Travelling with Toddler - Saint Paul,MN

Updated on July 14, 2011
S.K. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

We are planning a trip this summer somewhere in USA (most probably Denver)with our 15 month old son. The last time we travelled with him was when he was 11 months. He was still using his infant carseat , so we took his travel system with us. We used the carseat in the flight( had booked a seperate seat for him). It was a very long international flight , he did very well. The travel system was very convienient for using in the airport during flight changes and at our destination.

Now he is in a convertible. Our flight will be shorter - maybe 2-3 hrs or so. We are looking for direct flights. We will be renting a car at the destination , so we need to bring the convertible seat with us. I am not sure how to move it around in the airport, it's so huge. I have heard of a carrier just for convertible seats.Anyone used that? We will also have his stroller with us(part of the travel system - so it's kinda bulky) We are not planning to buy a seperate seat for him this time. So do we check in both stroller and convertible seat at the gate? Or can we check in the carseat at luggage check in itself? I am worried the carseat might get damaged during this whole process, we have Britax wich is kinda expensive. Anybody have such experience with carseats getting damged in flights? Another option I am looking at , is renting a car at our destination which has a carseat. I would rather have my son use his own, for safety and cleanliness reasons. I would like to hear your experience with this while travelling with your toddlers.

Also, I don't have a pack 'n' play for my son.He is 15 months old, so if I buy one now , how will long before he outgrows it.Will I get enough use out of pack n play if I buy one now? I don't mind buying a new one as long I can get some use out of it. If not, what else can I buy for him to sleep in the hotel room which we can use for future travels as well.

Any other tips for travelling with toddlers? How to keep them occupied during the journey?

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answers from New York on

Are you staying at a hotel? If so, ask for a crib and sheet. They should have them for you. You can rent a crib from rental services in the area as well if you are staying with friends. No need to purchase a pack and play - which are super heavy, by the way, and you'd have to pay the airline to travel with it.

If you are buying him a seat, just bring the car seat on board. You can pop it on top of a rolling suitcase or the stroller. Also, I assume that you are bringing a stroller? You can keep it until you board and then they will have it put in the cargo hold for you for free. Just call the airline and confirm.

Denver - FUN!! Be sure to go to Cherry Creek.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I've only travelled on a plane a few times with my 3 year old, but I'm a flight attendant, and I've seen a lot of way people travel with kids.

Since you're not buying a seat for him, go ahead and check the car seat. If you're worried about it being damaged, get one of those good covers. I've checked ours a few times and haven't had any problems with it being damaged. I totally understand not wanting to use one of those rental ones. I would keep the stroller with you. You can use it to get him through the airport and check it at the gate. You take it down the jetway when you're boarding, and they'll bring it back to the jetway when you arrive.

Most hotels have pack 'n play type things for hotel rooms. We've used those quite a few times, so we don't have to take up all the room in the car when we're on road trips.

As for keeping them occupied, get a couple inexpensive toys (like the $1 place at Target), or a couple of books. Richard Scary has a book called "Day at the Airport," or something along those lines that's a lot of fun for kids.

Good luck with it all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get a Go Go Kidz travelmate for the carseat. It's universal and awesome! Check the stroller when you check in, and the carseat at the gate.

I love the suggestion of just renting a car with one, though. I'd go that route before I haul all that stuff through an airport again!

And for the toddler bed, by a little travel cot, instead of a pack n play. Personally, my DS last used his P&P just after 2, and he was crammed in there. (he's not a big kid, either).

A little portable cot will last you longer.



answers from Dallas on

I use the hotel cribs and my daughter does fine. I do bring her own blanket from home though. I bought an Evenflo car seat at Babies R Us for around $70, I had coupons so I got it cheaper, just for traveling. I check it at luggage check in a carseat bag that I bought. It's worked fine and there has been no damage. But like you, I'm afraid to bring my Britax on the airplane. I also bought an umbrella stroller and stopped using my travel system stroller because it was so bulky. I check the stroller at the gate. You can also buy a gadget that converts the carseat to a stroller, but then you kid is very low to the ground.



answers from Seattle on

I just did some solo travel with my 2 yr. old. I checked the bags and car seat. I flew Delta and they have a category for "special luggage: or something and if it is a child/baby item. Checking it is free. I used my regular stroller that is from the travel system b/c it has a basket underneath and I could put the carry-on in until we got to the plane. Then I gate checked the stroller at the door of the plane.
If you are staying in a hotel you should be able to use their cribs (which is actually a pack n play in most cases) If you do want to get a pack n play I got one when my son was like 18 months for a trip we'd never had one, and my son is VERY tall. So I got the Graco Tot Block which is a square instead of a rectangle and doesn't have any newborn attachments. So it's a lot bigger than your average pack n play and no frills. It folds right up into a carrying case. I had to order it online b/c none of the stores had it in their regular stock. Got it on amazon I think.
Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

I've checked our car seat a few times and it has been visible damage or anything. I have taken my car seat to the gate with M. and asked if there were extra seats. If there are the gate attendants have always been nice about switching us around and giving us the extra seat for the car seat/baby. The only problem is...there's rarely any openings! I would keep the stroller with you until you board the plane, you'll need it.

As far as the pack-n-play, you have to figure out how much traveling you'll be doing and when you think he'll be out of a crib. I'm hoping to keep my son in his crib for about another year (he'll be 2 in Sept) so if you're thinking about the same age and if you buy it now that's a lot of use, if you're going to travel. Is it possible to borrow one from a friend or relative? You could rent one, that is a good option, but personally I always like to have my own. We did rent a crib once and it was fine, but it was really small and old looking, I was nervous about it!

As far as keeping him occupied, I'd say cars, trucks, books, kiddie cell phones, electronic books or anything that beeps or makes noise basically! ;) Also pack a bunch of snacks and a sippy cup and you'll be good! Have fun!



answers from Pittsburgh on

You don't need to buy a pack n play. Any hotel should be able to provide a crib - occasionally there is a small charge, most often there is not.

We traveled with a GoBabyZ - it's like a set of luggage wheels and extendible handle that attaches to your car seat. Works for most - you can look for your model at their website before purchasing. ABSOLUTELY worth while (we flew 4-6 times a year with DS from when he was 1 until 5-1/2 when we just switched to a booster for travel only).

Your car seat will say somewhere on it that it is FAA approved for airline travel. You then take it on board and DS sits in it in the airplane seat. If there are open seats on the plane - you will almost always get the seat for your child. If there are not open seats - they will gate check the seat for you. You also check the stroller plane side - you can use it all the way down the jetway. You collect it same place when you get off the plane so you have the use of it except when you are actually on the plane.

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