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Janine
05-19-2014, 01:34 PM
We're making plans to fly to Denver in the 2nd week of July. This will be a family trip: me, my husband, and my two 3-year-old boys. We've never flown with the kids before, so I can use every scrap of advice you want to toss my way.

We're in Lexington KY. I can fly from the Lexington airport and get to Denver with 1 stop, or I can drive 90 minutes to either Cincinnati and take a nonstop. Louisville (also a 90 minute drive) is a smaller airport and also offers a nonstop option. Is that worthwhile? Would you rather take a single flight with a modest drive, or two flights with kids? Obviously it depends on the kids, but I'm happy to have general recommendations.

We plan on renting a car while we are there. Would you pack your own carseats, rent them from the car place (if that can even be done) or...and I'll confess that this is my favorite option so far...buy inexpensive ones from Amazon and have them shipped to one's destination? We're going to visit the Man's family so there's a safe place to have the carseats shipped.

Also, I'm in the market for two Aeronauts. Now that I see how much it costs to fly with kids, my Aeronaut budget is like $5 for the pair. Wish me luck, LOL.

Thanks!

Auntie Em
05-19-2014, 02:04 PM
To the best of my knowledge, car seats are free to check on most airlines. You can also use them in the cabin, since you are paying for a seat. If the kids are close to 4, or large for their age, you might consider buying booster seats instead of infant/toddler seats for a 3YO to be shipped to family. Then they will be available in Denver for future visits for quite a number of years.

I, personally, would rather have the 1-stop flight than the 90 minute drive when I come home. However, I've never had to deal with 2 3YOs on a layover. And I certainly wouldn't want to have a missed connection / stay all night in an airport with a couple of kids. My recent experiences flying have dealt with quite a few delayed flights and missed connections. And the possible substitute flights are fuller. So non-stop is certainly worth considering.

Be sure to have a change of clothes for everyone (including adults) in your carryon. Since you are "enlightened" (because you buy TB bags), maybe that is a no brainer and all your luggage is carryon! My niece had a small child throw up all over her once. While she had a change of clothes for the kids, she had nothing for her.

Have fun!

Toblerhaus
05-19-2014, 06:35 PM
I've traveled a lot with my kids, and can add my two cents. I am a car seat safety fanatic, and highly recommend bringing your own seats for both the plane and rental car. I know it's a pain to do so, but my rationale is this: checking a car seat puts your seat at risk for damage. A dropped seat can cause damage to the seat, rendering it unsafe for use in a car. Also, car seats in rental cars can be old/expired/unreliable. This article gives you some good things to consider with the car seat question: Flying with Kids & Carseats – the checked carseat controversy (http://carseatblog.com/18895/flying-with-kids-carseats-the-checked-carseat-controversy/)

The idea to buy and ship car seats to your destination is a really good idea if you decide that you don't want to haul car seats onto the plane. Also, if you do bring the seats on the plane, make sure the sticker on the seat says that it's FAA approved. They used to sometimes verify before I boarded with them. I had a GoGo Babyz wheelie thing that helped me transport the seats, but a Smart Carte or other airport cart does the trick to save your back while you are walking through the airport.

As for the direct flight versus layover question, I'd prefer to drive longer and have a direct flight if I had the choice. However, 90 minutes is long enough that it would give me pause. It really depends on the flight times, and how well your kids do in the car vs waiting in a layover. If you're leaving really early in the morning, you'd have to factor in hotel and/or traffic stress if you have a long drive. Also, if you get home late at night, it would stink to have a long drive home. If you wind up doing a flight with a layover, just be sure to built in plenty of layover time, as it always takes longer with the kiddos, especially if you are hauling car seats around. The airlines tend to be really nice about allowing preboarding with small kids, which is especially nice if you have car seats to install.

I hauled car seats onto the plane until my kids were about 5 and 7. People thought I was crazy, but it gave the kids a safe, comfy place to nap, and the 5 point harness kept them corralled as needed. For me, it was always worth the trouble.

