My family moved to Tunisia from New York City this summer. Before we left I felt duty-bound to visit our scattered family on this side of the Atlantic so they could see our 18-month-old boy before we left. This meant flying from Washington, DC to Toronto (not far away, but technically “International”) and then back to New York.
It was not a pretty picture, but it turned out to be a good trial run for all the family traveling we’re doing as expats. I now have much better strategies for dealing with gear, lines and toddler travel boredom.
Here are 5 things I would have done differently:
Be Ready To Snag an Extra Seat…Just in Case
Keeping your under-2 traveler on your lap to avoid paying for a pricey second seat sounds good in theory, but actually keeping your squirmy child on your lap for the length of your flight is quite a feat!
Luckily, my plane was relatively empty and I actually had an extra seat next to me. Unluckily, our car seat was in the luggage hold, which left me with a resentful and wriggling toddler in my lap during takeoff and landing.
Next time, I’ll bring the car seat to the gate, just in case. If the plane is full, I can gate-check it with the stroller. I’ve invested in a GoGo Kidz travelmate, which turns your FAA-approved car seat into a rolling piece of luggage where your child can sit. Should I ever come across an empty plane seat again, I’ll be ready. (FamiliesGo! also loves the CARES harness, http://kidsflysafe.com/)