Jamaica Vacation Part 1 {Tips for Flying with a Toddler}

This is part 1 of a 3 part Jamaica Vacation series.

I’m sure like any first time Moms bringing their child out of the country, you worry about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!  

“Even though the carseat says it’s FAA approved, will it still fit in the seat?”

“Will Sophia’s ears pop on the plane…Will she scream bloody murder?”

“Did I pack enough diapers?” (I had 70 to be exact.)

These were among the many concerns I had preparing for our trip, especially for the two four-hour flights we had in-store.  However,
after surviving these flights with a 15-month old, I have to say it.was.not.bad.  Even though Sophia had her moments, other travelers sitting around us said they were “impressed” with how well she did! <- Proud Mommy moment! 

So I wanted to share with you some tips I learned while flying with a 15-month old toddler with the hopes other travelers can say the same about your child!

Tip 1: If you don’t need a stroller at your destination, consider investing in a kid carrier backpack.  According to Andrew, this backpack was a life saver!  It was so much easier to put Sophia in it rather than lugging around a stroller, two suitcases, one duffle bag and a carseat.   Plus she enjoyed people watching and got quite a few smiles from other travelers!  We purchased our Deuter Kid Comfort II at EMS. Thanks to our friends in VT for the recommendation 🙂

Tip 2:  If your finances allow it, get your child his/her own seat.  Sophia needed to have her own seat since the flight was international, but I could not imagine holding her more than 15 minutes without her arms flailing and wanting to move around.  I figured she’d be reassured/comfortable in her own seat with the hopes of taking a nap- Yay for naps!  I also want to mention it was a tight squeeze with Sophia’s seat giving her minimal leg room.  Your child’s car seat should be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA.  The actual car seat (side panels) should say if it’s FAA approved and/or you can always find it in the car seat manual. 

Tip 3: While on the plane, make sure you have something for your child to eat or drink during take-off and descending/landing.  This will help lessen the pressure on your child’s ears.  Luckily, Sophia slept at take-off and I questioned waking her up to give her something to eat.  I decided against it and just had her water and animal crackers ready.  I did give her water while we were descending and she was A-OK!

Courtesy of Grandma!

Tip 4: Pack one favorite toy and a few new ones for the plane ride. Introduce a new toy every so often so they can last you the flight there and back.  

Sophia’s carry-on bag!

Tip 5: Think about future feedings!  This is where we had trouble.  I packed enough snacks for five people but I forgot about milk!!  Luckily the airplane had milk, but I wasn’t too happy; I totally forgot to pack another cup.  By the way, you can bring milk/formula into the airport and on the plane.  It just can’t be in excessive amounts.   I checked with my friend who is a TSA Officer 🙂

Tip 6: According to Andrew, “having a great wife” but I will change that to “Teamwork.” If you’re traveling with your husband, baby daddy, family, whomever, make sure you have some sort of system in place when going through the airport; who will be in charge of the tickets, passports, filling out customs forms etc.  Andrew was in charge of all the travel documents and completing the customs forms while I entertained/took care of Sophia.  Thankfully, our system worked and we do make one great team <3

Tip 7: This last tip the entire family can benefit from; make sure your credit cards and passports are in a protective sleeve/case.  Our credit card was hacked at JFK and we were fortunate to notice (we receive emails if a transaction of $75+ takes place) while in Jamaica.  There’s technology that allows scammers to walk past you, scan your credit card (somehow) and create a mock card.  According to our CC statement, we went to a Wawa, Food Lion, and Taco Bell in Virginia.  Thankfully, Capital One noticed these transitions (we notified them about our trip prior to leaving and you should do the same when traveling internationally) and shut down our account immediately.  You can purchase credit card and passport protectors off Amazon.

Hopefully you can keep these tips in mind on your next flight whether it’s domestic or international.  Do you have any tips to share for flying with a toddler?


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