Can you tell that I'm passionate about this topic? ;-)

A change of clothes for everyone is indeed a luxury if you can carry it on. I've been puked on more than once. :-( Also, I tried to have a few novel items to keep the kids entertained on the flight. I'd visit my local thrift store, and load up on inexpensive toys, books, or whatever would help here.

terayon
05-19-2014, 06:36 PM
I definitely second the bring-a-change-of-clothes-for-everyone advice for exactly the same reason. :P

We also have gone to the library to check out books about airports and airplanes a few weeks ahead of time - it kind of built excitement for the trip, and for my kids (ages almost-six, four and eight months although the baby hasn't flown yet), excited means enthusiastic and interested and optimistic, which translates to better-behaved, especially when hassles hit.

I have more suggestions, but time to put kids to bed. Back later.

terayon
05-19-2014, 07:13 PM
Okay, some other thoughts...

Let the kids "pack" their own carry-on stuff but go through EVERY SINGLE POCKET of their bag after they're in bed the night before the trip and double check that they didn't pack a toy gun. Then put the double-checked bag somewhere where they can't add anything else. Ask me how I know.

Leave yourself way, way more time than you take when you're traveling without kids.

Get the security check over with early and then wander up and down the concourse looking at the planes at the gates, and talk about where they're going.

Consider suspending some of your usual rules. For example, when traveling our kids special snacks (Goldfish crackers, more-exotic-than-usual fruit, granola bars). It makes the day special and can also be used as bribery, and because travel is not super common for us, we can go back to the usual rules when we get home without much fuss.

Also, our kids get to play games and watch movies on our phones/iPad, which is usually a no-no. There are about eleventy-billion apps available for kids. This is a novelty for them and can
lead to up to an hour of quiet time. Or longer.

Pack a few surprises, like new crayons and colouring books, to pull out at strategic times.

Even if your kids are all over regular cups, consider bringing sippy cups or water bottles with the sealable straws or something that won't spill. Fill up with water or juice after security. Very useful during take-off.

As for car seats, I wouldn't count on the car rental place. Even if they have them, and in the right size, you never know what they've been through.

terayon
05-19-2014, 07:20 PM
Oh, also, my middle daughter is prone to motion sickness; after one unfortunate incident while landing we no longer let her fly without taking Gravol beforehand.

haraya
05-19-2014, 07:48 PM
Fly+drive vs. two flights: Hmm, it depends on your kids, and on the timing of the flights. I like having more control over one leg of the trip - no worries about making the connection to the second flight. Also the kids might be excited to get out of the car and get on a plane, vs. get on a plane/get on another plane. But, as a previous poster said, if you're getting in late at night on the way back, you might not want to get off the plane and still have a drive ahead of you. (Though, 90 minutes is not too horrible, that's roughly what it is to one of our local airports. :))

Car seats: I am a car seat nut as well. :) We still bring seats (well, a booster for our oldest) when we fly, and our kids are 6 and 9. Turbulence is always a concern - I like knowing that the kids will not go flying if we hit an air pocket. (Alternately you could use the CARES harness (http://www.amazon.com/Child-Airplane-Travel-Harness-Restraint/dp/B0012E4FV8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400552350&sr=8-1&keywords=kids+fly+safe) while in-flight. But it seems spendy to buy a harness just for the plane, when you can bring your own seats.) If you want to bring your own seats: a little folding luggage cart, or the GogoKidz accessory, makes it easier to haul the seats along.

Your idea of buying seats and having them sent to your destination is great, as long as someone can bring them to the airport for you. If that won't be possible, you might consider something like the Ride Safer harness (http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Traffic-System-Safer-Travel/dp/B009R79D46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400552736&sr=8-1&keywords=ridesafer+travel+vest), or, in a pinch (even though your little guys sound young to be in a booster), you might think about a couple of Bubble Bums (http://www.bubblebum.co/us/booster-seat/) as backup seats in case your seats aren't delivered on time. Or to go from airport to your destination, where your full-fledged seats will be waiting. Then you can just hang on to them for when your boys are older. (We have a BB and it's a great option for, say, carpooling, travel, or any situation where you want to have a seat available, but don't want to lug a big bulky contraption around.)

(I would NOT advise checking the seats - I just saw a video of airport staff throwing gate-checked bags down onto the tarmac (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101598476), rather than walking them down the stairs... if that was my child's car seat, it would be useless for preventing injury in a crash! I would also shy away from renting car seats - rental agencies often have dirty, unsafe, and/or expired seats.)

