My parents are "snowbirds", spending half of the year in Florida and the other half at the Jersey Shore, so we've done a good amount of back and forth. Here are a few tips and must haves for traveling with little ones.
1. Check everything you can for lighter travel through the airport.
2. Buy the infant seat if you can swing it. It's totally worth it for the extra space. They’ll still be in your lap most of the flight but you’ll have extra space and a place to set them down when they’re willing. Check that your infant car seat is TSA approved (it’ll have a little airplane sign on it).
3. Gate check your stroller. We’ve checked our UppaBaby and Double Bob. Here's another amazingly priced double stroller that’s only about $200 and folds like a single that we also own. 👏🏼 Grows with the bigger kids with a stand-to-ride option. Umbrella strollers are great too for light travel!
4. Your stroller is your best friend in the airport. Helps you move the kids and all the things and still sort of enjoy your coffee.
5. Bring a lightweight baby carrier that folds right into your diaper bag. I linked our absolute favorite - we bring it everyyyywhere.
6. Carry Ons:
- Diaper bag with all of your essentials + change of clothes just in case (Teddy vomited all over us once on our way to Disney a few years back. Fun times)
- Second bag with snacks, iPad, sticker books, coloring books, toys
7. Let your kids (who can walk) walk AS MUCH as they can in the airport. We usually let Teddy run up and down the terminal with one of us before boarding.
8. Diaper change right before boarding. Tip: Use overnight diapers for baby. As long as they don’t go # 2, you won’t need to change them in flight. For Teddy (potty trained) we put pull ups on just in case he falls asleep in flight and has an accident.
9. In flight - screen time rules don’t exist. I linked the toddler tablet we’ve had for years. Has a kids profile built into it with games, shows, etc. You can also access any of your streaming services and download. And SNACKS!! I pack healthy snacks from home and also let Teddy grab something from the airport that we don’t buy at home (Doritos hello)
10. Sippy cups, bottles, nursing - whatever you can get baby to drink on the way up (and during the descent) to relieve pressure on little ears!
ps - If you have a grabby baby, drink the wine straight from the airplane bottle. No need to pour it into the cup they will inevitably spill. You deserve it and no one is judging. 😘
I can’t promise it’ll all go smoothly, but all you can do is prepare, take deep breaths and remember the vacation ahead will be worth it.