Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Have baby, will travel: take 4

We successfully completed our 3rd airplane trip with Miss E, including her first purchased plane ticket. Booo. It is quite painful to pay hundreds of dollars for your toddler to have a seat on a plane, but I must say that it would have been a pretty miserable trip if Ellen was sitting on one of our laps (or more likely playing lap roulette) the entire trip.

I polled my friends via the Facebook about travel tips with toddlers and it was so interesting to see their answers! People were very evenly split about buckling your child in their car seat vs. checking the car seat for your destination. I was torn, but in the end we elected to check the car seat. Our theory was that we would check it on departure and, if the trip was a nightmare, we could buckle her in on the trip home.

She did great! We talked a lot in advance about wearing your seatbelt the whole trip, and there wasn't even a peep about getting out of her seat. In the end, I think you just have to judge how your child would likely behave. Ells is pretty content with food and DVDVs (yes, that is what she calls them), and I was willing to bet she would be content with an endless supply of fun new treats and Curious George movies for a mere 90 minutes without any plane changes. Turns out, I bet correctly. :)

Our rental car situation was SO much more pleasant with our own car seat vs. our previous attempt with their "vintage" car seat. We didn't even use a car seat bag - Southwest wrapped it up in a plastic sack for us - and things came out just fine.

My other tips are pretty minimal, but include packing a disposable plate/napkin/utensils if you will be traveling at mealtime. I packed a dinner of a fruit cup, PB&J sandwich, Horizon milk box (doesn't have to be refrigerated) and cheese stick. Everything fit in the standard approved quart bag and they didn't give me any hassle that the liquids weren't all 3oz. or less. We brought 2 suitcases for all 3 of us, plus 2 backpacks as carry-ons and it worked perfectly.

The best part of our trip, of course, was the destination. Watching our girl play with my best girlfriends' kiddos was just priceless. Tiring? Ummm, YES. New playmates apparently equals very poor sleep. None the less, I would do it again in a heartbeat.


ERICA said...

Awesome! Glad the trip went well. Hope it works out as well for us this Christmas when it's time to do it all again.

Bets said...

Can't wait to see pictures!