Traveling is stressful enough but when you add a kid (or two!) to the mix, it’s enough to put you in a mental institution…or at least call the Doc for an emergency Xanax!
I’ve traveled with the kids alone a few times and I swear each time will be easier and I won’t be sweating my ass off in the airport but it honestly never gets easier. I learn something new each time, and I am here to share my check list/fave travel gear to help make the experience a little less painful…hopefully.
Honestly, I don’t know if you should do what I’m doing. This is what our last trip looked like…. #brodypleasestoplayingonthefloor #notenoughsanitzerintheworld
May I present to you….
Jackie’s get ready to sweat and maybe cry airport travel checklist:
Birth Certificate: Although I have never needed to use the Birth Certificate to get through the airport, bring it. That one time you decide you probably don’t need it, they will ask for it.
Diapers: Bring enough for the day, and then 3 more for unexpected blow-outs or flight delays. When Brody was 6 months old, I flew to Orlando and we were delayed 5 hours on the way home. After that experience I always made sure to have extra of everything just in case!
Wipes: Bring one pack of wipes and one pack of sanitizing wipes. You never know when your child will want to lick an airport window…. ugh.
Formula – you can bring your water, powder, or even pre-mixed ready to feed formula through security. The liquid rules does not apply here. Same goes for Breastmilk! If someone gives you a hard time, ask to speak to their manager. You are absolutely allowed to bring Formula and Breastmilk through the security checkpoint!
Med Kit: I always travel with infant Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, and a first aid kit. You never know when the kiddo might spike a fever and you don’t want to be delayed in an airport without any medicine. I keep everything organized in Ju Ju Be Be Sets. Shocking, I know.
Change of clothes: for baby and YOU! I made the mistake of traveling with Brody when he was an infant and forgot to pack burp cloths. No big deal, right? Ha! This kid was like the exorcist and both of us were covered in smelly formula from head to toe by the time we got to Orlando. Not cute.
Burp Cloths: See above. Don’t forget them.
Blanket or Swaddle: Airplanes get cold and I really like cozying up in a Aden and Anais Dream Blanket… er, I mean getting the kids cozy…
Toys: It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or expensive. I grab a couple new toys, crayons, coloring books, stickers, etc. from the dollar store before we travel. At the first sign of a tantrum, a new toy is whipped out and keeps the peace for at least 20 minutes. If you have a little that’s still too young for toys, grab a couple new teething toys for them to gnaw on besides your phone.
Snacks: Bust out their favorite snack for some in flight peace. This is no time to be a stickler about fruit snacks or Cheetos. Let the kids enjoy a treat while you enjoy 5 minutes of downtime.
Baby Carrier – Babywearing can potentially save the day when it comes to air travel! Don’t have one? Get one, ASAP! It doesn’t have to be expensive. I love the Infantino Sash Mei Tai that’s inexpensive and can be found at Target. If you are looking for a buckle carrier that will last, check out the Lillebaby All Seasons! Obsessed! Both of these can be worn through security making it a breeze with kids in tow. Just remember most flight attendants will ask that you take baby out of the carrier for take-off and landing.
iPad: Again, this is no time to be concerned with screen time. If your kid wants to watch 4 episodes of Paw Patrol on the flight to Orlando, who are you to judge? At least it’s not Caillou. My favorite iPad case is THIS ONE for the kids! If you have a toddler and an iPad, this case needs to happen.
Car Seat: We have two light-weight Car Seats we specifically use for travel. We love the Cosco Scenera NEXT and Evenflo Tribute LX. They are inexpensive, and easy to transport/install. An easy way to get through the Airport with a Car Seat is by using a THIS. Using a car seat on your flight is not only the safest option, but, also the easiest. Your child is used to riding in their car seat daily and I think there is something comforting about being in it during the flight for kids. It’s something familiar in an unfamiliar setting. Harper and Brody always do better on flights when they’re in their car seat as opposed to sitting in the seat or my lap.
Stroller: A few great travel strollers are the UPPAbaby G-LUXE, Mountain Buggy Nano, and Babyzen YOYO Stroller . They are all light weight and great options for travel. I actually prefer to travel with the UPPAbaby CRUZ because I like to have a lot of storage space while traveling with the kids, and have the option to parent face the seat if needed. If you need a double stroller for traveling, check out the UPPAbaby G-LINK, Valco Snap Duo2, and the Peg Perego Book for Two. Although popular, I really do not like any of the City Mini’s (single/double/GT) due to the storage basket being small and impossible to access. That is super important to me when I’m traveling because we usually have more crap than normal. You can’t go wrong with any of these options, they are all great for travel and everyday use! Plus, I like to be different and not push around what everyone else is pushing… 😉
**Note about strollers/air travel; Check with your airline to see if they have a stroller policy. American Airlines does NOT allow you to take a stroller over 20 lbs to the gate. I believe they are now the only Airline with this policy, but double-check before you get to the airport and a giant shit show happens.
Diaper Bag: I highly recommend getting the Ju Ju Be Be Right Back for travel. It’s spacious, has a ton of pockets, and most importantly leaves you hands free to deal with the kiddos. HUGE plus: It’s machine washable (like all Ju Ju Be Bags!) so you get give it a nice cleaning after all the mess that happens during traveling. If the BRB is a tad more than you want to spend, check out the Super Be!! It’s less structured, but seriously holds everything and the kitchen sink! I used a Super Be on our flight to Key West last year and it was a lifesaver.
Travel Playard: Sometimes you need to bring your own placard when traveling. If that’s the case make it easy on yourself and get the 4 MOMS Breeze. It’s insanely easy to open and close, like one hand easy, comes with its own travel bag, and the mattress seems to be quite cozy. Harper always sleep through the night when she’s in the Breeze. If that’s not a reason to get it, then I don’t know what is! If you have a toddler, check out the Intex Kidz Travel Bed. This thing rocks!!
Also, if you don’t bring a travel playard, this could be you….
Sanity Saver: Whether this be a special Tea, Wine, Essential Oil, or Xanax, have it on hand and use as needed to keep yourself sane. Well, maybe don’t use the Wine or Xanax as needed…you should probably wait until you get to your destination before using either of those… HA! My point is to have a little downtime for yourself after all the chaos of traveling. You deserve it!
My last piece of advice is to go with the flow. As long as you are prepared for your trip the worst thing that can happen is your kid screams on the plane for 4 hours and you cry in the bathroom until you land. Which i’ve totally done by the way. Just remember you will never see those people again, so just do what you need to do to get through the day. This too shall pass…until your return flight. #momlife