If there was ever a 10 month old that knew how to travel economically, LJ’s got ’em beat. Its not easy to pack & travel with a baby, but its not as hard as you think. You just need a strategy!! We just spent 5 glorious days on the sunny sandy beaches in New Smyrna Beach Florida with LJ’s Mimi, Papa and Auntie Roo Roo, and here’s how we got it all from JFK to MCO and back…
In the airport, you are allowed to carry on a diaper bag for the baby IN ADDITION to your own personal carry on and personal item. That’s 3 bags! Use them all! This is how we did it. LJ, in Ergo Carrier on me. BOB Revolution with a Mommy Hook, with diaper bag/mommy’s purse, and 1 large LLBean bag. We checked 1 suitcase for baby+mama’s clothes. This meant that I could bring one more bag on the way home, in case we did some shopping (which we did!) When you get to the airport, take out your credit card, license and boarding pass and keep those in the zippered pocket on your carrier. Push your carry-ons on the stroller, right through security. You have to get everything up on the security belt BEFORE removing the baby (and baby’s shoes which is insane) and then take off carrier, put it on the belt, and carry your baby through the metal detector.
What about the liquids? You CAN carry breastmilk, formula, water, yogurt, applesauce, ANYTHING you need for the baby right on to the plane. You just need to have it out and let them test it. We bought these cool Similac Powder packs that work like Crystal Light. Its easy to find bottled water whenever we needed it, and I didn’t need to bring an ice pack. VERY easy.
In our diaper bag (which isn’t a diaper bag at all, but just a nice tote that I love), we also carry a toddler spoon, a pack of Table Toppers, a small Ziploc of Plum Organics Super Puffs, and our SkipHop Pronto changing pad. As soon as you get on the plane, put a Table Topper on your tray table. Less germs.
We gate-checked our stroller. Our BOB Revolution was amazing on the beach. We loaded it up with the beach chairs and cooler, and spent the whole day in the sun. We brought a Baby Beach Tent, so we had somewhere to change her while we were down on the beach, if she needed it. We also used the BOB for all beach naps.
Some final baby travel tips:
+ Make sure you only bring what you absolutely need on the plane. With the extra charges these days for checked luggage, its not worth packing what you can just buy! This includes diapers, wipes and formula.
+ If renting a car, consider renting a car seat as well. This is a personal choice that we made, but since we weren’t going to be doing a ton of driving once we got to our resort, we felt comfortable renting a car seat rather than schlepping our Britax Marathon. We ended up with a really clean Evenflo that was just perfect for the week.
+ Ask before you go about travel cribs or pack ‘n plays. Most hotels and resorts have them available. We have a KidCo Peapod that we’ve been using since LJ was 1 month old, and its super light and easy to throw in a carry on. I do have to pack a sheet for it though.