Travel With an Infant or Toddler 101: On an Airplane

Travel With an Infant or Toddler 101: On an Airplane

If you had told me 2 years ago that I would be an expert at traveling with a baby/ toddler in tow, I would not have believed you. Fast forward to two years later, and my family and I have traveled on various occasions both domestically and internationally with our daughter, now only 19 months old. Truth be told, this is not because we necessarily wanted to, but we had to. Once courtship is over, the traditional sequence of things is that you get married and then you start having kids.

If you are fortunate or plan well, you will get to do some traveling before you start having kids. But, what happens after you have kids? Should you stop traveling all My answer is of course not. Short of hiring a traveling nanny, the only viable options some have are:

a) Don’t travel at all (wait until the kids move out and ship out)
b) Make sure all future vacations involve Mickey Mouse or other fictional character
A fortunate few also have this as an option:
c) Call mom, a grandparent or other family member to visit with the kids while the parents (you and spouse) go on a trip.

But what if you don’t have any family around, the next best thing is:

d) Saddle up the little one(s) and take them with you!

Here are some tips that will make your next trip with the baby so much easier (It does not have to be an oxymoron).

Buy the Ticket

If traveling by plane, make sure to tell the airline carrier that you will be traveling with an infant or toddler. Domestic flights to the continental United States will not cost anything extra for children less than 2 years old not using a seat. This is called “infant in arms”. However, if you chose to put your child in a car seat during travel (which would occupy a passenger seat), you have to pay the full adult fare. If traveling internationally, be prepared to pay 10% of the adult fare for the infant/toddler’s seat even though they will be seated in your lap.

If you are uncomfortable about the security of traveling with your little one in your lap during the flight, then ask the flight attendant for a lab belt attachment. Some air line carriers have this seat belt attachment available which connects to the standard adult seat belt.

Bring the Necessary Documents

When traveling with your little one, be sure to pack your child’s birth certificate. It is also a good idea to get the document laminated to keep it clean. If you are traveling internationally, make sure that you have your child’s passport. It does not matter if you are traveling with an infant, as long as you are traveling outside of the United States, all parties involved should have passports.

Pack Early

Even if you have prepared a list it is still possible to forget items if you don’t start packing early. A list is no use if it does not have the items that you need. Travel jitters, fatigue and the overall excitement of the trip can all impede the best intentions to have a well executed list. TWBT (Traveling with a baby or toddler) can make things 10 tens more difficult. But, the easiest thing that you can do is start packing early. Pack the baby’s things first.