Advice Please! (Part Deux)

Here I am, looking for tips and tricks from my blog friends again! And, again, it has to do with traveling.

We are taking McLovin on his first “vacation” – vacation for him and The Husband, but a work trip for me. They are accompanying me this time as The Husband has family and friends in the area where we the conference is being held. So McLovin is taking his first plane ride and having his first hotel stay experience!

Naturally I am stressed as this involves insuring proper sleeping arrangements, renting a car, traveling with the car seat and stroller, flying with him (and hoping he has a good experience on the plane), navigating the airport and a different city while toting The Husband and a toddler (because, I don’t know about anyone else’s partner, but my husband needs me to tell him where to go and what to do when we travel.)

So, any tips and tricks on how to do this without losing my sanity and insuring McLovin’s needs are being met? I think I am most nervous about HOW MUCH we have to bring on the plane and dragging it all through the airports – namely car seat and stroller as they are bulky, along with The Husband’s golf clubs 🙄 – and trying to keep McLovin on the semblance of a “routine” while also trying to enjoy warmer weather and a faux-vacation (faux-cation?) during my down time.

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17 Responses to Advice Please! (Part Deux)

  1. Mamalife says:

    Reach out MyPerfectBreakdown.. myperfectbreakdown.com

    They are pros at this and just came back from another awesome vacation 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sbach1222 says:

    I second Mamalife….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lyra211 says:

    We have done at least four (maybe more?) airplane trips with S and are preparing to do another one next week. Here are my top few travel tips:
    1) Flights. To set yourself up for success, fly direct whenever possible and avoid naptimes whenever possible. If you can afford it, buy the extra seat even if you don’t have to. It’s safer and much easier to keep everyone happy if kiddo can have his own space.
    2) The Cosco Scenera car seat is cheap ($40), very safe, and extremely light — SO much easier to travel with than a standard car seat! Easily buckles into an airplane seat.
    3) For the airplane: snacks, snacks, and more snacks. A roll of tape. New stickers. A couple of small new toys. Practice with headphones ahead of time, since they won’t let you play ipad videos without.
    4) Call ahead to the hotel and ask if they have a pack ‘n’ play or equivalent — most do, and then you won’t have to lug yours. But bring your own sheets. One hotel we were in tried to put a standard twin sheet inside the travel crib when our son was like 7 months old — holy SIDS risk, Batman!
    5) Dealing with baby sleep in a hotel sucks. If you can, ask for a hotel room near a lounge area where you can sit with the monitor while kiddo sleeps. Or get a suite. Anything to avoid the dreaded attempt at silence and lightlessness for the hours between kiddo bedtime and your bedtime. Some academic mamas I know put the travel crib in the bathroom or closet to create an isolated sleeping space for kiddos who aren’t used to sleeping in the same room as mama and dada and need a more distractionless environment. We usually just bring our video monitor, set it up in the room, and then alternate shifts sitting in the hall outside our hotel room while the other hangs out in the more comfortable lobby. This is after we’ve all done PJs and teeth at the same time that we put our son to bed. At our bedtime, we sneak in silently in the dark, and we haven’t woken kiddo up yet!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do have a direct flight, unfortunately I didn’t think to buy the extra seat and have McLovin as a lap child now. I might just go get the Cosco and I purchased a padded car seat bag for the flight, so I’m hoping that keeps it clean and safe if it gets checked – some people have said they had success bringing the car seat in the cabin if there were empty seats, they weren’t forced to gate check it. Ugh.
      What is the roll of tape for on the plane??
      McLovin sleeps in his own room now so I am definitely worried about noise/light/distractions with him. I’ll have to see if the crib fits in the bathroom or something like that. I didn’t think of that but it’s a good idea! Thanks for mentioning it.

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  4. Carset can be checked, but you need a bag- they get dirty. We have a $40 Cosco one for travel; they’re all manufactured to the same safety standards. (I’ve looked at accident statistics and let’s be real- it’s much safer than driving. If you do bring a carseat for the plane, you probably know this but it has to be on a TSA approved list for plane travel. Those carseat hauler frames are essential in that case – those darn things are heavy!

    Pack and play usually fits nicely in the bathroom, which is also dark.

    My toddlers never sleep on planes, though YMMV, so brace yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just ordered a padded car seat bag for the plane – thank goodness for Amazon Prime! And definitely looking into the Cosco as a spare and for travel, it seems to be very popular based on the comments I’m getting here and from other friends.
      I don’t mind if he doesn’t sleep, as long as he doesn’t scream and cry. I just hope he’s manageable and he isn’t too big a bother to other passengers! Lucky for me he’s pretty cute and personable so I hope it goes well.

