Author Topic: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)  (Read 1874 times)

jeromedawg

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Hey guys,

For those of you savvy travelers with two or more kids, how do you do it and deal with carseats, strollers, luggage, etc? I just got Southwest tickets to Hawaii in August since they were doing what appears to have been a promotional fire sale to get the word out. Ended up grabbing tickets for all four of us (unfortunately both kids are going to be over 2) for $868~ after taxes, which seems like a steal. There's an assumed island hop though as we are flying into HNL and then flying back from OGG, so that'll add a little but I wanted to do something different.

Anyway, the older one (who will be 4 by that point) has been to Hawaii and *should* be ok on the plane. We hauled one of those Cosco Sceneras with us along with our trusty GB Pockit which we love. But even for one kid it was *a lot* to haul around particularly the carseat since it's so bulky. We checked it in but initially hauling it to check-in was just a pain - they aren't exactly portable lol.

I don't like the idea of renting carseats since you don't know how dirty/clean they are or what has been in them (ick) but that seems like the most viable way to go when you have multiple kids who need carseats. Unless we bring the Cosco Scenera and rent another. Our older kid is right around 40" now though, so am also wondering if we could just use a booster seat. If so that'll make things much easier - could just slide the booster into the carseat backpack with Cosco Scenera and then have him in the booster and our daughter (who will be 2.5 then) into the regular carseat.

As far as the stroller goes, we have a double-stroller but it's bulky. I actually have another unopened GB Pockit so would be inclined to bring that one. It already feels like a lot to bring but it is what it is I guess. I'm just trying to figure out the best system where we're not going to be overburdened with a bunch of luggage, carseats and strollers lol.


Any ideas or things that have worked for you?

seemsright

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 11:54:27 AM »
I only have one kid. But you gate check the stroller. And maybe the car seat for the older kid.

The only thing you MUST do is make sure the car seat is approved for airplane use. This is VITAL The flight attendants will not allow you to use if it is not...they WILL ask to look at the bottom of it for the image that shows it is.

You will be able to get on the plane first. and it will make your life simpler if you wait till the end to get off.

Flying with one kid is simple...you will be okay and the more you do it the better as the kids will get the program. Mine is almost 9 and she is a dream on the plane and with travel in general because we have spent the time and money to teach her.

you got this.

jgoody

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2019, 11:55:24 AM »
If you're going to Hawaii, do you really need a stroller?  We were there recently with a 1YO and 3YO and we brought one umbrella stroller.  Frankly, we only really needed it for the airport.  With our airline, the child stroller gate checked for free.  It did make things easier at the airport, but once in Hawaii, the older kid can walk and the younger kid can be carried easily enough.

As for renting a car-seat, I found this super frustrating.  All the car rental places I've worked with have allowed you to "request" one to rent, but say they can't "guarantee" they will have one for you upon arrival.  WHAT GOOD IS THAT?!  Plus they cost extra to rent.  Consequently, we lugged our own carseats. 

Some helpful tips here - divide and conquer when possible.  For example, I dropped everyone off at Departures with most of the gear (optionally rent one of those little carts/trolleys to schlep stuff to ticketing) then I parked the car and came back with the remaining 2 bags.  Once you're in ticketing, the car-seats and big bags get checked and your load becomes much more manageable.  So on check-in, depending on your airport, it may only be a grand total of 50 yards you have to schlep the car seats.  Upon arrival, it can be similar - after retrieving all your bags at the carousel, one parent watches the kids & bags while the other one goes to pick up the rental car. 

Another tip, though this is definitely luggage dependent.  IF you have relatively stout luggage with wheels and a telescoping handle (can you picture this type?), you can thread the car-seat shoulder straps over the luggage handle so it just dangles down and hangs from your wheeled luggage.  THEN, you can have your little one straddle the suitcase and ride it like a horse.  They love it and you may end up transporting the little one, a car-seat, a bag, and still have one hand free.  Granted, this is a little awkward, but it worked well for us.  It's worth rehearsing at home before you get there.  With our setup, I would have felt comfortable to wheel kid & car seat further than we actually had to.  Your 4 year old should be able to walk on their own and possibly wheel a carry-on.  They may enjoy the fun responsibility - make it seem like a big honor and act impressed.

