Summer’s approaching and many of us are thinking about a trip. I have sweet nostalgic feelings towards those of my youth. Probably the sepia tinted memories are better than reality, but I don’t care… I wanna hit the road. But this summer that road must included the not-so-friendly skies as our destination. a family wedding on another coast, is too far to drive. This raises the question, if you have limited space to pack (versus a car trip) what do you bring? I’m really hoping those that have blazed this trail before us will leave some advice in the comments!
Baby Center (babycenter.com) has a good checklist for travel with toddlers. Are you a list person? Some people are and some aren’t. I’d probably leave my head at home without one. Their list includes: Diapers, wipes, pad to put under your toddler during diaper changes, blanket (I’m pretty sure mine would not sleep without hers), plastic bags (even as a business traveler I carried several zip-locks for soiled/wet items… which are more abundant with kiddos), disinfectant hand gel, tissues, toys and books (some new ones as well as fav’s), your child’s lovey (can you imagine forgetting this?)…
But wait, there’s more:
…and the list continues: clothes, socks, and shoes, bathing suit, washable bibs (I know I’d have forgotten this), sun hat and sunscreen, sippy cups, lightweight plastic feeding set with utensils, portable highchair, snack food (no food on most flights now), nightlight or sound-soother (if you use at home), pain reliever and supplies for treating minor injuries, laundry soap for hand-washing, socket protectors, portable crib or play yard, car seat for travel by car or plane (more on this in a moment), collapsible stroller. Seems like a lot doesn’t it? But I’ll be you’ve thought of something they left off?
Car Seat Dilemma:
On the subject of car-seats, I’m strongly in favor of bringing your own with you to use in rental cars, etc… but it does raise the question about use on the plane. On our last air trip with our then 27 month old we had four flights total, and I used the car seat on all of them. Lugging that car-seat through airports, and worst still, installing and uninstalling that big thing on each plane was a huge pain. I’m wondering now if it’s worth it. That said, I want my little girl to be safe and I’m going to take the seat anyway whether I check it or not. What do you think?
They say that flying is much safer statistically than driving, but is the convenience of checking the seat worth the added risk (how ever tiny) of not using it on the plane? I put this question to my friends on Twitter and roughly 95% said they check their car seat. A few still have lap age children and take the money savings of not buying an added seat and run. And about 5% did what I did last time and used their regular car-seat on the plane. One made a suggestion I’d not heard of. It’s a special restraint system that she rented (and it can be purchased at many retailers).
I’m not promoting this system, as I’ve not used it (at least not yet, but I’m thinking about it). I does however seem like a good middle ground. And as one parent pointed out, the reason she used a car seat was less to do with safety and more to do with keeping her toddler put in his airplane seat. I’d love your input on both the car seat question and also on adding to my list of things one should consider packing when traveling with younger kids. I know I’ll forget something important and either have to buy it there… or deal with the melt-down for forgetting some favorite item.
What is Your Advice?
If you don’t already, I’d love to have you follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Leave me a comment and let me know and I’ll be sure to follow you back. Thank you for your help with any travel tips you have to offer me and my readers… and I wish you and your family a very safe and happy summer!