So first I must thank my wonderful friend Lauren for telling me to put all my information stored in my head up on a post
First step to ease your mind about travelling with children is what form of safety and travel gear will you take? Car seats, Strollers, play pens oh My! Well if you are travelling to specific cities you may be in luck, because you can rent gear from two very reputable companies, and get this, they DELIVER the gear to your destination! Hotel, home, or airport! Whaaaat?!
This is important for people who are concerned when they rent carseats from car rental places, i mean they usually have the cheapest of the cheap, and lowest safety rated carseats. These two companies below, allow you to Choose the same britax you have at home or the city mini jogger if that is your stroller, allowing kids to feel comfortable too!
Their sites are: http://www.weetravel.ca (so reasonably priced) and http://www.coast2coastbabies.com (they only work in select US cities)
So that’s check one off of your list.
Next step is the Stroller you want to take (especially if the companies above don’t service your area). I think the city select is the best stroller of all time.It maneuvers with one hand and can go into any handicap washroom stall, folds easily and is a general lifesaver. When we had two small kids they would face each other and entertain each other. When they were tired it fully reclined, while keeping the canopies closed. It was as if they were in their own business class pods! It is a pricey stroller if you don’t have it but you can easily find them second hand online in great condition! The configurations available on this are just too good to be true. Now that my oldest is 6, he rides the boogie board on the city select and his brother is in the seat, and trust me for connecting flights it is a saviour to not have to run holding a child who cannot run as fast as you, when you can literally just push and run (i recently had to do this in the Vancouver airport at 4am, it was as if I got a bootcamp workout in!) I have no doubt I will be using this stroller for at least two more years especially for travel, which will mean that I’ve had it for 9 years!
What to pack for the flight?
I have a simple rules for packing a carryon bag. I pack for a worst case scenario. I take a Carryon (wheelie suitcase) and my giant TokiDoki Juju Be soft bag (Starlet or Super Be which can later be used at my destination as a beach bag and a stroller bag.
For a baby in diapers: 3 outfit changes, 1 diaper per hours in transit, a travel pack of wipes, (not a small one but the decent size ones in case of a poop explosion) 3 snacks (milk and water if they are not eating solids) per hour of flight, and a way to wear baby and a swaddle blanket for them to cover their eyes like a sleep mask, while rocking them to sleep. My kids sleep with white noise and in the dark so if i cover their eyes on a plane its like the ideal sleep situation for them. Multiple pacifiers if they take them, and in case you lose them!!! No judgement if you don’t.
For a toddler: 3 outfit changes (i usually let them travel in pjs), 1 diaper per hours in transit, 4 snacks per hour (because chewing is good for their ears, especially if in pain). For entertainment purposes, their favourite digital movies downloaded on their ipads or portable DVD player, their headphones, and a little kid neck pillow. Also their favourite Stuffed toy. I also buy like a bunch of mess free colouring books from dollarama, and let them go to town!
For Mom: It’s probably wrong if I say little alcohol bottles, especially as my first item right? well it isn’t too bad, I have done it and will do it again, just to calm my nerves. In all seriousness; 1 change of clothes, ear buds, gum, and basically anything you need to look human and feel like a human and not just a walking Mom zombie! I take my makeup bag, and a headband and hair-tie. My favourtie thing I just found out about was wearing a giant cotton scarf (if you are still wearing baby they have nice baby wearing scarves that you can pull over yourself if you are feeling a chill.
For liquids, medicine, and easy access: I usually take two giant ziplock bags and keep one in my diaper bag. I take tylenol for the kids (who I wake up early, and let stay up late, and they almost always sleep on the flight) I give them tylenol and gravol, 20 mins apart with the last dose 20 mins before take off. I will justify this once, and only once. The tylenol is usually for the pain in their ears, I know by trail and error that this helps, because every time I’ve travelled with my children if one of them refuses the tylenol he is the child that screams their head off on the plane, because he cannot handle the pain in his ears! I also give them a dose of gravol, because they do get tummy aches, and motion sickeness in the car on a regular basis, and after one flight where both of them were screaming that they wanted to throw up every 30 mins, I will always keep liquid gravol ready to go and now it even comes in chewables so you can take chewables for the tylenol and gravol now and not have to worry about the liquid rules.
I also take extra strength tylenol, advil, and sinutab (if you get congested on a flight) for myself in my ziplock medicine bag and benedryl in case of a random allergic reaction. I also keep all the liquids and meds in that are in the ziplock in a Jujube fuel cell, along with two small spoons, forks, and medicine dispensers 2 of them in case one is sick you cant have them sharing (this has happened to me, I shit you not it almost killed me the stress)
When you have a baby or child you need to have a little wristlet like the JuJu Be Be Quick that I keep in the outside pocket of the diaper bag with the change bag. In it i have 2 diapers, baby wipes & disinfectant wipes (to wipe down all the seat handles and tray tables and anything your kids can touch because those things are nasty, and the last thing you want is to be sick from some random airplane bug at your destination) When you have the wristlet you can just grab it and the change pad and hands free go to the washroom.
Sometimes I used a second Be Quick for passports and a pen and any travel documents so that everything is in one place and I wear it until I’m on the plane, and then put it inside my diaper bag in a zipped up pocket.
One very important thing you need to pack: Confidence, that you can do it, and even if you don’t who cares, no one else on that flight paid for a private plane so they should know that babies will be babies, and if they don’t give them a death-stare! It isn’t easy travelling with small children but it is doable and can be fun, once you get the hang of it!
CHECKLIST: (you can screenshot and print this list)
- Call the travel rental gear places to set up the framework of your travel.
- Pick a stroller that will work for your family
- 3 outfits per child and one change of clothes for yourself.
- diapers per hour in transit depending on child (see above) _____________________
- 3 snacks per child and adult per hour
- quick grab wristlet (BeQuick) for diapers wipes and change pad
- Have a fuel cell handy with small cutlery (sporks) and medicine dispensers 1 per child, and all blister pills or bottles in a separate ziplock bag incase of a leak. You can also store baby bottles in this and it can clip around any diaper bag so that you are hands free.
- Be Quick (wristlet) with a pen, and passports and travel documents in it
- little backpack for toddler or small child with their headphones, tablet, stuffed animal and crayons and colouring in it so that they have it and they feel like a big kid. If your toddler is travelling with a paid seat they are entitled to their own carry-on take advantage of it. It will give them a feeling of independence, which you may be able to use against them, by saying; “Remember lets all be big boys and girls and use our manners and be thoughtful towards others on the plane” it’s worth a shot!
- Also in case of an accident you will need some good plastic bags to shove any soiled clothing into and then tie shut so the rest of your stuff doesn’t smell.
- for the above reason I also keep in that liquids ziplock bag in my carryon a little bottle of gain laundry detergent that i pour onto any soiled clothes
- One final tip, and this is for any traveller, I vacuum seal all of my carry-on suitcase items, and get a little hand vacuum pump. it saves on room, and I keep all of our clothes in them sealed when travelling to prevent ticks or bedbugs hopping a ride home with me. I know this works because they will die without the oxygen, because I’ve seen a dead tick fall out of a bag when doing laundry after vacation…because sometimes you forget to close the bag, but those suckers can survive the plane right home with after being vacuum sealed!
Hope this helps you. If you like it please feel free to share! Please also share any tips that you would like to share!! I’m always open for more advice in my storage of information.