Yet another tip - personally pack light.  It's Hawaii, what all do you really need?  A swim suit, flip flips, a couple changes of light clothes... am I missing anything?

Hope at least one of those tips helps for your particular situation.  Have a great time.

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 11:56:46 AM »
Car seats are always a dilemma when flying. We've done versions of all of the following when traveling, including international/long haul flights:
1. Taken car or booster seats with us (annoying, inexpensive)
2. Rented car seats (most expensive option, but most convenient)
3. Landed without a car seat and immediately found whatever the local version of a cheap box store is and bought an inexpensive car/booster seat (usually less expensive than renting if using for more than a couple days, donated/ditched before leaving). IE, last year we bought a booster seat upon landing for ~$40 vs renting at $15+ day.

Admittedly, we only have one child, but we used to live overseas during her youngest years and did 5+ consecutive flights and overnight flights often to go back and forth between the USA and our overseas home (we live in the States again now). We never found taking a stroller worth it and opted for baby carriers (IE Ergo) or, if absolutely necessary, buying/borrowing an umbrella stroller at our destination. It was never easy to navigate airports with strollers and every airline has its own specific parameters about how small they have to be when collapsed, etc.  Best to do without if you can live with it.  With one child at age 4, I'd be tempted to just have a carrier for the baby to keep hands free and make the 4 year old walk during airport stuff.

Hopefully parents of multiples will have some tips.


TrMama

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 12:07:28 PM »
It's been a while since I flew with little kids (mine are 10 and 12 now), but I did fly alone with them when they were small.

It's not clear from your post, but are you travelling alone with them, or will you have another adult along? Obviously, more adults makes everything easier. If there are two of you, I'd take two smallish strollers rather than the double. They can be gatechecked.

When I flew with kids and carseats, I brought along a cheap umbrella stroller, a Cosco Scenera, a bungie cord, a child harness, a backpack as my carry on and an Ergo kid carrier for the youngest. The younger child was still in a baby bucket carseat and I checked it. When checking in and changing planes, my oldest walked, while wearing her own backpack carry on and a kid leash (she was a runner). Tie the leash to your belt so the kid can't escape and you can't drop the leash (trust me on this one, there's a story behind it).

Smaller kid went in the backpack baby carrier. I was even allowed to wear her through the metal detector in security. My backpack carry on went in the Scenara and then they were both  bungied into the stroller. Basically, I used the stroller to haul the "stuff", the kids never sat in it on the travel day.

Secret Stache

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 12:07:45 PM »
I may be mistaken but I think the rental car companies offer car seats but cannot guarantee availability.  This is why we always bring ours along.  When its just my wife and I we are travel pro's that breeze through airports and can pack for a week in a single back pack.  Add a child into the mix and we now have multiple checked bags and rent carts to haul our junk (car seats, strollers, giant luggage filled with kid food toys, etc).

We use one of those hiking child carrier backpacks which might be useful for you in Hawaii for taking the little one on some trails as well as rushing through airports.   similar to this https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product/poco-ag-POCO_609.html  Maybe reach out to your network to see if someone has one to borrow.  You can still check it for free since it is a child carrier.  And for strollers we just bring the small umbrella type strollers with a shade or buy a cheapo from Wal-Mart/Costco and donate it on the way out. 

The Points Guy - Family facebook page AKA Mommy Points is devoted to family travel.  That community will likely have a lot of tips for you as well

SimpleCycle

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 12:29:36 PM »
We have two kids who are about the same spacing as yours.  We have traveled with a double stroller and two car seats, but it is not our favorite thing to do.  We check everything at the counter and they walk or are in baby carriers for the airport.  We have backpack carriers for the car seats. We put the kids in the stroller and one of us takes the luggage and one of us takes the stroller to get to the check in counter.

