Thursday, January 25, 2018

Traveling with a Toddler | our flight home

Our Flight Home:

For those of you following my tips for traveling with a toddler, I told you I'd give you an update on our flight home. There's almost always something unexpected, which was the case, but it turned out to be a pretty good flight! 

So, I have been super lucky flying with Emmajean. She's now flown 16 times, and I've even done it by myself for a few of them! She has done so well, and I have to think that it's thanks to having snacks, an awesome carrier, and my fav diaper bag.

Obviously flying with a companion is by far the best help, so flying to NC with Gima Dawn was a breeze, and knowing I'd be flying home with Zach's help calmed those pre-travel jitters. It wasn't until we boarded the plane back to Iowa that my "I got this" attitude took a dive, and you'll know why in a minute! 

The night before we flew, we checked in online. We didn't select our seats when we checked in to print our boarding passes because it costs extra, and they often make adjustments at the airport if you're flying with an infant on your lap. Sometimes they won't even let me check in online if I've selected lap infant. They have to be sure there is an extra oxygen mask in the row with a lap infant, which means you have to sit on the right side of the plane. 

After we printed our boarding passes, we were relieved to see that they put us in seats 8C and 8D -- side by side, or so we thought! I planned to take my usual window seat and Zach would take the aisle. If we hadn't automatically received these "side by side seats," we would have asked at the gate to see if they could seat us together. We boarded the plane and realized we were across the aisle from each other! I thought, SHOOT....not the end of the world, but not ideal.

HENCE, TIP # FOUR: You can pay to select your seats when you check in online at home or take a gamble and ask to sit together when you're checking in or at the gate. They are generally super helpful and will seat you together if possible (especially if you have an infant). Just be sure to ask! If you're trying to fly next to a companion and you didn't pay to select seats from the online diagram at check-in, don't rely on your seat numbers. Check to be sure your seats are actually beside each other when you get to your gate.

In theory, the person beside me could have easily switched with Zach. I told the nice lady already sitting in the window seat beside me that my husband would be happy to trade seats with her if she didn't want to ride beside a baby (who would?). To my surprise, she was thrilled to ride next to a baby-- LOL! Luckily, Zach was right across the aisle so he could help me get adjusted and help with Emmajean's snacks/bribes during the flight. I just crossed my fingers that she would behave and, hopefully, nap. 

The flight was actually fairly comfortable, and Emmajean enjoyed sitting next to her new friend. With about thirty minutes left to fly, Emmajean and I both dozed off. Wondering how I was able to snooze with a baby on my lap? Check out my tips for traveling with an infant/ toddler. The plane landed, and we said goodbye to the nice woman beside us. She was still in shock over how well Emmajean traveled! 

No matter how many times we fly, I always breathe a sigh of relief when we've landed with no major meltdowns. Thinking of booking your first or next flight with your little one? GO FOR IT! You've got this! 

Flight Tips for Toddlers in summary:

1. Snacks/Bribes
2. A comfortable carrier
3. an easy access diaper bag
4. Check to be sure you're seated beside your travel companion by asking at the ticket counter or at the gate or be prepared to enjoy the company of a new travel companion.

I hope these tips help you fly with confidence, and feel free to share! :)  

Happy Travels!

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