Travelling - Need Advice — The Bump
Parenting after 35

Travelling - Need Advice

We are leaving on our first vacation with LO next week for a week in Hawaii.  I'm pretty intimidated about the logistics of getting on the airplane with all the baby stuff.  We need to bring our big stroller because she isn't quite ready for the umbrella stroller - I'm not even sure it will fit through the x-ray machine folded.  So, we have a car seat (but didn't buy a seat), the stroller, the pump (I EP), and enough BM to last the day.  We have a baby bjorn, should we just wear LO through security?  Should I gate check both the car seat and stroller?  Do I need to buy a car seat bag?  Do the car seat and stroller count against our one carryon plus a personal item?  We've rented a PNP and swing for once we get there, so at least we don't have to worry about those. 

 Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 

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Re: Travelling - Need Advice

  • Your big stroller will probably fit fine thru the x-ray machine.  Check with the airline, but you get a few items like that to bring if you have an infant.   Bottles of milk/formula will have to undergo a special inspection, but it's not that big of a deal.

    Absolutely gate check your stroller and car seat.  And unless you want them beaten to a pulp, absolutely get a bag to cover them.  I went to an Army surplus store and bought a huge canvas duffle bag for $25 (which is cheap) and it fit both the stroller AND the car seat plus it's base inside it. 

    Now, here's where I get on my soapbox, and I apologize for getting snarky. (Some of you have hear this before).  But this is a cause I will always speak out on when the topic arises....

    I would never fly without a guaranteed seat for my child.  I had to listen to several days of very gruesome testimony following the crash of United Flight 232 back in 1989.  The most heated discussions were about requiring infants to be in properly restrained seats, rather than just in their parent's arms.  Several babies died or were seriously hurt in that crash when they essentially became missiles.  The ones who survived were strapped in.   That was 20-some years ago, and airlines STILL do not require it, altho the FAA finally did come out with a "strong recommendation."  Heck, that only came last year when a bad turbulence incident over the Midwest prompted this whole debate again.  The airlines are against it because they believe families won't travel if they have to pay for a baby to fly.  It's all about the money, not their safety.

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  • We have a baby bjorn, should we just wear LO through security? Yes, it will make things easier and your hands will be free to carry stuff.

    Should I gate check both the car seat and stroller? If I were you I would gate check the stroller but check the car seat beforehand with the regular luggage (it's free). You don't want to be hauling around all that stuff. I once put our Graco Metrolite stroller through the security machine and it just fit. If your stroller is wider, it won't fit.

    Do I need to buy a car seat bag? No, I've checked our car seat many times w/o a bag and it's fine, just make sure the belts are secure so they don't hang out and get caught in something.

    Do the car seat and stroller count against our one carryon plus a personal item? I'm not sure but in the past I've carried a small suitcase, a personal bag (or purse) and the stroller and never had problems. But I've always checked the car seat at the airline counter, not at the gate. If you're not putting LO in the car seat on the plane, you don't need to take it all the way to the airplane gate.

     

    One word of advice, pack very light b/c the baby and all that baby stuff will be more than enough to weigh you down. If you have to check all the suitcases, just do it. It's worth the xtra money not to have to carry everything, especially if you're changing planes. Good luck!

     

     

    Me: 44 DH: 42. DS born healthy at 40 weeks 8/24/09. TTC since then with no luck or ART. Surprise BFP 8/6/14... MMC @ 8 weeks 4 days... Miss you everyday sweet baby angel.
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  • And FWIW, we never paid for LO's car seat when he was under 2. Due to his size, I think it would have been a good idea after he turned 18 months, but we still didn't do it. Call us cheap but LO was mostly on top of me or DH most of the flight anyway, so that xtra seat wasn't needed. Yes, it's more secure to have a seat for the kid but if the plane goes down, it doesn't really matter does it? Sorry, just had to throw that out there, I'm sure you'll be fine!
    Me: 44 DH: 42. DS born healthy at 40 weeks 8/24/09. TTC since then with no luck or ART. Surprise BFP 8/6/14... MMC @ 8 weeks 4 days... Miss you everyday sweet baby angel.
  • If you want to make it as easy as possible getting on the plane, I would check the car seat and the stroller with your luggage.  I have never had it count against my luggage count.  If you prefer to take the stroller, check the car seat and bring the stroller through security.  My stroller is huge and once didn't fit. They just did extra tests on it.  I always put them in a bag to check them (even at the gate) but that didn't prevent it from having a wheel broken (luckily on our way back home).  I agree about packing as light as possible since the baby stuff will weigh you down but be sure to bring something to entertain yourself.  I flew to Hawaii from San Diego when DD was 2 1/2 months old and she slept most of the flight.  Have fun. 
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  • imageNewMrs07:
    Yes, it's more secure to have a seat for the kid but if the plane goes down, it doesn't really matter does it?

    I know I tick a ton of people off around here with my rants about flying and infants.  But it's not the major catastrophe type of incidents that I'd be worried about.   In United 232, half the people walked away with barely a scratch.  And in the case of bad turbulence that hits suddenly, if you're strapped in, you're usually going to be okay, too.

    I'm just sayin', we worry so much about our kids' day-to-day safety in cars, light sockets and crib bumpers, yet there's no regulation to keep them from becoming a missile when they're in an airplane.

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  • Even if you wear LO, you may be required to put your carrier through the x-ray machine.  Just an FYI.

    The carseat - if you aren't going to use it on the plane, I would check it.  I woudlnt' want to lug it through the airport.

    We have HUGE contractor bags at home - we always take one of those and once we get to the airport, we put the carseat in one of those and close it up w/ duct tape.  Never had a problem.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Thanks ladies! I think we will check the carseat with our luggage and I will get some sort of bag for it. I appreciate all of the suggestions!
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  • I personally would wear the baby - I hated having to drag the stroller and car seat all over the airport and since you don't have a seat, you will end up needing to gate check both anyway. I know you can check the seat for free, not sure on the stroller but I am would just call the airline to ask, years ago when we checked ours it was free but it has been a few years and I know everything has changed since then.  I would try and pack the carry-ons as light as possible - you can bring on your purse and 1 other carry on - it might be easier to toss the pump and the breast milk into a small bag that has wheels vs trying to carry everything or check the car seat with your luggage and then plan to use the stroller (which will either fit through the machine or they will take it to a different spot and wand it) to carry your carry-ons.  I would still plan to wear the baby and be ready to take her out of the wrap at security.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • I am really late to reply to this post, but hopefully you will get to read it!!

    I have travelled with LO a couple of times and I have used my Moby once and my Chicco carried once.  The time I used the Moby I had to take her out and they had to pat down the Moby when I went through.  When I used the Chicco, I had to take her out and put the carrier through xray.  So while it was MUCH easier to navigate the airport with her being in a carrier and having my hands free (especially because I was travelling by myself) it was a bit of a pain in the butt going through security.  That being said, I would do it that way again even if it took me longer to get through the security check. 

    I just put my pump in one of my carry on bags (I had a hygeia, so it wasn't in its own carry bag like a pisa) and had my breast milk in my carry-on. If you plan on bringing any frozen milk, I would suggest putting it in an additional ziplock bag.  I brought a few bags of frozen milk for the flight just in case I didn't get a chance to nurse.  2 of the 4 bags had little nicks in them from being moved around in the freezer and the leaked.  Thankfully I had them in ziplocks!!

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