This post is Part 2 of my travel series: Traveling with a Baby!
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
Below are ten tips that I have learned while traveling with my daughter. Most of them are common sense but after you have a kid you lose a lot of brain cells!
1) Don’t be nervous-your child can sense it! Stop and take a deep breath.
2) Don’t overpack! I know, I know-easier said than done, I finally learned my lesson. If you have access to a washer/dryer I’m telling you right now, take out half of the clothes you packed.
3) Feel prepared: I make my crazy travel excel spreadsheet weeks in advance; you don’t realize how much crap you need. Packing last minute would personally cause me major anxiety!
4) Check with your airline to see what documentation is needed for your child to fly and if they offer family boarding. I called my airline and was told “nothing” was required under 2 years old. When I got to the ticket counter I was told I needed at least an immunization record or birth certificate with the date of birth on it.
5) Check TSA’s website for tips: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/index.shtm
I have traveled with a cooler full of pumped milk/frozen milk, formula, baby food, snacks, every airport is different so roll with the punches. Wear comfy easy on/off shoes. Makes life easier going through security when you’re nervous and trying to gather everything and hold your child.
6) Check your flight status and get there at a decent time. Don’t get there TOO early (another story for another time), and not get there so late you are rushing around.
7) You can NOT Curbside Check in with an un-ticketed child traveling under the age of 2. You need to see an agent inside who will issue you a boarding verification pass to get through security. If you had an issued ticket for your child, then you can but need to provide birth certificate.
8) Try to get a window seat for added room, control the window and/or distract by looking out of the window.
9) Trim fingernails. I learned my lesson when my daughter was 9 months old and I had claw marks on my neck and arms from her brittle nails and trying to get her to sit still.
10) Drug your child. Joking…well kind of. My doctor actually suggests giving a dose of Baby Tylenol half hour prior to traveling to help alleviate any pain due to cabin pressure. Benedryl wasn’t an option since it has the reverse effects on her-and yes I considered it (don’t judge).
Don’t forget, you can always ask for help if you need it. Security will help you put your stroller on the conveyor belt and a nice stranger who is gawking at your pretty baby would be happy to get your bags down from the overhead compartment if you are in need of an extra hand. Lastly, don’t forget to pray to the travel gods that you don’t have that kid on the plane everyone is rolling their eyes at for the entire flight.
View Part 3: How I Keep My Child Entertained On A Flight