Other thoughts... let's see... pack little fun surprises - e.g. new or new-to-you toys, games, snacks. you could even wrap some up like gifts. Also rehearse/prepare the kids for security lines, and having their toys, shoes etc. examined (I think someone on here mentioned they practiced lining up quietly, putting toys in a "magic box" for the security to inspect, and getting them back on the other side). I always hated it when staff would send my child thru the metal detector ahead of me - one of my kids was a runner. So, now we make sure to have one parent go thru the line first, and be waiting on the other side.

As for the Aeronauts, I'd say keep an eye on eBay. :) Take your time, travel will still be fun even if you don't have a full Bihn wardrobe for this time out. :) Wishing you a smooth and safe trip!!

bchaplin
05-20-2014, 03:44 AM
With two adults, I would vote for a driving + nonstop flight. You really don't want to get stuck in a connecting airport. My personal experience with the major airlines is that delays are more common than not. With two of you, at least one person should have the energy to drive home.

Otherwise, it's good advice above. I don't have kids myself but I have friends that do. Keeping them amused and fed seems to be the key to happiness. I would be sure to have toys, some food and a change of clothes in your carry-ons.

Security is usually pretty easy with kids, because they no longer make them take off their shoes. From what I've seen, families are usually sent through the metal detectors rather than the scanners, and perhaps you will get the TSA PRE line, which is even better.

Toblerhaus
05-20-2014, 09:18 AM
Your idea of buying seats and having them sent to your destination is great, as long as someone can bring them to the airport for you. If that won't be possible, you might consider something like the Ride Safer harness (http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Traffic-System-Safer-Travel/dp/B009R79D46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400552736&sr=8-1&keywords=ridesafer+travel+vest)


We have used Ride Safer travels vest for the last 3 years, and they revolutionized our travel experience. They are really great! Hubby and I each tuck a vest in our carry on bag, and we have an easy way of securing the kids, even if we are using a shuttle or taxi. The kids did miss having the comfort of car seats on the plane (the vests aren't for plane use), but the trade off of not having to haul car seats made it worth it.

haraya
05-20-2014, 09:51 AM
We have used Ride Safer travels vest for the last 3 years, and they revolutionized our travel experience. They are really great! Hubby and I each tuck a vest in our carry on bag, and we have an easy way of securing the kids, even if we are using a shuttle or taxi. The kids did miss having the comfort of car seats on the plane (the vests aren't for plane use), but the trade off of not having to haul car seats made it worth it.

Hijacking the thread slightly :) - Toblerhaus, might I ask how old your kids are? I am now considering the Ride Safer for our summer trip, as I just realized last night that one of the airlines we're flying doesn't allow car seats in the cabin for kids older than 2. (want one for the 6yo, as we'll have a 3hr drive for one leg of our trip)

Toblerhaus
05-20-2014, 10:34 AM
Hijacking the thread slightly :) - Toblerhaus, might I ask how old your kids are? I am now considering the Ride Safer for our summer trip, as I just realized last night that one of the airlines we're flying doesn't allow car seats in the cabin for kids older than 2. (want one for the 6yo, as we'll have a 3hr drive for one leg of our trip)

My kids are currently 8 and 10, and still use the vests when we travel. My daughter used the small vest at age 6. I was so surprised when I saw that car seat safety technicians approve of these vests, as they make travel (and carpooling) so easy!

haraya
05-20-2014, 06:41 PM
Thanks, Amanda!! That makes me feel much better about the Ride Safer. :)

Janine
05-21-2014, 07:44 AM
Thank you everyone for all the great advice!

1. I hadn't thought of motion sickness. The kids have only barfed in the car once, and that was when the other parent drove them on a windy country road. I drove them on the same road and we were barf-free, so I'm blaming this one on Mr. Hot Rod and not the kids. But I will definitely talk to our pediatrician about motion sickness before we fly.

2. I had no idea that there were products like the RideSafe! Wow.

3. I hadn't considered using the car seats on the plane as a restraining device or a comfortable place for the kids to nap. I'll have to discuss with Mr. Hot Rod to see what he thinks.

