Traveling with Children


There seems to be a love-hate relationship when I think about traveling with my daughter, for sure.  I love spending time with my family creating fun memories on vacation, but getting to and from there is always an interesting experience.  I thought I’d share a few things that I learned while preparing for our most recent family trip.  I only have one child and I am only speaking from experiences, so please do not take this as expert advice.

Ayva with our luggage at the gate…a lot of stuff, but beats paying to check it all!

First of all, this was not our first flight with Ayva, but by far the most difficult.  Her first plane ride was when she was only four months old.  We took a mother-daughter trip to Seattle for my niece’s first birthday.  That trip was a breeze because Ayva slept or ate the whole time.  I had pumped and brought a couple bottles (which security will open in front of you and wave a sensory paper over it), but luckily the flights were not full and I was able to nurse during the flight in our own row.  Then, at about nine months old, we took a vacation to Colorado to meet family.  This was a pretty short flight and Ayva was not very mobile yet so enjoyed sitting on our laps and reading books or taking a nap.  On both of these trips, we were lucky to meet up with family who provided a car seat and pack n’ play for Ayva to sleep in.

Then, last month, we took Ayva to Chicago at 22 months old.  This was an interesting trip to say the least.  I had called the hotel ahead of time and reserved a crib for our room, which turned out to be very similar to the pack n’ play that we were planning on taking.  This eliminated one piece of luggage to carry.  At the airport, they let us take the car seat and stroller to the gate and check it there…for FREE!!!  Very exciting with the price of checking luggage these days.  We didn’t buy Ayva her own seat for the flight since she is still under the 2 year age limit, but we did hear that if the flight wasn’t full, they would let you put the car seat in an open seat.  Unfortunately, both of our flights were full.

Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the plane

During the flight, we had lots of snacks, books, and small toys to try to entertain Ayva.  We even loaded some Mickey Mouse Playhouse on the iPad to keep her entertained.  Ayva’s only real desire was to get down and run around the whole time, so we did a lot of handing back and forth.  My suggestion to any parents is to make sure you are sitting in the aisle, so you can take some walks during the flight.  Our flight ended with her getting sick and throwing up all over her blanket, stuffed doggie, and her daddy.  Luckily we had almost landed and the flight attendants were very helpful and understanding.  It was hard to see Ayva so upset and be stuck in one place and not able to give her a bath right away.  But, after we got off the plane, she calmed down and felt much better.

Taking a nap in the “big bed” for the first time
Taking a nap while waiting for our flight home

We then called for a taxicab, who was very helpful with putting our car seat into the taxi and was quite patient.  This made all the difference in a long and tiring day.  The flight home was a lot more successful, but still very busy and tiring.  We used BabyRub, which is a children’s version of Vick’s Vapor rub under Ayva’s nose to keep her from getting nauseated.  The whole trip was a great learning experience, and I have since talked to our pediatrician on things to help my daughter from getting sick on trips again.  If you think this might be a problem, I suggest talking to your pediatrician about medicine, patches, or pressure bands to help.

Daddy’s brilliant idea to give her sugar on the flight home (notice the pjs which should mean bedtime)

Do any of you have any interesting traveling experiences with your little ones?


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