Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Note for Traveling Mamas

So for most of you that know me, you know that we travel a LOT. It's a privilege, but sometimes? Ooooh boy it feels like a curse :-)

Since Drew started sitting in the big kid car seat (in our house, that's the Britax Marathon which we love love love) I knew that extended airplane travel could really be a huge pain in the ...

We used to do this with the little bucket seat...
Super cute kid on the airplane
Drag it onboard when we could get an extra seat, strap it in and VOILA. I mean, the thing had a handle... how EASY is that?

But this thing?

No handle. And not really easy to get on board the airplane when you are also carrying a child and a huge diaper bag. For short trips? We probably don't need it on the plane. For 5 plus hours? Oh HELL YES we need it. This kid weighs 24 pounds. And refuses to nap on me. And if there is an extra seat...

So, I tried a case for it... with backpack straps on it. The J L Childress Car Seat Carrier thingy...

And I was STOKED. I thought, this is going to be great! I have backpack straps, I can still push the stroller, carry the diaper bag, etc. WOOHOO. My life is easy.

Yeah, not so much. Because while this thing is great if you are carrying the seat to the counter and then checking it... what they don't tell you is that with the stupid bag on, the car seat doesn't fit through x-ray. And no, it wasn't just Oakland airport's ghetto security. It didn't fit in San Diego's either.

And then, it didn't fit down the aisle of the plane unless I had it up high enough not to bludgeon any passengers with it. Yeah, do that with a kid attached to you and see how well it goes.

But this was our trial run.

I took the short hop down to San Diego with all of this stuff with the sole purpose of trying all of this out, in preparation for our big trip back east. I figured, if I could survive a short trip to SD, I could make it to BWI relatively unscathed.

So yeah, the bag thingy? BACK IT WENT to Thank god they have an amazing returns department.

Now a ton of people have told me to buy the GoGoBabyz stroller wheels thingy. (Do you like how they are all thingys to me? Professional evaluator over here for SURE.) For me, that isn't the answer. And before you try to convince me otherwise, let me explain why. Well, let me show you why first.

I pray at the altar of the Bob Revolution.

If you haven't traveled with it, you have not TRAVELED. It fits through the xray machine (unlike the stupid JL bag), it can be pushed with one hand, while wearing a child in the Ergo, while stuffed with a HUGE diaper bag and a car seat, and while you are dragging a HUGE wheeled suitcase. Yes, I look like a homeless person who has all of their belongings in a grocery cart, but it is SO worth it. And, once you check the wheeled bag, you are GOLDEN for getting through security. It's amazingly easy.

So I don't travel without the Bob. And for those of you who are like, holy crap that thing is HUGE! Why would you bring it???

It rolls like a dream.

I could never push one of those snap n go strollers through the airport while dragging everything else with me. It just doesn't cut it. And this thing can take a beating. I usually get down the end of the jetway, with people eying me uncomfortably like they should help me with my huge carseat/diaper bag/child AND the massive stroller. And I look them in the eye, grab the red handles and flip that sucker closed in a snap. And they are like... WHOA...

That's right people. The Bob ROCKS.

But back to the carseat issue.

So after the TERRIBLE trip down and back to San Diego with that stupid bag on my car seat... I had an epiphany.

Get Simple.
Pared Down.
Lose all of the accouterments. (I had NO idea that's how you spelled that btw. Thank you spell check)

Did you know that if you loosen up the straps on the marathon, you can wear it like a backpack? I tried it the other day and it WORKS! And it's easy, and light (ish) and fairly maneuverable! It will get a little dirty going through xray. And probably if we have to gate check it at the last minute. But I think it will be ok.

And so this is how we will go through security. Carseat on back. Child in Ergo. Stroller holding diaper bag. Wheeled suitcase has been checked at the front.

Thank you Ma'am.

So I promise to post pictures of what I look like with all of my stuff... because you will LAUGH. But it works.

I just don't want to think about what will happen when there is a second kid to worry about.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We also travel A LOT. Thomas was on his first airplane the day he turned 1 month old, and he had a passport for Costa Rica at 4 months old. I always just wheeled the infant carseat stroller (Graco for us) to the door, gate checked the stroller and the baby lap sat if there were no extra seats (we're also cheap). I never needed anything extra. I used the Maclaren volo after he was 4 months old, and that is the best stroller ever!
Travelling with 2 varies so much! We travelled last month with a 3.5 year old and a 3 month old. I used the go go thing for my britex for the 3 year old, and we checked it curbside, but it helped a lot just negotiating the airport both ways. Then I did the carseat stroller thing (and the carseat clogged up the x-ray much to the long line behind us' dismay!). Needless to say, we will not be travelling as much with 2 even though our first child went on 18 flights by the time he turned a year old!

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