Carefree Blonde

Monday, July 9, 2018

How To Travel Alone with Two, Two and Under. No Sweat!

I'm excited about today's post, but first things first! This post is sponsored by Degree Women, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.




There was a lot of anxiety building up before the boys and I flew to Texas a few weeks ago. This was going to be my first time taking Case (8months) on a flight and my first time traveling alone with two kids. How was Case going to react on the flight? Would Tyson do ok with Mom having to hold Case the whole time? How am I going to do all the luggage by myself? What if both of them have a hard time!? What the heck am I doing trying to travel alone with these two!?


Deep Breath....... 

Being slightly over anxious, I wanted to make sure I was ready for whatever these kiddos would throw at me. I put a lot of thought into each step of traveling with kids. FIRST! Picking my seats. Definitely a window and middle seat so I can keep my brand of crazy contained. Done.

 Now.....What is going to be the easiest way to get through the airport? (I didn't want to be pushing and pulling too many things. The more free your hands are the better!)With a little pre flight prep you can make your experience sooooo much better than just winging it and seeing how they do! I found this to also be true when I traveled for the first time alone with Ty. You can read more about that experience here

Let's start packing!!

First figure out what bags are going to be most practical flying with kids. I know for me the easiest way to get through the airport is to have case strapped to me in his carrier and Tyson in the jogger stroller (which gets checked at the gate). After that, I picked which bags I was going to carry on. Making sure I stay with the hands free goal, I chose two carry on bags. The diaper bag (Which straps on to the handles of the stroller so I don't have to hold it), and a backpack. That's it for carry on items!

Everything else gets checked. I packed two suitcases (One for me and one for the boys) leaving extra room for fun items we come home with. The only other thing that gets checked with the big bags was Case's carseat. I didn't bring Tyson's thank heavens! Prior to us coming Gigi and Papi purchased this carseat which I highly recommend for grandparents to have! When grandkids come you'll be able to have a carseat for whatever stage they're in!






When packing my suitcase in particular, There are a couple must have items I always make sure I have.

1. My mini steamer. This compact guy saved me from being a wrinkly mess. Especially in this adorable pencil skirt that is part linen!
2.  Chanel Mademoiselle Twist and Spray Perfume. I love this easy to pack twist design. I don't have to worry about leaks or it accidentally spraying in my suitcase.
    - I get mine at Walmart and pack this baby last because heaven knows getting through the airport with two littles can make a mama sweat! Before heading out I just sprayed it on and instantly felt dry and clean. The reason I love this one so much especially for travel is because you get up to 48-HOUR protection against wetness and odor, it has motionsense technology that releases extra protection every time you move (which is a lot with kiddos), it works with EVERY outfit so no white marks or yellow stains, and most importantly its Dermatologist tested and alcohol free!

PSA: So I'm not sure if you have the Checkout51 app? If not hurry and download it BECAUSE when you grocery shop you just take a pic of your receipt and earn $$$ back (from things you already purchased y'all!) Right now Degree is giving $1.50 back! Once you total $20 you are mailed a check. Think of it as couponing without the coupon books or hassle!



Luggage Rundown:

Carry On/Check at Gate:

* 1 Backpack
* Jogger Stroller

Checked Luggage:

* 2 Suitcases
* 1 Infant Carseat 

TIP: My first time flying I checked Tyson's carseat without a cover and it came out DISGUSTING! I now use a cover similar to this one and it's been great for preventing anything gross getting on it. It folds up so small which is perfect for storage.

When packing our carry ons, I try to keep everything organized and convenient. I don't want to be digging through my bag when I have a crying baby! Below is everything that I include in our carry ons. After I list it all out, I'll let you know how I packed it for convenience.

Food:

Snacks on snacks on snacks. I'd love to say that I packed just healthy snacks for Ty but in reality being on the plane alone is about survival and so the snacks consist of favorites of Ty so I'm not left offering room temp veggies or other hit or miss items.

Tyson:

* Fruit Snacks (Lots of these. To get him excited about the flight he picked his "airplane snacks" out)
* Pirate Booty (He's obsessed)
* Gold Fish
* Suckers ( I'm not a sucker person BUT these are great for desperate moments and if the altitude changes start messing with  your toddler's ears. Bring lots of wet wipes though!)
* Gummy Worms
* An empty sippy cup (When the drink and snack cart came I put his apple juice in the empty sippy cup. I got no time for spilled juice on a flight!)

Case:

* 1 Bottle ( I just keep the formula and empty bottle and then buy a room temp water bottle after security. I try to book my flights close to nap time so they can drink their bottle on take off to help with ears and also hopefully help them fall asleep)
* Teether Cookies (These are a mess but I brought them in case he was having a hard time. They saved me a couple times and I had a full bag of wipes for clean up!)
*Spare bottle ( I like to have another bottle on hand ready with just a few ounces on descent. Once again to help with their ears)

Mom:

*Almonds 
* Protein Bar
* I drank a Spark on the way to the airport. It's my favorite energy and mental focus drink. It has Aminos, Caffeine, and B-Vitamins. A must for all mamas!!






Entertainment:

Tyson:

* Ipad (I use this Ipad case especially when traveling so he can hold it and I'm not worried too much about it dropping)
* Headphones ( I wasn't sure if he'd be interested in them or not but I didn't feel like having the volume on the Ipad up on the plane was a good idea. As soon as I brought them home he put them on and didn't want to take them off! These are the ones I got for him and he LOVES them! He called them his "Ipad phones")


see very excited lol


* Small book with stickers (If you can find some I love the window stickers so he can play with them on the airplane window. You definitely do not want to do that with regular stickers!)
* A new toy....
       -Have you noticed that although your kids may have TONS of toys, whenever they go to someone else's house those toys are suddenly the coolest thing ever?! New toys are exciting and hold their attention longer. You can pick up a couple at the dollar store or to get them excited about the flight let them pick it out. Since Eric wasn't coming with us, he took Ty the night before our flight on a "daddy son outing" to pick out an airplane toy. We told him he would get to open it on the airplane and was sooooo excited when he was finally able to. All about something to look forward to.


