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Flying alone with two toddlers! Need advice!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

My sister is going to be flying with her two sons, age 26 months and 3 1/2 years from Minneapolis to Maui - about 12-14 hours of flying and layovers, with two stops, Denver and LA. She is really worried about how to do this. Two toddlers, two carseats, carry-on luggage and no help from the airline getting from one gate to the next. Any advice? How to keep the boys from running away and manuvering all this stuff?

Thanks!
post #2 of 8
I've flown quite a bit with my children - including solo with children ages 3.5, 2.5 and 1.5 years old.

First of all - check the carseats - don't try to carry them on the plane. It's just going to be too much to carry on the plane with you - plus the youngest will likely be on her lap anyway. Just make sure the carseats are tagged really, really well!

2nd - bring a double stroller - you can take it right up to the gate and "gate-check" it right before getting on the airplane. Then they bring the stroller to the door of the plane like they do a wheelchair. Even if they children won't ride in it - I found it very helpful for transporting the carry-on luggege! If she doesn't have a double - at least bring a single stroller.

3rd - get safety harnesses for the children so they can't run off and get lost in the airport. It only takes a minute and it's happened to us when security was checking us out (because that thing beeped when we went through it). My ds ran off (he was only about 18 mths at the time) and they would NOT let us go after him until they were done checking and only after he was out of sight - did they send a security person after him.

4th - don't count on airplane food - bring snacks with you. I found it helpful to bring empty sippy cups along for the flight attendents to put juice into. The first time I travelled with a toddler - I didn't do this and got soaked with juice when my dd spilled the cup on my lap.

5th - carry-on's - I used a backpack for the spare clothes ( at least one outfit for everyone including myself - it's necessary - half the plane trips I've been on with toddlers - I've been puked on, pee'd on or had food/drink dumped on me) and the diapers/wipes, bag for wet/dirty clothes. Always take twice as many diapers as you think you will need. It's no fun being stranded due to flight cancellations at an airport (that doesn't sell diapers) when you are almost out of diapers. I found it more space efficint to just use disposables for the trip. Cloth take up way more room and get heavier when wet.

For toys and snacks - I bought my older dd and my ds children's little pull-on suitcases. Like the ones the flight crew pull - but child-sized They loved them and since they were on wheels - they could pull them themselves. Now they didn't always do that without complaint - which is where that double stroller came in really handy. We brought things like pads of paper, pens, stickers, a couple new books, travel sized magnadoodle, dried fruit, fruit juice gummy bears (used instead of gum for take-off and landing), granola bars, string cheese, sippy cups water bottles....

Don't count on the airline staff helping you - I've only been assisted between flights by airport staff ONCE. Every other time I've had to do it myself and even been told (very rudely) that if I can't carry everything myself - I have no business bringing that much along. That was when I was pregnant travelling with a 2 year old and 9 mth old.
post #3 of 8
CherylE has some great advice. I just wanted to add that it is possible to get a gate pass and have a loved one walk you right up to the gate and help you until right before you board. My dh did this for me and it was really helpful.
post #4 of 8
Excellent suggestions.

Also, bring a bunch of new toys that the kids havent' seen or played with before, and only bring them out when things seem to be going downhill...lol.

Moving this to the Toddler forum...
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by MamaOui
CherylE has some great advice. I just wanted to add that it is possible to get a gate pass and have a loved one walk you right up to the gate and help you until right before you board. My dh did this for me and it was really helpful.
Have you been able to do this recently? If so - what airports? I'm just wondering as I've not been allowed to do that since security tightened after 9/11.
post #6 of 8
I did this for a domestic flight 2 months ago. I flew out of Hartford.
post #7 of 8
maybe things are relaxing now or maybe it's because our flight was international? We last travelled the past June from Vancouver, BC to Orlando, FL. Most of the time I've travelled with the kids - it is from Canada to the USA and back.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by CherylE
Have you been able to do this recently? If so - what airports? I'm just wondering as I've not been allowed to do that since security tightened after 9/11.
My BIL and Father have both done this to help my Sister to the gate with 2 kids. They did it at Cincinatti and Salt Lake City.

We put our car seats on one of those luggage dollys. It has bungi cords and I just strap the backpacks and carseats right to it. I have done this alone with DD. My Sister has done it alone with her DD and DS.
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