4. Our kids are generally quite good in the car. They talk and sing and play for a bit, then they fall asleep. One of our direct flight options has us driving at naptime, which I think will be a boon.

5. THANK YOU for validating me regarding how much delay kids can introduce to travel! Mr. Hot Rod doesn't believe me when I tell him these things.

6. So far, I haven't heard a single positive story about using rental car seats. I've pretty much ruled it out as a possibility.

7. Toys and games and snacks and other tricks to entertain little people - I'm on that. I employ those techniques on a daily basis. Ask me what's in my S25, LOL!

I LOVE YOU PEOPLES.

haraya
05-21-2014, 11:33 AM
I hadn't considered using the car seats on the plane as a restraining device or a comfortable place for the kids to nap. I'll have to discuss with Mr. Hot Rod to see what he thinks.

I like having the five-point harness especially for our 6yo - he's small for his age and I'm not entirely sure the lap belt would hold him if we hit a big air pocket. Also when he falls asleep the headrest gives him a nice place to lean his head. His seat (Radian RXT) is narrow enough to fit thru the aisles, and folds up to be more compact for travel. - Though, actually we just strap it to the luggage cart as is, then stack the carry-on bags on top and wheel everything together. (I think if you use the GoGoKidz attachment, the kids might even be able to sit in their seats as you roll them along.) If you have car seat-specific questions, car-seat.org is a great place to ask. :)

Best of luck with your trip, I hope you come back and let us know what worked! :)

GoStanford
05-21-2014, 04:31 PM
For airplane I also recommend the Kid Kares safety harness which is FAA approved. I forget the weight limits but it fits over the seat back and is a four point harness that connects to airplane lap belt. Folds up pretty small. Note it does NOT substitute for a car seat at your destination. It can be a struggle to keep a toddler sitting still till seat belt signs are off but this solution worked well for us.

Toblerhaus
05-21-2014, 06:03 PM
Oh yes, we loved our Radians! We recently graduated to boosters for at home use, and I still miss having those comfy car seats for car and airplane napping. I'll never forget that first time the kids tried to sleep on a flight without their car seats. It was a disaster! They've sort of figured how to manage at this point, but it was so nice to have that slight recline and 5 point harness when they were smaller.

Before we got our Radians, I hauled Britax Marathons on our travels. Talk about big and heavy. We took the Marathons to China, even though we knew we wouldn't be riding in cars with seat belts, just because I needed my 2 and 4 year olds to be able to sleep in their seat on the plane. 12 hours is so long! The GoGo Babyz wheelie thing was worth it's weight in gold with those heavy seats. I'd put the wheels on one, and stack the second seat on top. They aren't easy to install on planes, though, and I was so happy when we got the Radians!

We've never used the Kid Kares harness, but I've heard great stuff about it from other people.

I look forward to hearing what you decide, and hope you have a most excellent trip! Denver is such a kid friendly area!

terayon
05-21-2014, 06:43 PM
1. I hadn't thought of motion sickness. The kids have only barfed in the car once, and that was when the other parent drove them on a windy country road. I drove them on the same road and we were barf-free, so I'm blaming this one on Mr. Hot Rod and not the kids. But I will definitely talk to our pediatrician about motion sickness before we fly.

If this hasn't been a problem before, I doubt it will be now. This is just a thing for my middle daughter; my other two are fine. Knock on wood. ;)

As an aside, that "spot clean only" instruction on car seat fabric covers? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Toblerhaus
05-21-2014, 09:07 PM
As an aside, that "spot clean only" instruction on car seat fabric covers? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

OMG, yes. I've had a handful of barfed on or peed on car seat covers between my two kiddos. Spot cleaning just doesn't cut it. Thankful that my washing machine has been kind enough to not destroy the covers. <gag>

TavaPeak
05-23-2014, 05:53 AM
It's been a while since I traveled with preschoolers. (Younger son turns 15 today.) I'd second the direct flight option. One flight is easier on little ears (fewer take-offs, landings, germ-ridden airports). It's a much longer day with a layover.