Case:

* 2 teething/sensory type toys
* My empty water bottle. He loves the noise it makes

Mom:

* 2 magazines (In case case falls asleep. Which he did......for 15 min at the beginning of the flight)

Hygiene:

* 1 Full pack of wet wipes (It's tough because a full pack will slow you down at security. I've had to have my diaper bag checked every time. To me it's worth it though because of the messes and diapers I want to be prepared for.)
* 2 pocket sized hand sanitizer bottles
* 3 Diapers (the rest are packed in the suitcase)
* Bags for dirty diapers (I prefer these ones. I only use them if there's a dirty diaper on the plane which happened)


Briefly this is how I packed the carry on bags:

Backpack:

Back zipper(closest to back)Ipad and my laptop were together to make it easy to pull out through security. In front of these were the sticker books and my magazines (I put my magazines in the seat pocket in front of me as soon as we sat down. I didn't want to fumble in a bag if Case fell asleep). There's a divider in my back section so this is where I put the new toys and headphones. Front zipper had all the snacks for Ty. I used the backpack mainly for Ty and stored it under the seat in front of him.

Diaper bag:

Diapers, changing pad, bags, and wipes were all in the same pocket for a simple grab. Case's bottle and pre-measured formula were in another pocket with a room temp water bottle. (you can ask the flight attendant for one if you didn't bring your own). My almonds and Case's teething cookies and toys were in a section together. I kept my phone and jewelry in a zipped compartment (I always carry on jewelry in the off chance someone goes through my bag. ya never know.)


For those curious how the execution day of went, it was 100x better than if I winged it.


Tip: When getting ready for the airport I like to dress simple. Not a lot of jewelry or things to take off at security. I also love packing a lightweight scarf that can double as a little blanket for one of the boys. I also write out a list of last minute items to pack like my deodorant, chargers, and etc. so nothing gets left behind in the rush to get out.

1. Got to the airport 1:30 prior to flight. I had Eric stay in the car with the two boys while I checked the bags at the curb. These attendants work off tips so giving them a couple dollars to check my bags and print my tickets was way worth not having to somehow drag everything in and wait in the lines inside. Once checked I put the boys in the stroller/carrier, threw the backpack on and headed straight to security! Easy! (Ty did start crying I think from the busyness and watching Eric hug us and leave. He stopped once we started moving though.)

2. Security....bah the line was AWFUL!!! For some reason they were just extra slow that day and we were in line for a little OVER an hour. Get to the airport early folks you never know what's going to happen. While I was in line my flight started boarding and that's when I started sweating.... (or normally would have started sweating lol. Thanks to my Degree Ultra Clear Black+White Dry Spray Deodorant  no physical sweat...only mental). I packed the carry on bags to make security easier as well. I grabbed both the iPad and laptop to put in a tray, Both bags went right through, another tray for my shoes (I didn't wear jewelry other than my wedding ring so I didn't have to take it off.), and done! Because Case was strapped to me I didn't have to take him off. When I traveled with Ty in the stroller when he was little they had me take him out and it was this whole awkward ordeal. Lesson? Just strap the little one to you. They checked my bags (because of the wipes) and I sprinted to my gate! Luckily I got there right as my section was boarding so I just rolled right in!

3. Getting situated went super smooth. I got Ty in the window seat, unstrapped Case and put the carrier in the over head bin. I immediately took out anything I would want and put it in the pocket in front of me. Tyson got his toys out and Ipad with "Ipad phones". Now since I didn't have time to buy a water bottle I immediately asked the flight attendant for room temp water before everyone else got on the plane and it got too crazy.



4. Take off also went smooth! Case drank his bottle and dosed off as prayed for and Tyson watched a show with no altitude issues which also meant no early sucker! Winning!!

5. Flight. Case slept a full 15 min and all I could think was CRAP!! he's going to be fussy the rest of the time. When Ty was little he would usually fall asleep on me for the majority of the flight. Case has never done this so 15 min was all I got. The res of the time I was trying to entertain which worked for the majority of the time but I did use the teething cookies and TONS of wipes after about an hour.

K so what do you if there's an in flight poop!? Well since I was alone I paged the flight attendant and asked if they could stand next to tyson while I took case in the bathroom to change him. They were super sweet and I just went as fast as humanly possible. Personally I don't think I would feel comfortable asking the person in the isle seat to watch him. You just don't know and can't trust people these days unfortunately, so the safest person to ask was  the flight attendant and also I asked in front of other people so I know other people were aware. I'd rather be paranoid than have something happen ya know?

6. Landing was awful. Ty did fine. He did break into the candy by this point just because he was starting to get bored of his show and I was fine with it. Case's ears were having a hard time and he would scream every time the plane would lower. Unfortunately I offered the bottle too late and he was just too miserable to even want to take it. Going forward I will probably start offering it 5 min after the captain says we are descending instead of waiting for him to get fussy.

Over all the process was way better than I thought it would be! I literally did not break a sweat! Do you have any other tips or suggestions you didn't see above? Comment below I'd love some more ideas!


This is the goal!!! NOW....if only I could get Case to do the same thing!!

Thank you Degree for Sponsoring today's post!!

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