A recent study shows that 74% of women find vacation planning stressful… but I am sure if they polled only mothers, it would be 100%! I love to travel, I used to be in that 26% of women who looked forward to vacation planning- new adventures, exotic foods, and just getting away… but that all changed post baby.
Traveling with Ms. P is a hassle. So far (fingers crossed) she has done just fine, but I can’t help but get anxious the moment we step into the airport. Between the car seat, stroller, all her stuff (in sizes that don’t comply with the TSA 3.4oz requirements- requiring a checked bag), and of course P, just getting through check-in and security makes me want to beeline towards the airport bar.
Then of course there is the plane ride… a set amount of time where I am supposed to be a super -star parent to a super-star baby that doesn’t cry, whine, or annoy anyone. Time seems to stand still, and every flight (no matter the length) is way too long! And although we are incident free so far, we have our longest travel plans to date on the horizon. Just writing about it… I start to feel my blood pressure rise.
So, I am not going to say I am a pro at this… but I have come up with a few techniques that have made our travels as a family easier.
1. If you can, buy the seat for baby. **I know that this isn’t ideal for most, and we have definitely taken advantage of the “Kids under 2 fly FREE”, but man- if I had the finances to get the seat or use miles, I would do it in a heartbeat. It just makes life so much easier to not have a stranger sitting with you- for you, and for them!
2. Always, always, always pack extra everything! Food, diapers, clothing (for you and baby), and toys. When you don’t have it… you will need it. Guaranteed! I will never forget the flight to Hawaii we took, where I sat for over 5 hours in a puke stained shirt-because I didn’t think to bring extra clothes for me. Terrible!
3. Know the rules! Unfortunately, some airline employees are not up to speed as to what the REAL regulations are for 1. Breastfeeding Moms 2. Traveling with a lap child or 3. Traveling with Milk/Milk Storage
You would be surprised as to some of the crazy things I have been told are TSA polices when traveling, just to hear something completely different from the next flight attendant or TSA employee. Know the rules- so you feel confident to stand up for yourself and your family! Here is a great resource: https://www.tsa.gov/node/1947
If you do find yourself at 30,000 feet listening to a wailing baby, or see a woman crying over her FROZEN breast milk being confiscated by TSA, or hear a flight attendant telling a nursing mom to stop… have empathy! And if she is a blonde, with a daughter named Pepper…say hello 🙂