental was out of the right size seat. The airlines cannot charge you for the one you check and the other one I would use on the plane with that two year old. Just check to make sure that they are approved seats for the air. The reason I am really pushing this is because he is use to sitting in the car in it; so he will probably sit longer in his seat on the plane.

Good luck. Apologise a lot; ignore any one who is rude, bring some small toys, a dvd player if possible and you will have fun on your vacation.

1 mom found this helpful

A.F.

answers from Chicago on

Yes you need a seat (unfortunately) for your kid that will have just turned 2 years old. You have to enter security information for each person or give it to the airline and that includes the DOB of each passenger. Anyone 2 years and over is required to have their own seat -- under 2 can be a "lap child" at no cost.

You do not NEED your car seats on the airplane (and in fact, some will not fit for airline travel or are not approved for air travel, you need to verify on the seat/manual or with the manufacturer). I personally never take my car seats on the plane - it is a pain in the butt!

You can rent car seats from the rental car company ahead of time but it is EXPENSIVE -- they are a certain dollar value per day EACH with a maximum cost per week (so say if the rate per day over a few days adds up to the weekly max or more, the weekly max is charged). I think the weekly max when I rented from Budget in the DC area was $60 per seat last spring. I have a 3.5 yo and a 2.25 yo.

I had a bad experience with Priceline NOT paying for a hotel we booked, being double-charged, and then fighting with them for 2 months so I would NOT suggest them -- I have had great luck with travelocity, expedia, orbitz, hotels.com and the like. I usually book directly from the airline for my air travel because I have an airline of preference that all my miles are through.

If you do carryon liquids they need to all fit in 1 quart size bag per person (so if you had 4 ticketed passengers, you could have 4 of them hypothetically).

For the kids - take activities, snacks, and do yourself a favor and take cups with lids but NO LIQUIDS through security -- you kids aren't babies and though liquids with kids are allowed, they do a paper litmus test for EACH ONE and it takes time and the kids will NOT want to stand there for that. I usually take empty cups with lids and buy milk, juice and water after I get through security.

Have fun- don't stress...and consider a portable DVD player and some kiddie flicks for the plane ride with some kid-sized earphones! It makes your life SO MUCH EASIER!

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S.F.

answers from Madison on

Check Southwest if they fly from your area. No charge for baggage. You can check up to two bags each. Also I have found they have the lowest prices. Your son will need a seat. Under 2 can be a "lap child".

You can reserve carseats with your rental car company. It will cost extra. I found it to be a pain to lug them along with all the luggage you will have, so to me it is worth the extra expense.

Have a small backpack for each child filled with new things that they have never seen before. I always do this for my kids and they are excited about seeing in their bags once we start to travel. They don't have to be expensive...coloring/sticker books, crayons, Color Wonder a few small toys. A portable DVD player is also nice to have with a couple of new DVDs. Snacks, a change of clothing for each. Bring empty sippy cups that you can fill after you go through security.

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R.Y.

answers from New York on

Last summer my 4 year old was over 40 lbs and we got a smaller, cheaper booster for under $20 and checked it (it was not rated for air travel, just cars). It made it much easier to just have the car seat for our 18 month old. We always got both kids seats. I always bring some new small toys and snacks.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

I traveled last year. We were not allowed to take any food or beverage items through security.

I saw a lot of parents checking in car seats as luggage. I know many airlines will not allow you to bring them on board.

Airlines do charge for checked in luggage on domestic flights. I saw a general sign (not for any specific airline) that it was $25 per bag. Carry-ons need to meet size guidelines.

Here's a link to the TSA website http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/index.shtm

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M.T.

answers from Milwaukee on

We went on a vacation when my children were almost 4 and almost 2. We rented car seats and found it to be worth the extra expense!

However, if you do take car seats on the plane, send one parent in with the seat(s) and carry-ons first during early boarding to set the seat up and stow the bags. Then, have the other parent board with the children later towards the end of boarding. This will make it easier and prevent clogging up the aisle.

Make sure to pack something chewy like fruit snacks that the kids can chew during ascent and descent. If you take sippy cups, you'll need to empty them out before you go through security, but after you go through you can purchase more drinks to put in.

And, as others have mentioned, definitely gate check your stroller!

