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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tongginator's 4 Travel Tips

The Tongginator is a well traveled gal, y'all. She's flown across the country coast-to-coast eight times, taken quick trips around the Mid-Atlantic and caught an airplane to Chicago and back, not to mention our 27 hour travel day from China to her forever home. Not bad for a four-year-old!

I know this may surprise some of you, but the Tongginator is an absolute angel when we travel. I'm not exactly sure why this is, as we all know our Tongginator has her own distinct personality. But, goodness, do people love to sit near her on an airplane. She is charming, well-behaved and truly makes for an enjoyable travel companion. She also provides plenty of comedic relief for weary travelers.

Perhaps it's because we started parenthood traveling, but the Husband and I also find it easy to catch a plane with the Tongginator in tow. We do lots of prep work, of course, and perhaps that is what makes travel days so enjoyable bearable.

Everyone pretty much knows to bring lots of snacks and toys, but here are four of our more unusual tips for traveling with children by airplane:

1. Consider purchasing a seat for your baby or toddler so that he or she may ride in a car seat, which the FAA highly recommends. If you instead plan to purchase a lap ticket for your baby or toddler (as we always did), check out our favorite lap restraint option: the Baby B'Air. If your child is between 22 and 44 pounds, definitely check out the CARES restraint system. We've used both of these products with the Tongginator and we love them.

The Tongginator wearing her Baby B'Air at 12 months; with her CARES restraint last week.

2. If you plan to nurse a baby while on the plane, consider packing two diaper pins and a small, lightweight blanket so that you can pin the blanket to your seat and the seat in front of you - it makes for a great privacy screen in a pinch.

3. Airplane bathrooms are gross, y'all. If you have an infant or toddler, consider bringing a modified shower curtain liner for diaper changes. If you have a preschool-aged child, check out these folding portable potty seats (store it inside a gallon Ziploc bag to contain germs). You should also pack a complete change of clothes for your child, just in case, and plenty of baby wipes and/or flushable wipes.

4. No matter the age of your child, bring along scented diaper trash bags and hand wipes. You can use the trash bags in a myriad of ways, including the obvious dirty diapers. If a child feels airsick, the scented trash bag seems a better option than an airline-provided paper bag. Also, you can store clothes in a bag if any type of accident occurs (bathroom or otherwise). They also make great trash bags if you tuck one corner into the seat pocket in front of you. Then you can pass it along to the flight attendant when they make trash rounds (although they will never take your dirty diapers, y'all, and I don't blame them).

These four tips for airline travel work for us with our little Tongginator. What works for you?


The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino said...

Great tips!!! I'll have to remember these next time we fly.

Dawn said...

Those are some great tips. I can't agree more about the gross airplane bathrooms. When we went to and from China I couldn't believe how disgusting the bathrooms were. Unfortunately, being on an airplane for 13 hours with three kids, I had to visit those flying outhouses numerous times.

Peanut said...

Great tips! I especially liked the idea for a privacy curtain for nursing. Nothing like having two 13-year-old boys sitting at just the right peeping angle to make a nursing mommy feel self-conscious (true story)! And my kids both seemed to want to nurse the entire flight...every time!

Sarah W. said...

Great tips!!! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the great ideas.

Jenny said...

Great tips!!! I appreciate this so much as we are preparing to travel to Korea to bring home our first child. Hopefully your ideas will make some of the 14 hours in the air easier.

discombobulated said...