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  5. Mindy Lauren says:

    Try the company Baby’s Away. They are located near many cities in USA. You can rent baby gear, car seat included. They will also come and install/set up anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy says:

    I would also check the car seat— no need to cart it around and your likelihood of being allowed to take it on without a seat are minimal. We also try to minimize our carry on luggage so that one person can manage it and the other can chase after the kid (because let’s face it– it will need to be done). We also have one of us board early in family boarding to put our bags away right by our seat, while the other boards last with the kid, so he can run around for as long as possible. Re: hotel room, we often try to get one with a balcony so we can sit out there once little one is down, if there is no alcove/bathroom to tuck the crib into. We bring a white noise app for our ipad so that helps muffle out the sounds of us moving around. Also suggest bringing his own sheet and any toys he sleeps with and putting them in the pack and play– makes it feel more familiar. For the flight– lots of little bags of snacks, toddler headphones, some new toys, playdough, and books. And actual food your kid will eat– since you never know what is going to come with the kiddy meal. Finally if you still wear your toddler at all, a baby carrier is great. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard mixed reviews about checking the car seat – some have said to gate check it as there is less handling involved and less chance of damage. But you’re right, it is very bulky and annoying to lug around! White noise is a must that I forgot about – thanks for the reminder!

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  7. so i agree with everuthing said so far so I’m in just going to touch on things people haven’t already said. I’m on my phone so I’ll apologize now for the typos.
    1. i actually dont mind non direct flights. at the airport find the children’s play area and let your kid play and burn off energry. gate check your stroller because there are times that it helps (like security) but when your in the airport let the move around and walk as much as possible.
    2. do you still use carriers? I have heard great things with using a carrier on the flight if it helps your kid sleep so you can have your hands free. honestly after about 3 month old i haven’t used mine as I found it too bulky and Little MPB hated it on a flight.
    3.gate check your car seat. it way less likely to get lost by the airport if you gate check it. buy one of the car seat specific wheel things. they are amazing!!!
    4. people say bring lots of new toys on the flight. this has never helped us for more then 30 seconds of entertainment so far so don’t bother yet as they just take us valuable luggage space. maybe when they are a bit older.
    5. walk on the plane when the seatbelt sign is off! on our flight to Iceland little MPB and I walked 2 km back and forth. people were very understanding and high fived him as he passed. (oddly on short flights people aren’t as nice).
    6. sleep. our pediatrician told us to use melatonin for little MPB to help him sleep while travelling since he doesn’t sleep when we aren’t at homs. best advice we’ve ever been given!! if you want more info on this let me know.
    7. pack n plays. our kid doesn’t seem to sleep in them any more. do what you need to do to sleep, this is always the hardest part of travel for us. hence the melatonin.
    8. do not run out of baby food snacks ever!!! this is critical for little MPB!
    9. I echo the car seat on the plane is way easier but I understand it’s not always an option.
    10. tablets. use one!!!! once little MPB got the hang of watching a tablet this keeps everyone on the plane sane. we don’t use headphones yet because he just pulls them off. but he’s happy to watch the screen with the volume pretty low as to not bother others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh and find the family bathrooms in the airport. they are so much easier and comfortable for diaper changes and such!

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is a lot of good information! McLovin doesn’t seem too interested in tablets yet, he likes to FaceTime for about 2 minutes before he wants to move on to the next. So I’m not sure if that will help us but I did get him some headphones so maybe, with nothing else to do, he’ll enjoy it for a while.
      The hotel has a full size crib so I am hoping there is somewhere we can place it “out of the way” and with quiet/dark for him and limit distractions.
      So much to think about! I think I have a good idea of what I need to do now, but I am always worried I’ll forget something so I have about 3 different checklists going – work items, non-work items, and McLovin items! The Husband is on his own to pack lol.

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  8. RJ says:

    All of the above suggestions are great. I suggest checking everything even though it’s expensive because it’s way easier to chase your toddler around. I also prefer the cheap $20 umbrella stroller for trips bc it doesn’t matter if it gets messed up or lost when gate checked. We never had any issues checking our car seat (and you can check them for free…yay). And if you’re still nursing don’t be shy about doing that on the plane…good distraction and comforting. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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