The end of summer is almost here and I am sure many of you are about to take a trip before the temperatures start to drop! But you have a million questions because traveling with a small child is all new to you!
Can you take your stroller?
How is your child going to go through security?
Will my baby’s milk be thrown away?
And the list goes on!
First of all, I promise, it is going to be okay! Take a breath and know that your vacation is going to be amazing. Your child is resilient and adaptable to whatever life throws their way!
If you are worried about your child going through security, don’t be! Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has developed modified screening procedures for children who appear to be 12 years old and younger. They have children the same age as yours going through their checkpoint everyday, if not every hour.
The officers may seem intimidating at first, but if you have questions, ASK! They are there to help you get through security as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I do have a few tips and tricks that I have learned throughout my travels though and I hope these help you while you plan your next trip!
You Can Take Snacks
One thing I have noticed that a lot of people don’t think about when they are taking a trip is you cannot take liquids onto a plane unless it is 3.4oz or smaller and the containers have to fit in a quart size zip lock bag! If you don’t want to buy expensive drinks from the airport shops, I recommend bringing an empty water bottle or sippy cup and filling it up at a water fountain after you make it through security. Some airports even have bottle fillers now!
When you are traveling with a small child, snacks are a must! Luckily, you can take any food you want with you! Formula, milk and juice are also permitted for infants and toddlers, but you need to inform the TSA officer if the liquid is in excess of 3.4oz. Also, keep in mind that these items will need to be taken out of your carry on bag and screened separately.
Take Advantage of Pre-Boarding
Another perk that you receive when traveling with a small child, is you get to board the airplane before anybody else! When they are starting the boarding process the gate agent will make an announcement about pre-boarding, welcoming anyone needing assistance or additional time to board and this includes families with car seats or strollers.
Taking advantage of pre-boarding will guarantee that your carry ons are stowed in the overhead bins nearest your seats and if you are flying with a company that lets you choose your seats as you board, this will insure that all of your seats are together.
BTW. My husband wanted me to remind you to take your snacks out of your stroller so they don't accidentally fall out when being put underneath the plane and treat your strollers and car seats like you would your regular luggage. We don't want you to waste precious travel time on the jet bridge trying to figure out which stroller is yours when someone else brought the same one!
As cliche as this concept may seem, babies always seem to come with extra luggage. They need changes of clothes in case of accidents, diapers, wipes, toys, and the list goes on. I encourage you to pack as light as possible because you are going to have to carry all of those “necessities” throughout the airport!
You are allowed to take a carry on bag and one small personal item per person through most airlines, but you may not really need all of those things for your trip. I try to limit my luggage to two bags or less because I only have that many hands! I get overwhelmed if I have anymore.
My husband and I took six suitcases once when we were moving and that was a nightmare. I can hardly imagine what it would be like if we had a stroller, car seat and all the other baby necessities with us.
If you have a child who is old enough to carry a backpack, you could try letting them pack their toys in that. You could even turn this into a lesson of responsibility by letting them pack their own toys and letting them know that they will be the one carrying it at the airport. Obviously, you will make sure they don’t leave the backpack of their precious belongings anywhere, but it might also help keep the number of things they want to bring down if they know they only have so much space.
Ask For Help
I don’t have any children, but I do fly a lot and I see parents struggling with #allthethings every single time. Try your best not to panic! I have heard from a lot of parents that traveling with their children was a lot simpler than it seemed! Just make sure you pack as light as possible, do your research and give yourself plenty of time. I promise, you will be just fine!
Most of my experience is through Delta Airlines, but if you have any specific questions, I would be more than happy to answer them! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the button below to fill out my contact form!
BTW! Did you know that I am available to take your family photos while you travel anywhere in the United States? Most of the time, I come back from vacation without photos of both me and my husband in them because we are taking pictures of each other or they are low quality cell phone snapshots that a fellow tourist took! These are great, but sometimes, high quality photographs are a perfect way to remember your travels!