For travel to Colorado, I'd suggest packing chapstick and lotion and lots of sunscreen - or buy them while you're here. It's hot, sunny, and mostly dry in summer. Our kids used hats from REI. This year we seem to be getting more thunderstorms, so if that trend continues, you'll want a warm layer. Thunderstorms develop in the afternoon - they generally go quickly, but it can be cool as they go through. Of course, keep those kids hydrated.

PS Would love to join the Bihnion meetup in Denver, but I'll have a friend here from Uganda and won't be able to get away. Maybe I'll send you a photo so I can be represented. ;-)

Janine
05-27-2014, 10:02 PM
We just booked our flights. Whew!

Based largely on recommendations from you guys and obsessive review-reading on Amazon, I'm going to bring our car seats to use on the plane. I will be purchasing travel trolleys for the car seats. The one I'm looking at is made by the same company that makes the seats. The seats snap in with latch anchors and the kid can sit in the seat and get wheeled about in the airport if one wishes to do so. One of our kids is a runner so this makes me feel a little less anxious about wrangling two kids and luggage and carseats in the airport.

Speaking of luggage...I regret to say that I don't think this will be an all-Bihn trip. I'm going to check a rolling suitcase (I'm looking at the Ebags Mother Lode 25"). We can pack light, especially since we will have access to a washer/dryer at our destination, but I need the convenience of a single large checked bag to hold my clothes and my kids clothing. Two adults wrangling two little guys and carseats = not enough hands.

TavaPeak
05-28-2014, 07:32 AM
Your packing plan sounds like a good one to me! As the kids get older, it will get easier, and you'll be able to teach them to carry their own things. On our 2-wk trip to Rome in March, my 14yo son said, "Mom, backpacks only! Who needs wheels?"

It's good to have options. I rarely check a bag, but must take a 25" Ebags for my 2-week MFA residency. The compact fan and chiropractic pillow (in a space bag) are necessities. Got a bright purple bag, because life is too short to sort through black bags at the carousel.

Toblerhaus
05-28-2014, 09:51 AM
That sounds like an excellent plan. Before the kids were big enough to carry/wheel their own bags, I always checked a single large rolling duffle bag with all of our stuff.

Janine
05-28-2014, 06:21 PM
Thanks! I'm glad that the big checked bag plan worked for your families - that helps me feel more confident about doing it!

feijai
05-28-2014, 06:54 PM
We're making plans to fly to Denver in the 2nd week of July. This will be a family trip: me, my husband, and my two 3-year-old boys. We've never flown with the kids before, so I can use every scrap of advice you want to toss my way.

Everyone else is providing just fine suggestions. Let me instead tell you: you're way overthinking this. A flight (or two) from Lexington to Denver is nothing. You and the kids will do great. Bring an iPad filled with six hours of children's videos, sufficient snacks, and you're in business.

Trust me on this. Last year I, my wife, and our then 20 month old identical twin sons traveled DC -> SF -> Hong Kong -> Guangzhou -> Chongqing -> Hong Kong -> Macau -> Hong Kong -> SF -> DC -> Amsterdam -> Bologna -> DC over a two month period (those were significant stops, not layovers). A grand total of about 65 hours of flight time, plus a few trains and ferries. And the kids did great. This summer we're doing DC->Cologne->Bologna->DC, about 20 hours.

One item that did help us tremendously: we bought two The Shrunks TuckAire Inflatable Toddler Beds (http://www.amazon.com/The-Shrunks-Indoor-Toddler-Inflatable/dp/B001EQ66WK) and the kids slept on them exclusively. Best money we spent the whole trip.

Janine
05-28-2014, 07:41 PM
PS Would love to join the Bihnion meetup in Denver, but I'll have a friend here from Uganda and won't be able to get away. Maybe I'll send you a photo so I can be represented. ;-)

Yes! You can be our Flat Stanley! :-D

Janine
05-28-2014, 08:04 PM
Everyone else is providing just fine suggestions. Let me instead tell you: you're way overthinking this. A flight (or two) from Lexington to Denver is nothing. You and the kids will do great. Bring an iPad filled with six hours of children's videos, sufficient snacks, and you're in business.

My boys are, if I do say so myself, very well-behaved. I'm sure they will do great. I don't believe that I am "way overthinking" by asking for general advice, though. I was mainly concerned about making connections when one has a family in tow, but that issue isn't an issue any longer since we opted for a nonstop flight.