Good luck and have a great time!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

www.tsa.gov

www.seatguru.com (to book good Airplane seating per kids/family. We used this to book our trips. Even Travel Agents use it and the airlines. It is accurate.). We always book/reserves seats near the bathroom or seats that have more leg room, for example. You tell the Airline, what seats you want. Per this website. They are fully familiar with this. When we booked our airplane tickets, I told THEM, what seats we wanted. And said "I am looking at Seat Guru now.... and see what seats you have..."

You need car seats. Or call the car rental company and ask them.. if they have rentals.

Every State, has a "tourism" website. So Google Search for Seattle's. Lots of info there.

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J.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

I traveled a lot with my daughter from the time she was 6 months until she was a little over 2. Here's what I've learned.

1. Over 2 needs a seat (helps keep you sane too).

2. Bring activities and snacks!!! DVD's and player or computer esp.

3. Liquids associated with infants/young children are allowed, but tested. For example. If you bring a sippy cup with milk (I always needed soymilk so had to bring my own) TSA will ask you to open it and test it.

4. Gear associated with traveling children is checked at no charge (FREE!). If you bring a car seat, or two, or a stroller and check it, there's no charge.

5. Bring the stroller to the gate! Even if your kids don't want to be in it, you can put your bags in there. You'll get a gate check ticket at the gate counter that you'll put on the stroller and keep a stub.

6. Checked bag prices depend on the airline. Keep in mind that, for most airlines, the first bag is around $25 and second is $35, so try to pack large suitcases. Anything over 50# is charged extra because it's "heavy."

7. Try not to sit in the very back. Those seats don't recline very well and you're usually the last to get snacks or drinks.

8. Make sure you look at what's going on the week you're traveling. For example it's spring break and the lines will be longer at the airport etc.

9. Make sure you bring a credit card to Self Check In at the airport. That is what will be charged the baggage fees. It will also bring up your reservation or the "code" (MXPSD, or something like that, I just print the online reservation notice most of the time so I have everything I need).

10. Bring proper ID, driver's license or passport. I brought a copy of my daughter's birth certificate just in case, but only a copy. If you're not sure what to bring, call the airline.

I've never booked a hotel/flight package online, but I've mostly used Expedia and Priceline. After you reserve the flight, make sure, if you have any troubles, to call the airline or hotel directly. You can call the website but, I find it works better if you call the service provider.

I hope this helps!

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A.B.

answers from Fargo on

When we traveled to Canada a couple summers ago, my son had just turned 2 before the trip. We had bought his a seat and were SO glad we did! It worked out perfectly for him to lay across his seat with his head on my lap for napping. He slept most of the time on the plane, so he was super easy flying and didn't mind the take-off/landing. Definitely new toys for the airplane and some snacks for them. Empty sippy cups and then buy water/juice/etc after you're thru security. Also, wear easy on shoes for you and your kids...makes it so much easier and quicker going thru security. Carseats: check them along with your baggage as they're probably approved for use on a plane. We learned that the hard way with our son's and then had to lug it thru the airports and gate check it. Southwest bags no fees otherwise it was $25 for the other airlines we flew on. Definitely have a stroller...makes it so much easier going thru the airport to your gate. Very good to have especially when you have a groggy 2 yr old who just woke up from a nap and you have to get to your connecting gate quickly! Hotwire, Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak...just to name a few. I'd check with a travel agent, too, to see if they could get you a better deal on your flights/hotel/rental car. We used one for our trip and he was able to get a super good deal for us. I'll send you his information.

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L.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

If your son will already be 2 when you will be traveling he will require a seat as well. They require a birth certificate for both children as ID so they will know that he is 2. Don't take the risk of trying to get around that policy you will either be denied getting on the flight or paying an arm and leg for a plane ticket the day of the flight. For the 2 year old I would have the carseat on the plane for hime to sit in... sanity reasons!!, youcould do the same for the 4 year old or the seat can either be checked with your other bags or at the gate. If you have AAA I have heard that you can get free carseat rentals with your rental car, but have also heard not so good things about renting seats. I personally would just bring your seats, might be a slight pain in the butt, but you know where they have been and that they are safe.

Happy Travel and enjoy your vacation!!

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