Originally Posted by LiLStar
And seriously.. how will we physically DO it? The smart carts at the airport will help a little, but how will we *physically* get onto the plane, down those cramped aisles, to our seats... carrying a baby, 3 car seats, carryons, and supervising 2 other kids? The thought of it fills me with dread. Has anyone here ever traveled with more car seats than adults?
I have done one adult with one infant and a 6yo, and two adults with a baby, a kid, one carseat, two laptops, a huge camera, a nebulizer for the baby's asthma meds, and a large art portfolio.
We used 30 bins at the security checkpoint. It was hell.
Since then, I have adopted the following family rules for air travel:
- If you can walk, you walk and you carry your own carry-on (or you don't have one). Your 5 and 3yos can either carry their own stuff or go without carry-ons. I recommend small backpacks.
- As the mom, I am carrying ONE bag. Now that my kids are big, it's my purse. When they were little, it was the diaper bag with emergency supplies (spare shirt for me, change of clothes for baby), diapers, prescription medication, and small amusements (wikistix, 2 small books, pack of crayons, small notebook - pack in kid carry-ons if that is an option). It's tempting to stuff that thing to the gills, but don't give in. Allow one diaper per hour you will be in transit (in the airport plus in the air). Put the rest in your checked baggage or purchase more at your destination. If your supply looks inadequate before takeoff, they do sell diapers at the airport.
- Don't pack snacks. Put aside a snack budget to pick up some snacks and drinks once you pass security.
- Tell Dad to limit his carry-ons too. It's no good you and the kids each bringing one thing plus seats while he brings 4 things.
If you have the time and money, buy a booster for the oldest kid on amazon or babiesrus.com and have it shipped to the people you are visiting - you can't use a booster on the plane anyway, and a high back booster will provide support for a kid who falls asleep in the car. Also, you will not all be able to sit in one row. If you can, plan to split the kids up relatively evenly based on labor intensity of keeping each child amused and properly restrained throughout the flight.