As for videos - not an option for the whole trip. We don't roll that way. I've got entertainment covered, though. Mom's bag of tricks is well-stocked. :-)

haraya
05-28-2014, 08:44 PM
My boys are, if I do say so myself, very well-behaved. I'm sure they will do great. I don't believe that I am "way overthinking" by asking for general advice, though. I was mainly concerned about making connections when one has a family in tow, but that issue isn't an issue any longer since we opted for a nonstop flight.

As for videos - not an option for the whole trip. We don't roll that way. I've got entertainment covered, though. Mom's bag of tricks is well-stocked. :-)

I think it's a great idea to gather all this info ahead of time. I'm doing much the same thing for a summer trip with our 6- and 10-year-olds. You know your kids best and what will work for them. It's great too that you're incorporating multiple types of entertainment - to my mind, part of travel is learning how to be resilient, how to plan ahead, and how to entertain oneself during downtime or in challenging situations. Electronics are part of that equation but not the only thing. (And even then, I plan to put a lot of kids' books and even chess on our iPad!)

I've also realized that - as you probably already know - kids grow and change. Our oldest was a champion traveler through toddlerhood, whereas the younger one did poorly on trips. Now their roles are somewhat switched, where eldest gets messed up by transitions, and youngest is even-keeled but gets homesick faster. :)

All that to say - I wish you a smooth trip, and even if there are hiccups along the way, know that the next trip will probably be a little different! :)

TavaPeak
05-29-2014, 06:18 AM
Happy to be Flat Bihnley, as long as y'all take me with you on all those other trips too!

flaneuse
05-29-2014, 07:20 AM
It sounds like you have got it all set! I'm sure you'll have a good flight and a great trip. Non-stops are best with kids, IMO. It keeps everyone corralled. I recently did a non stop flight from Ramstein AFB to BWI with 3 kids. The plane part was fine, it was the tsa and customs lines that were bad, mostly on the BWI end. I was able to one bag our stuff, but I did this knowing we had the luxury of laundry and mailing purchased things back, which we did. Here is my thread about it:

http://forums.tombihn.com/packing-lists/6973-14-days-3-children-1-adult-1-aeronaut-lcb.html

Janine
05-29-2014, 09:13 AM
Here is my thread about it:

http://forums.tombihn.com/packing-lists/6973-14-days-3-children-1-adult-1-aeronaut-lcb.html

Oh my google. You are AMAZING!

Janine
07-13-2014, 07:22 PM
We're back. I spent much of today mentally composing my forum recap for this thread because, as you'll see (ba-BAAAAAAA...cue the ominous music), your advice proved to be very wise.

Rather than invest in single-use carts for just transporting the carseats, I opted to buy two inexpensive folding luggage carts (these (http://www.amazon.com/Magna-Cart-Ideal-Hand-Truck/dp/B001HBH1BM/)). I love how fast the carts set up and fold down. We were not charged to bring them on the plane. Because they don't have latch anchors or other carseat-specific anchor points, Mr. Janine had to cipher a bit before figuring out how to strap the seats to the carts. Once he did, though, it was fast and east to set up and break down. Mental note for next time: practice this BEFORE trying to board the plane. It's also worth noting that nobody is able to roll a carseat down the aisle of an airplane. The aisles are just too narrow. You'll have to disengage from the cart, fold the cart, and carry your seat over your head down the aisle. This was unexpected and irritating; we were also wrangling kids and carrying other bags. The airline staff were only helpful when it became clear that we were holding up the works (but I'll save that for another rant outlining in great detail how much I hate Frontier Airlines).

The carts weren't easy to use, either. They are a bit awkward and the center of gravity is in a weird spot. The center of gravity is in an even weirder spot when a child rides in the carseat as you are moving the cart around. Our guys actually preferred riding in the carseat on the cart over walking on their own, which surprised me. It made the kids far easier to wrangle and definitely kept them calm, which reinforced in my mind that bringing our seats was a good choice.

We saw several families with young kids in the airport, and nobody else lugged their carseats. One mother told me she rented a carseat from their auto rental company and that they had 8 seats to choose from, all of which were in good shape. Another mother checked her son's carseat and that appeared to go all right. I didn't see anyone gate-checking carseats on this trip.