Bear in mind that the 4 year old might not fit in a Scenera for much longer.  It is usually outgrown forward facing before 40 inches (because the shoulder strap slots need to be above the child's shoulders for forward facing) and is outgrown rear facing at 40 inches.  It's also outgrown completely at 40 lbs for both rear and forward facing.  Once he outgrows the Scenara, I am not sure I'd use just a booster because at his age he can't sit correctly for a booster.  Another good travel option is the Evenflo Maestro, or if you travel a lot and are willing to spend the money, the Immi Go.

You already have good travel strollers, so one or two of those seems more reasonable than the double.  Just so you're aware, the airline is not responsible for damage to car seats or strollers.  On the off chance they lose your car seat (this has happened to us), Southwest has loaners that were in decent shape.

We have rented car seats once and it is my least preferred option.  They are not guaranteed to have the seat you need, and we got a rental infant car seat that was nasty and they wouldn't do anything about it.

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Hibernaculum

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 01:43:34 PM »
Our kids are now 7 and 8. We've traveled a bunch with them since they were very small. We even went from the US to Italy with our eldest when he was 1.

Car seats are a pain, no two ways about it. I'm not sure there's a clear winner between checking them, buying them once there, renting them with the car. The grandparents are both a flight away, so we went ahead and bought extra car seats to have at their places. A bit expensive... and that doesn't apply to your current situation.

Elsewise, I'd say take a little as humanly possible. We are BIG fans of umbrella strollers... the really light, small ones that cost like $20-$25. I see parents traveling with little ones lugging around these ENORMOUS super-tankers of strollers, with all the gizmos and attachments. A royal pain.

We took too much to Italy. The main thing we over-packed was to take a backpack child carrier we borrowed from some friends. We hardly used it at all, but had to lug it around the whole trip. If it wasn't someone else's, we would have ditched it for sure. And we carried to much "just in case" stuff.

If we were back in the situation of traveling with stroller and car seats etc., we'd probably go this way:
Dad gets a medium-sized backpack, with a smaller daypack inside. Strap 1 umbrella stroller to backpack as needed.
Mom gets a rollaboard bag ('cause that's how she rolls) and the second umbrella stroller.

Man on man defense. Car seats either checked or purchased there.

mm1970

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 04:24:00 PM »
Our kids are 6.5 years apart.

With 1 kid, we never used a stroller on trips.  We used a baby carrier/ backpack up to the age of 2 or 3.  We carried the carseat onboard until about the same age.  At 3-4, we checked the seat. 

The seats we traveled with when are kids were bigger portable and/or lighter.  Yes it kind of sucks.  But we just bagged those things up.  Sometimes we used light seats and a plastic bag at the airport.  For awhile we traveled with a Diono Radian, which came with a bag that had straps.  So you could carry it like a backpack.

So, with kid 2 we totally used a stroller.  Check it plane-side.  By then kid #1 was in a backless booster though.  I have rented/borrowed carseats (I agree, yuck).  Also, we learned on more than one trip to take spares...meaning, don't take the ones out of the car that you drove to the airport.  Because once the seat didn't make it back.  And we were stuck.

Also, we once bought a $40 carseat at Walmart and left it.

So.  In short (too late, I know):
Big kid: lightweight carseat or a seat with straps or wheels.  Check it.
Smaller kid: regular carseat, prob take on plane.  Use stroller to get around airport.

Pack light for everything else.  Get big kid their own roller bag so it's "fun".

CindyBS

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 05:02:39 PM »
No advice with the car seats and the baby equipment, but in the past we have reduced baggage on airline trips by shipping somethings UPS to the destination. Our Air BNB host was happy to accept it.   It may not be cheaper than checking bags with Hawaii being the destination, but we had good luck with this strategy.   Then we clean out the closets before we go.  All the socks with holes, t-shirts we no longer wear, clothes we would donate anyway, etc. go on the trip.  Holey socks are thrown out and 1 trip to a thrift store the day we leave to donate the rest and the amount we take home is dramatically reduced.  You can even buy some cheap second hand luggage before you leave, fill it with your donations, wear them on the trip, then donate at the location.  We have also shipped things home, which again, may not be cheaper with Hawaii in the mix, but may be worth the extra money to not deal with the stuff at the airport.

