I’m headed back to my hometown of Lake Forest, IL tomorrow morning; just me and my little 21 month old. I have prepared myself every way possible, but I’m not even that worried since we’ve already flown 8 times and she even has a stamp in her passport… just call her a little jetsetterThis will be the first time we are traveling just her and I though, and I’ve tried to simplify things as much as possible.
Here are some things I’m doing to make my trip a little easier!
I’m parking at the airport. I decided the $30/day is well worth being able to pull up a mere 300 ft or so from the terminal. Easy peasy.
I’m not bringing a stroller or carseat. Bringing either of these things would seriously limit the use of my hands! Less is definitely more in this scenario. There will be a stroller waiting for me in Lake Forest, and I’ll be renting a carseat at the car rental company. Yes, there is a carseat rolling bag on the market, but how will I roll my carseat and my bag and hold my toddler’s hand or hold her? Too much by myself. A stroller would be nice, but again, pushing requires both hands and my toddler is old enough to walk (she’s great about staying right by mommy). When I need both of my hands, I’ll simply put her in my Maya Wrap Ring Sling on my hip, which she loves. Other baby carriers such as a Tula or Ergo would also be super helpful before checking in bags. That way I can use one hand to pull the luggage and one hand to fish for my wallet, itinerary, etc.
I bought her a seat on the plane. Yes, it doubles the cost of travel but I feel like the added space will be sooooo nice. Another option is to cross your fingers and hope the plane isn’t full and they will give you an additional seat for free. Pray to the plane gods and hopefully karma will be in your favor. To me, that was to much of a risk so I went ahead and bought an additional seat for her. I think she’ll enjoy sitting in her own seat just like mommy. When she gets tired, she’ll just snuggle on me to get some shut eye. We’ll be able to put up the arm rest between us and have plenty of room.
Packed a bag dedicated just to my daughter. To have all of her stuff and my stuff in one giant back seemed way to confusing to me. I would feel like Mary Poppins or something! I like organization. I packed a stylish backpack (hands free!) dedicated to my toddler. It has diapers, wipes, pacis, extra clothes, snacks, board books, this toddler tote, and some mini puzzles. More than enough to get us through 4 hours.
So there it is, my tips for traveling with a toddler! I have found that people are always super helpful at the airport if you have a little one in tow, and who can resist a cute little face anyways? I’m so excited to visit Lake Forest; to breathe in the oxygen-rich air from the huge, dense trees and enjoy the lake!
Here’s a photo of us last summer when G was just 8 months old. Time flies! Now time for us to fly