Having our own carseats also made the kids more relaxed on the plane. In fact, one of my kids fell asleep during some pretty wicked turbulence. The other kid fell asleep right after the wicked turbulence. I cannot tell you how happy I am that they were strapped in with a 5-point harness for that experience. I know it wouldn't have saved them in the event of a tragedy, but during the rough air it absolutely, without a doubt kept them contained and helped our whole family feel more secure while we were being ping-ponged around in the air.

Having our own carseats also kept me from melting down in a puddle of panic when Mr. Janine called to tell me that he and kids had been in a wreck. Nobody was hurt, but the boys were clearly excited about the event because they talked about it for hours afterwards. Knowing and trusting the carseats made all the difference in the world to me during the half-hour drive from my location to the scene of the accident.

So thanks, @Toblerhaus and @terayon and @haraya, for your advice about car seats. I am very happy with the choices I made and I'm grateful to have had your experience and opinions for guidance!

haraya
07-13-2014, 08:25 PM
Oh my goodness!! You had quite the trip!! Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your experience. What a vivid picture you paint - I can just imagine the aggravation as you were making your way down the aisle; the white knuckles as you rode out the turbulence; and the mingled alarm and relief as you took that call. Whew!!

We are planning our own trip later this summer, and I was all set to go thru our usual routine, when I found out that one of the airlines we will be flying does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two. (!!!) So I've had to make other arrangements, which I'm sure would be quite hilarious to anyone not as carseat-focused (:p) as I am. But it's all about the peace of mind, as you say - I just want to know that, in case of issues or emergency situations, I've done my best to keep my family safe. So I'm glad that you all are back, in good health and good spirits! :)

Ilkyway
07-14-2014, 07:29 AM
Janine what a nightmarish story. I am glad, that I red it "backwards" from your First-Aid-Kid threat, so that it was clear everyone was alright. That is my (and every perants) nightmare to hear on the phone, that something is not as it should be. I am so glad to read, that you had your own car-seats. Can you imagine, that there are still parents (at least here), that do not buy proper seats or in the worst cases even strip the normal seatbelt around there kids? Your trip should have been a handful to take on even without this additional "adventure". You have twins, right? Before my first daughter I always wanted to have twins. After her birth I thought: please let them all come one at a time. What I am saying is: I bow to every twin-parent for the every-day organisation, let alone traveling and this on top. I am deeply impressed and very very glad, that everything turned out to be fine.

Ilkyway

Shanisol
07-14-2014, 07:38 AM
What a terrifying call to get! I'm so glad everyone is okay.

moriond
07-14-2014, 07:58 AM
Janine what a nightmarish story. I am glad, that I red it "backwards" from your First-Aid-Kid threat, so that it was clear everyone was alright.
Ilkyway
Also glad you're all right, and that I read the First Aid kit thread before this post, so I knew everyone was fine.


Oh my goodness!! You had quite the trip!! Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your experience. What a vivid picture you paint - I can just imagine the aggravation as you were making your way down the aisle; the white knuckles as you rode out the turbulence; and the mingled alarm and relief as you took that call. Whew!!

We are planning our own trip later this summer, and I was all set to go thru our usual routine, when I found out that one of the airlines we will be flying does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two. (!!!)
@haraya Can you share the name of the airline that does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two? It might help others who are making travel plans.

haraya
03-02-2016, 06:38 AM
@haraya Can you share the name of the airline that does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two? It might help others who are making travel plans.

Had not revisited this thread in a while but just now mentioned it to someone on Ravelry, so I should go ahead and answer moriond's question. :) It was Turkish Airlines, but I did notice a post (http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=243257) on car-seat.org that someone took their seat aboard anyway. (My kiddo was six when we took that trip, so we just took a chance on the plane without a seat (and packed his inflatable booster).) Another option might be to use the airplane harness (http://www.amazon.com/Child-Airplane-Travel-Harness-Restraint/dp/B0012E4FV8/ref=sr_1_sc_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1456929422&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=Kid+Kare+harness) that someone mentioned upthread, and maybe just put it on after the flight attendants have already done their pre-flight check.

idbjorh
03-02-2016, 11:45 AM
The CARES harness that @haraya mentioned is great, we used this with my kids when they were small. Traveling with kids is stressful enough.