AMandM

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 06:01:29 PM »
A side piece of advice to make air travel with small children go more smoothly:  dress them in nice clothes (attractive but comfortable), matching or coordinating if feasible. If gate agents, flight attendants, etc. see your kids and their first reaction is "awwww, how sweet" they will be more well-disposed towards you.

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2019, 06:30:20 PM »
I'm really surprised you find the Cosco Scerena to be difficult to travel with. Ours was SO easy. We just tipped it upside down over our carry on rolling bag, and it held perfectly. We originally had a strap for it, but it wasn't needed at all. It was like it was perfectly sized to transport this way. When I've traveled alone (though with only one kid) I haven't had a problem pushing a stroller, wheeling a checked bag, a carryon bag and the stroller. With DH along, all the stuff is a breeze.  We always gate check the stroller and carseat (well, when we bring the stroller, and we often don't bother) because we want them at our destination.

Have you looked at bubble bums for booster seats? 4 might be too young for that- but they make GREAT travel boosters.

Personally, I would not trust a rental car seat, so I'd deal with lugging the Scerenas.

I also wouldn't do the double stroller. We rarely use strollers as is, but I'd get a carrier that fits toddlers and alternate which kid gets to stroll and which is carried; most of the time they will likely want to walk anyway.  And honestly, when push comes to shove, two exhausted kiddos can fit into a regular stroller.

Lillebaby makes good toddler specific carriers, but most good infant carriers have pretty high weight limits.

We've also shipped a pack and play to our destination via Amazon before. Sometimes you can catch the off brand ones for less than the cost of checked luggage, if your hotel or AirBNB can't provide one.


CanuckExpat

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2019, 10:33:20 PM »
This is a silly question, but you didn't state it explicitly. Are you renting a car in Hawaii, or just want the car seats for the flight and taxis?

Can you avoid taking a stroller? Do you need/want one?

jeromedawg

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2019, 11:13:47 PM »
This is a silly question, but you didn't state it explicitly. Are you renting a car in Hawaii, or just want the car seats for the flight and taxis?

Can you avoid taking a stroller? Do you need/want one?

Thanks all for the responses!

I'll be renting a car in Hawaii, so would need the carseat for that.

We would want to bring at least one stroller (probably the Pockit and not the double) mostly in the cases that we could use it to nap either of the kids in case of emergency haha.

MrsPB

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2019, 05:29:19 PM »
http://www.britax.ca/accessories/car-seat-travel-cart

We used this for traveling... very helpful around the airport!! Kid can go in it to nap or just rest, or fill with carry on luggage, only one hand needed to maneuver. We took one car seat on plane (was narrow enough to fit in seat)  and checked the other, although you could check the car seat on the cart at the gate if you wanted and then make use of it in lieu of a stroller around the airports. Folds up to go in overhead bin and even fit down the aisle with the kid and car seat on it.

Edited to add: it is compatible with non-Britax seats...we have an inexpensive Cosco seat for travelling that fit fine, itís just secured with straps you can adjust as needed.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 05:32:23 PM by MrsPB »

wordnerd

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2019, 05:40:04 PM »
Have a 3 y.o. and a baby. We usually check our car seats (though we now carry on the three-year-old's carseat because we found he was more likely to fall asleep in it than not). We never take strollers (rarely use one at home) and use a baby carrier. Not sure if your kids' bed situation is, but we've shipped a pack-n-play to a location. And, we used this (https://www.amazon.com/KooJoee-Foldable-Anti-Bug-Mosquito-Portable/dp/B072ZQRB8P/ref=sr_1_20?crid=2JP43WAA60I19&keywords=pop+up+crib+tent&qid=1551832643&s=gateway&sprefix=pop+up+crib%2Caps%2C220&sr=8-20) for a trip to Europe when our son was 18 months.

