It’s hard to remember a time before I was a mama, but, the one thing that I do remember is seeing a woman in an airport lugging her luggage, diaper bags, baby and feeling so sorry for her. I remember thinking to myself “Wow, that is one heck of a feat that chick is accomplishing.” I also remember thinking “Ugh, that will definitely be one part of parenthood that I do not look forward to.” Fast forward to me being a mama and my six month old son just completing his 22nd flight…yes, 22 flights, in six months…that averages 3.6 flights each month of his life thus far. Hi, my name is Grace, and I am THAT woman in the airport lugging her luggage, diaper bag, stroller and baby and I am here to tell you that it can be done! With the season being underway, the chance of you finding yourself in the airport with your kids is very likely and I am here to share a few of the pointers that have saved my life (and sanity) about--twenty-two times now.
Tips for Traveling with Children:
- Carseat. Check your carseat at the desk upon your arrival to the airport. It’s free on all airlines, so do not let them charge you. Some airlines will provide a plastic bag for your carseat (they can get damaged if they aren't protected), so do yourself a favor and buy one off of Amazon prior to travel or stop by the Southwest desk at the airport and pick up one of their reusable travel bags ($15)— they're massive and heavy duty. Side note: Some airports will send your carseat to the “oversized baggage” baggage claim—so, don't panic if your other luggage comes out and your carseat is missing. Just ask an airport associate where oversized baggage is located and it'll be there! You live and you learn! :)
- Feed on take off and landing. We are adults and we know how to clear our ears when pressure changes but, our babies don’t. The best way to keep their ears clear is to feed them (swallowing balances out the pressure) on take off and landing! If they aren't hungry, have them suck on something and it'll do the same trick.
- Board last. Several airlines allow passengers with children to board the airplane first which is so kind and allows for more time to get settled. But, I have found for us that the least amount of time we spend in a 12 inch space, the better. So, with that being said, we typically board last and make the most of being able to move around at our gate. Yay for glares from an entire airplane full of passengers when you walk down the aisle with a baby to your seat! Not...
- Wipe down your entire area with a baby wipe. We are currently teething which pretty much means that everything in sight goes straight to the mouth. This includes hands and hands touch things, as in everything. So, when you get settled in your seat, wipe down everything that you come into contact with. As gross as it is to think about; have you ever seen the flight attendants or cleaning crew disinfect anything…? You're welcome.
Just go ahead and face your fears: Travel with your kids! The adventures and the memories are worth absolutely anything that can go "wrong," or bring stress…even if it means a screaming kid at 30,000 ft. for four hours.