At the ripe old age of 17 months, our little guy has flown about a dozen times…give or take a few. During all of those journeys, I’ve learned a few things and I’ve also accepted that no matter how much you prepare, it is just plain hard traveling with a little one! Don’t get me wrong, even though it is stressful and nerve-racking, it is always worth it in the end.
Here are some things I’ve learned.
1.Buy your baby or tot a seat! Children under the age of two fly for free. Up until this last trip, we always traveled with Blake on our laps. That works if their are two adults plus baby. When I am traveling with Blake by myself, I learned that I need that extra seat for space alone! I’ve flown with Blake many times alone, with him on my lap. I was so squished, it was claustrophobic. I literally couldn’t move to get out his treats or bottle from the diaper bag under my seat, because the person sitting in the next seat was right on top of us. Also, other passengers may ooh and ahh over your cute baby, but not one wants to sit next to a mom and baby. Last week, we finally bought Blake a ticket for the first time. While it is an expense, it was well worth it and made our trip A LOT easier!
2. There is NO consistency with the TSA…this next one really irritates me! As all of you regular travelers know…there is absolutely NO common sense when it comes to TSA agents and security AND there is NO consistency! Believe me, I want agents to be thorough and do everything they can to prevent another 9-11, but from my experience, that is NOT what they are doing.When I departed from airport 1, there were no hassles. I had some yogurt for Blake that was unopened. They scanned it. No big deal and we were done. Five days later when we left to come home from airport 2, I had the another unopened yogurt for Blake. That send these particular agents at airport 2 into a tailspin. Blake and I and our stroller were sent to a roped off area. I was patted down by an agent, all over my body, while my son watched in horror. SERIOUSLY! Use common sense! I’m sorry but I believe in profiling…Not racial profiling…just creepy suspicious people profiling. While they were patting me down( a mom with a Gerber yogurt! )someone truly dangerous could have passed through security. It is just ridiculous! My advice…drink wine when you land!
3. Don’t over pack your diaper bag! I’ve been guilty of this last tip…that’s how I learned to knock it off! I’m always a nervous wreck when I travel alone with Blake….what if the plane crashes…what if he throws a tantrum and won’t calm down…what if it is a really turbulent ride. That’s why I used to stuff as many books, snacks, etc into the diaper bag as possible. That only made my trip MUCH harder. Back in November, I tried to carry my 26 lbs son and a 20 lbs diaper bag by myself (once they take the stroller away at the gate, remember you have to carry everything including your tot!) I finally realized…I’m not going to a third world country, I can pick things up along the way. This time, I only brought three books, two baggies of snacks and two empty sippy cups. It all worked out much better than before.
Even following all these tips, I’m still stressed to the max when I travel alone with Blake. I can’t even really get excited about our destination until we land. It’s all worth it, though! Here’s some pictures that prove, in this case, it IS the destination, not the journey!
My brother Chris and Blake. They coincidentally dressed alike one day!
My mom and I playing with Blake on the beach.
Blake and Aunt Cassie swinging!
What are your travel tips when flying with little ones? Have you had any ridiculous TSA experiences? Do share!