A few other assorted plane tips:
1) I recommend screen time (LOL), but usually make it clear that watching "the N" (Netflix) is for the airplane only. Cuts down on the post-flight whining.
2) We take Lysol wipes and wipe down everything in our row when we sit down to minimize germs.
3) Snacks. All the snacks.

Good luck!

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2019, 06:24:26 PM »
Once our kid was 3, we got one of these --

https://saferide4kids.com/product/ridesafer-travel-vest/

... and used it in place of carseat when traveling by plane.  That was 5+ years ago but at least at that point I think it was rated to be as safe as available carseat technology, it can be squished into a backpack (etc.), and it was easy to use.  It "worked great" as far as we know, though as -- thank goodness -- we weren't in an accident, that just means our kid was willing to wear it and found it comfortable.

jeromedawg

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2019, 03:09:40 PM »
Once our kid was 3, we got one of these --

https://saferide4kids.com/product/ridesafer-travel-vest/

... and used it in place of carseat when traveling by plane.  That was 5+ years ago but at least at that point I think it was rated to be as safe as available carseat technology, it can be squished into a backpack (etc.), and it was easy to use.  It "worked great" as far as we know, though as -- thank goodness -- we weren't in an accident, that just means our kid was willing to wear it and found it comfortable.

Sounds interesting! I was reading the reviews on what seems to be the newer model, https://www.amazon.com/Safer-Delight-Travel-Small-Black/product-reviews/B01LYTPROD, and a couple people were saying that it was too big for their 3yr old who was over the minimum weight/height requirement for this. That's a bit concerning... how big was your kid when he was 3 and you first used this? Did you find that it fit snugly? Or was it a bit large?

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2019, 04:02:07 PM »
We used a combination car seat with built-in stroller starting when DS was an infant (1994). The Sit & Stroll seat is still available today, but from a different company. http://lillygold.com. The stroller wheels pop in and out like airplane landing gear using a handle on the back that is simple & quick to operate but not by a "helpful" sibling, & the stroller handle pulls out of the top like wheeled luggage. The child is secured to the seat using a 5-point belt system & then the seat is secured using the vehicle or airplane seat belt over it, either front or rear facing. Baby DS was so much more comfortable in his seat, certified for airplane travel, usually slept, & we had nothing extra to check or retrieve. He used this seat in our vehicles & for travel until 4 years old.   

jeromedawg

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2019, 05:16:52 PM »
Dumb question but do we *have* to use a child-restraint system on the plane for each kid? Or is it sufficient enough to buckle them in w/ the standard seatbelt? The last time we flew was when our older kid was under 2 so he was a lap child at the time.

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2019, 06:00:20 PM »
Dumb question but do we *have* to use a child-restraint system on the plane for each kid? Or is it sufficient enough to buckle them in w/ the standard seatbelt? The last time we flew was when our older kid was under 2 so he was a lap child at the time.

I've seen plenty of toddlers just buckled into the regular seat belt on a plane.  The FAA website uses the language "strongly urges" for a child restraint system.

I think the thing is that they have to stay in their seat as other passengers do when the seat belt sign is on. Those seat belts are REALLY easy to get off...will your kid stay seated?

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2019, 07:10:26 PM »
There's no requirement to use a child restraint system on the plane. When I first read your post, I was wondering if you needed to take car seats at all. Since you are going to Hawaii and renting a car, you will probably need them.

LPT: take your vacations outside Canada/US, and you have much less reason to carry car seats around :)

bogart

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2019, 08:41:15 PM »

Sounds interesting! I was reading the reviews on what seems to be the newer model, https://www.amazon.com/Safer-Delight-Travel-Small-Black/product-reviews/B01LYTPROD, and a couple people were saying that it was too big for their 3yr old who was over the minimum weight/height requirement for this. That's a bit concerning... how big was your kid when he was 3 and you first used this? Did you find that it fit snugly? Or was it a bit large?

