Let’s face it, for any parent, the thought of traveling with a baby, no matter how far, is not a pleasant thought. Since we have have been living in China for our child’s entire existence, until all of 3 days ago when we moved to Calgary, Canada, we have had quite a bit of experience traveling with a little one. Here are the stats:
- Between the US and China- total travel over 24 hours, with one layover per trip. We’ve flow this trip 4 times, there and back. (I’ve flown most of these trips on my own and hubby has joined us later.)
- Hong Kong: Total travel about 3 hours each way.
- Vietnam: 6 separate flights between all of the cities we visited.
- Thailand: 10 hours each way.
- Calgary: 4 hours from Houston! AND happy to say, this is our new home! (Again, I made this trip alone with the little one!)
- Carter actually has American Airlines Platinum status.
- Plan your trip door to door. So if you are driving one hour to an airport, be prepared. If you are checking in 2 hours prior, be prepared. If you will be waiting in long lines at Customs, be prepared. (Games, snacks, books, etc.)
- Call your airline to let them know you are traveling with an infant to see which ways they can accommodate you.
- Seat or Lap Child? There are two options when purchasing a ticket for your child. They can have their own seat or you can pay a portion of a ticket and hold them the entire time. If you are traveling with out assistance, I suggest purchasing a ticket for your child. It can get pretty stressful with a Wild Thing on your lap and stranger in the seat next to you. Though, I’ve flown both ways (alone) and survived. So no worries!
- Requesting the Bulkhead.
This is the front, right behind First Class. It’s a larger area, with more leg room and reserved for people with babies first, then really frequent flyers. It is first come, first serve so you need to reserve on the phone. Then your arrival time should be about 30 minutes before everyone else…. That’s right, arrive 2.5 hours before takeoff to be on the safe side. I suggest this mainly for people who have chosen to fly the Lap Child option. The extra space is nice but on the downside, the armrests do not raise up. Just something to think about.
- Request a bassinet. We used this up to 8 months.
- Organize a carry-on of just Baby Stuff: In this large bag, organize the items listed below into smaller totes. Then put the small totes and snacks under the seat in front of you. The rest goes up above until needed.
- Little toys. Think McDonald’s Happy meal/Dollar Store toys. Quite, little and many.
- Stickers=amazing. Just stick them on anything…like the magazines in the seat back.
- Clothes Pins: Like the stickers…. clip’em anywhere.
- Diapers, wipes, the whole sha-bang.
- Snacks. Dry, not too messy.
- Sleep-time ritual tools. Pacifier(s), PJ’s, formula, tata’s, Hooter-hider, Boppy Pillow, etc.
- Prepare for take off. We use the trusty ‘ole pacifier to assist in keeping his ears popped. It has never been an issue! I’ve heard of other parents using a lollipop.
- Navigating the Airport with Your Stroller:
- Note: If alone, you will have to go through security without assistance. Don’t even expect them to help you lift your stroller. If your anywhere but America though, you’ll get to go through a VIP line and bypass 99% of the inspections. So Nice!
- Bring an umbrella stroller that is foldable and liftable with one hand. Chances are, you are holding your little one with the other hand. You can bring the stroller with you to the gate and check it right before you get on the airplane.
- For some odd reason, lots of airports have metal poles right in the middle of the escalater entrance. The less bulky the stroller, the better.
- Final stroller note: They are often slid down a ramp to the ground for loading onto the airplane. One stroller, right after another, until they are stacked up on the ramp….in a tangled manner. This is why we travel with a cheap-o stroller.
Since every child and every trip is different, we need all the help we can get!! If you have any Plane Travel Trips, please link them up below.