I have been fortunate enough to go on many trips with my now 17-month-old. We took our first flight with Addie when she was just 4-months-old. Since then we have been on many other trips. This even includes 8 flights in two months between November and December. Through our many travels together, I have figured out some must-haves that have made our life much easier on the road (or in the air).
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These headphones are fantastic! I wasn’t sure that they would be suitable for a 1-year-old but they worked out great. I really like the fact that they are wireless. So we didn’t have to worry about Adeline getting tangled up and choking herself. They also do not get very loud, which is important for young ears. We load a few Sesame Street episodes onto an iPad and have perfect entertainment for our daughter, without bothering the other travelers.
I get asked all the time what car seat we travel with. This is easily the best one that I have found. It is very lightweight, so I can maneuver it around an airport with ease. Another major selling point is that it is very inexpensive. Many things can happen to a car seat while traveling, so I am glad I don’t have to worry about replacing something expensive. The Cosco car seat is very basic, but I still feel safe putting Addie in it, both on a plane ride and in a rental car at our destination. I always buy Addie a seat on our flights so that she can sit in her car seat. This not only keeps Addie safe on the journey but protects the car seat from being banged around with the luggage.
Carrying a car seat around an airport is not the easiest thing to do while traveling with a toddler. My husband, Colin, found this luggage cart and it has made a world of difference. The Cosco car seat fits perfectly on it, and the attached bungee cords make sure it stays securely on the cart. I often put a backpack in the car seat and bungee the whole thing to the luggage cart. Then I only have to carry my toddler on my back. This cart has helped me travel across the country by myself with my daughter. It also collapses down small so that you can stow it under the seat in front of you without taking up your precious leg room! If you are planning on carrying a car seat on the plane with you, this cart is a must-have.
I don’t always travel with a stroller, but when I do, I make sure I bring this stroller. I tried flying with our regular stroller when Addie was an infant. It was large and cumbersome and ended up getting damaged when we tried to squeeze it in my brother’s car with all of our luggage. Now that Addie is a toddler, I much prefer the ease of a light-weight umbrella stroller. This one folds down into a compact size and comes with a carrying case and strap. I am able to throw it over my shoulder while still carrying Addie in the Tula carrier and dragging her car seat along on the luggage cart. It is also fairly inexpensive compared to our full-size stroller, so I am not as worried about it on long flights.
If you decide that you don’t want to purchase another stroller just for traveling, I highly recommend getting a red gate check bag. Gate checking your stroller doesn’t guarantee it’s safety. The luggage haul of a plane is grimy, dirty, and full of sharp objects. When I looked at our gate check bag after our first flight, it was full of holes and grease stains. I was so happy that this cheap bag bore the brunt of the abuse and not our expensive stroller! These bags fit a stroller perfectly and are much more durable than a garbage bag. I recommend getting one of these instead of trying to wing-it with something homemade.
My breastfeeding days are over, but when Addie was a baby I had a very hard time nursing outside of the house. I soon realized it was because I was reliant on my Brest Friend pillow. But I couldn’t really carry around a giant foam pillow with me wherever I went. That is when I discovered the Travel Breast Feeding Pillow. With the same design as my regular pillow, this inflatable pillow folds down to fit in my diaper bag. I could blow it up very quickly and feed Addie whenever she needed no matter where I was. I even took it on the plane with me and had no trouble setting it up or using it in the tiny airplane seats. If you’re breastfeeding a baby, look into this as an option to help take your breastfeeding on the go.
For more tips on flying with a toddler check out my posts here.
What are your flying must-haves? I’d love to hear your comments below. Also, don’t forget to share this post with friends who may be traveling as well. Use the buttons to the left.