Hunh -- that surprises me.  Our kid is/was pretty small at least in terms of weight, up until he was maybe 7 he was always more inches tall than lbs heavy (and he's not incredibly tall -- above average, but not by more than a few inches), and it fit him fine / perfectly snugly.  Now, maybe they've changed the design since we had/used one (he's 11 now).  So, not sure what to tell you!

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2019, 12:24:48 PM »
We have an inflatable booster seat that we bring during travel that your oldest could probably use. It's called bubble bum and you can get it on Amazon. Super convenient.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2019, 01:04:15 PM »
There's no requirement to use a child restraint system on the plane. When I first read your post, I was wondering if you needed to take car seats at all. Since you are going to Hawaii and renting a car, you will probably need them.

LPT: take your vacations outside Canada/US, and you have much less reason to carry car seats around :)

Assuming you are going places with good public transportation.

Many countries don't use car seats, but laws of physics still apply.  I've seen a family of 5 on the back of a motor scooter, with a baby in a 5-gallon bucket and a kid in a milk crate . Just because the locals do it, doesn't mean I would.   Maybe we are missing out for awhile, but that isn't a place I'd take my baby/toddler because of the inability to use a car seat when traveling.

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2019, 09:19:56 AM »
...I just got Southwest tickets to Hawaii in August since they were doing what appears to have been a promotional fire sale to get the word out. Ended up grabbing tickets for all four of us...

So it was YOU who stole my tickets to Hawaii for cheap!  :p.  We will be heading over in June with our 4 and 2 year olds.

Seems like you have some experience flying/traveling with kids, so sorry if any of this seems obvious/redundant.

- Yah, it's bulky.  No getting around that.
- Southwest lets families with small children board first.  Take advantage of that.  DW and I grab two rows right behind each other. (Most airlines allow car seats to be installed only in window seats)
- Use the stroller as a wagon while in the airport.  Put the car seats or carryons in that.  Awkward, but it can help.  Then just check the stroller at the gate. If that doesn't work, put as many bags in the car seats as possible.
- If anyone qualifies for TSA precheck, load them down with all the luggage so the other person can move through the regular lines easier
- Baby carriers are awesome.  In a pinch you can still put the 4 year old on your front for a bit, so you can still carry a backpack on your back.
- A 4 year old is capable of pulling a small rolling carry on, as well as their "own" carry on/bag complete with their own snacks/books/etc.
- Early on in the flight, go ahead and show your kids the plane bathroom.  The whole "getting used to it" thing. 
- Here's the FAA circular regarding Child Restraint Systems.  Basically, if you run into a situation where an un-knowledgeable employee is trying to tell you you can't bring it on the plane, show them this.  https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_120-87C.pdf

Good luck and have fun!
-

malacca

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2019, 05:27:10 PM »
We have travelled all over the world (in Taiwan right now) with two kids. They are now 7 and 11.

1. We pre-bought a booster seat for the older one. The booster seat is much lighter and easier to install. We leave her carseat at home and one day she will transition to the booster seat.

2. My kids LOVE to fly. We have taken 34 hour journeys without issue. I found seating them together is best. Bring an assortment of drawing activities, etc.

3. Don't feed them the kids' meals if they are not used to junk food. Our kids have never eaten at McDons and can't handle the god forsaken kids' meals the airlines pass as food. Oh, and don't over feed them just because they are bored.

We also have bought cheap carseats and just left them. But I don't think that is an option in Hawaii.

The biggest problem was the weight of our Britax car seats. The two together come in at 55 lbs. Then chuck in a stroller, etc.

Good luck!




TrMama

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2019, 02:01:16 PM »
Dumb question but do we *have* to use a child-restraint system on the plane for each kid? Or is it sufficient enough to buckle them in w/ the standard seatbelt? The last time we flew was when our older kid was under 2 so he was a lap child at the time.

No. However, one of the big reasons I bothered to haul a carseat on the plane was because our DD was used to being restrained in it AND she's easily fall asleep in it. Sooooo much easier to fly with a 2yo when they're asleep for most of the flight.

reeshau

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2019, 02:31:13 AM »
Dumb question but do we *have* to use a child-restraint system on the plane for each kid? Or is it sufficient enough to buckle them in w/ the standard seatbelt? The last time we flew was when our older kid was under 2 so he was a lap child at the time.