Other advantages:

1) Lugging a carseat through the airport, ugh. The only thing worse than this is lugging 2 carseats through the airport. Minimalist packing + kids = LOL

2) No stress over whether seats will actually fit (we had this problem in Hawaii on an inter-island flight, and it was not even a regional jet)
3) Airlines don't let families board first anymore, so trying to get the carseat(s) buckled in to the seat while other passengers are boarding = no fun
4) No stress over kids kicking seats in front of them

I've rented car seats many times from Hertz and every time I swear I've received a brand new seat.

trailrunner
03-02-2016, 05:35 PM
I recently supported a compact travel booster seat on a kickstarter like campaign. Supposed to deliver in May, possibly in time for our overseas trip: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mifold-the-grab-and-go-booster-seat#/ Can't speak to its quality yet, but it looks like a winner.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

haraya
03-05-2016, 10:08 AM
I recently supported a compact travel booster seat on a kickstarter like campaign. Supposed to deliver in May, possibly in time for our overseas trip: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mifold-the-grab-and-go-booster-seat#/ Can't speak to its quality yet, but it looks like a winner.


Interesting, I like the out-of-the-box thinking they did there! Looks very compact!

If it doesn't arrive in time, you could consider the Bubble Bum (http://www.amazon.com/BubbleBum-Inflatable-Booster-Black-Silver/dp/B00AQYZCXK/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1457201174&sr=8-1&keywords=bubble+bum). Have a couple of these now. We used it on a three-week trip where we were moving around a lot and using many different modes of transport (that is - it's designed for car use, but is very portable and squishable so it's not a liability when on the go, and can even be a makeshift pillow). I also keep one in my car - weighs practically nothing, but even if I forget to secure it after kids exit the car it's not going to become a lethal projectile in case of a crash. :) (Have no connection to the company, I just really like the design as it solves a lot of issues!)

Abby
03-06-2016, 10:49 AM
I just flew Turkish a couple of days ago and there was a toddler next to me in a big carseat. But if that's really their policy I would not want to chance it--a lap belt is just not designed for a 2 yo. Also, we boarded via tons of stairs down from the gate, onto a bus, up stairs, and then they boarded the plane from both the front and the back which means inevitably trying to squeeze past passengers heading in the opposite direction. I usually travel with children and this time was very glad I was alone--I couldn't stop thinking what a nightmare all of that would have been with a toddler, carseat, and extra bag.

imperator
03-13-2016, 11:47 PM
In Jacksonville we find ourselves driving the ~2hrs to Orlando Sanford/MCO to get direct long-haul flights. This is mostly to avoid a particularly noxious connecting airport (Miami), airfare cost, or insane customs (again, Miami). Even a short layover will probably add at least 90 minutes to any trip, especially with kids, so your biggest considerations will be entertaining kids at airport instead of in-car (your call), the possibility of weather related delays at your connecting airport (O'Hare not so bad in the summer, but TX can get nasty rainstorms), and total travel time if you have to do crazy out-of-the-way connections in Charlotte or Atlanta.

We used the Kid Kares harness for the plane, only because we visit my parents often enough to have them keep a car seat at home. When we went to Denver on vacation, we used the rental car seat - I would definitely recommend doing the vest in that case, as it will be convenient in so many other instances (carpool, field trip, etc), I wish we had known about it! We did consider just buying a car seat when we arrived there and just leaving it in the rental car, as the cost was about the same for the length of trip.

Our daughter is an excellent jet-setter, so we never had to deal with things like airsickness or ear-popping, all else being equal she will be easier to handle in airports/airplane than in the car so we would lean that way. When I was a kid I actually liked connections, and she is the same way. Taking off and landing were the most fun part of the trip!

We also did the in-flight indulgence of allowing her to watch movies on the phone, drink juice, and all kinds of other things she didn't do at home. Not bad if you don't travel much, you will set a precedent for future flights. Now that amusing yourself with SkyMall is no longer an option, inflight analog entertainment is...limited.