No. However, one of the big reasons I bothered to haul a carseat on the plane was because our DD was used to being restrained in it AND she's easily fall asleep in it. Sooooo much easier to fly with a 2yo when they're asleep for most of the flight.

Also, less kicking of the seat in front of them.

thelyon19

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2019, 08:28:06 PM »
You may have already traveled already, so sorry if this is too late.

We are expats and our kids are now 7 and 9, and it is soooooooooo much easier than those little days. Our long-haul flights involve 3 flights, two that are 8+ hours each. Sucks big time, and I always just tried to forget it was happening. 

Bottom line: streamline as much as possible. Take fewer clothes, fewer toys, less of everything. They will be fine. A booster can be great, and at least it's lightweight. The Ergo was our best friend up until age 4 for both of our kids. The stroller is handy, but so annoying...

Lollipops take a long time to eat. They're awesome. Take zip-lock bags so that you can see through them and find stuff easily. Bandaids are a fun activity.

After age 2, plug the kids in!  Unrestrained screen time is necessary during travel. Don't fight it. :)

Just my 2 cents!

seattlecyclone

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2019, 12:01:25 PM »
Dumb question but do we *have* to use a child-restraint system on the plane for each kid? Or is it sufficient enough to buckle them in w/ the standard seatbelt? The last time we flew was when our older kid was under 2 so he was a lap child at the time.

No. However, one of the big reasons I bothered to haul a carseat on the plane was because our DD was used to being restrained in it AND she's easily fall asleep in it. Sooooo much easier to fly with a 2yo when they're asleep for most of the flight.

Also, less kicking of the seat in front of them.

I've found the opposite. If you strap a toddler into the regular airplane seatbelt, tightened snugly, their legs can't reach the seat in front of them. Put them in a bulky car seat that sits them a few inches forward from where they would be in the bare airplane seat, and suddenly that's not the case anymore.

We have taken a few airplane trips since having our second kid, bringing two car seats to the airport. What has worked really nicely for us the last couple times is to take one of those baby car seat strollers to help us on the way to and from the airport. We have taken public transit to get to and from the Seattle airport. The baby car seat clicks into the stroller, and the toddler car seat stacks pretty nicely on top of that. The cargo pouch on the bottom of the stroller has room for a diaper bag or similar. Between that and one big suitcase that we share, we have it basically down to two things that need to be dragged around with us and that stuff all gets checked in at the airport outside of security.

At the destination if we're renting a car, we often find it simpler to send one parent off to handle the rental car while the other parent sticks around baggage claim with the luggage and the kids. Driving the car up to the arrivals curb and picking everyone else up there seems easier than hauling all our stuff and the kids out to the rental car lot. Of course if it's a really small airport where the rental car lot is right outside, that's not an issue.

Mongoose

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Re: Air travel w/ TWO small kids (dealing with carseats, strollers, etc)
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2019, 09:28:56 PM »
We brought the carseat on the plane for use. It did restrict some of our seating options (I think it had to be in the window seat area. We tried without the car seat and both kids struggled.

I had some clips that would attach two of the small umbrella strollers together to make them into a double for when I traveled via air with both kids by myself. With some packing practice, I could move the diaper bag and other carry on plus the stollers and a checked bag easily by myself. And I liked the much smaller, lighter strollers.

We definitely did unrestricted screen time...the only time our littles got any screen time. The tablet was so novel that they would be mesmerized for hours. Some of our recent flights have had electrical recharging outlets at each seat.

Our kids would also only drink milk, which most flights didn't have. I brought in a large, empty 12 hour cold thermos and would fill it inside security. And a bag of snacks (necessary for food allergies!). The milk would stay at a safe temperature for the duration of our flights and the kids could have their beverage of choice. We now carry refillable water bottles instead. I will admit to filling a coffee thermos a time or two for some better-than-onboard coffee upon awakening on overnight flights.