Traveling With Kids – What Should You Bring With You?

I have to hand it to my sister, she is one tough mamma!  
She will be traveling to Chile this February with her husband, infant and 4 year old for a whole month!

My sweet and amazing sissy with her family!
It takes some guts but that runs in the family – we think the biggest challenge is not while you are down there but planning what you should and should not bring.

Do you overpack or underpack?  Will you be in a car a lot?  How will you carry everything?  What is safest for the kids? What will the kids sleep in?  What do the kids really need? What will fit on the airplane?  Weather?  
The list could go on and on and on and on…..

I want to cover with you the “hardware” aka strollers, car seats, pack and plays.

With the new revolution of slings to carry children in you may be thinking, “why bring a stroller?”.
Here is why.
My sister decided on a double stroller for two simple reasons:
It will hold both of her children and majority of their luggage.  Aka less to carry.

Sure you have to tote around the stroller itself but check it out – storage space on a long, international trip is invaluable! 

My sister’s plan of action for the airport is:
1st carry on in the bottom, 6 month old in her car seat in the back, 4 year old walking to create space up front for 2nd carry on and  Pack and play stick up through the middle.
That is 5 items including the stroller plus a child that you can push through the airport.

***Tip: When traveling with children do not check luggage – bring everything in carry ons.
***Tip: Check in early online the day before departure to avoid check in lines at airport.  

Do you bring the stroller on the plane?
No, unfortunately you have to check it under the plane.  But when you get off the plane it will be waiting for you right as you get off so you do not have to go to baggage claim.  

So you have now made it through the airport and are on the plane – where will your infant sit – what are the laws???
Children under two years old will ride in either the lap of the mother or father.
***Tip: Children under two fly for free because they do not take up a seat.  BUT the airlines do have to be aware that they will flying with them.  
If the child is over two then they would ride in the car seat for the entire duration of the flight (expect with the fasten seat belt sign is off of course).
Even though my niece does not need a car seat for the plane, they will be traveling the country by car so she is bringing their seat for safety reason.  

Now onto where the children will sleep.  In my sister’s case her 4 year old can sleep wherever but the infant needs a safe environment.  That is why she will bring her pack and play.  We both have this one and it is fantastic.

It sets up in seconds flat, compact breakdown so it fits in any overhead compartment, weighs only 7 pounds and also comes with an over the shoulder carry bag.  

When thinking about what the kids really need is a task in itself – they think they need a lot and are used to having everything when they want it.
But my suggestion is only bring the things they cannot live without.  Like their fav stuffed animal, a few books, items to color with etc.
Clothes are different.
If gone for a month I would pack 40 pairs on underware for the 4 year old – especially is they are known to wet the bed.  Shirts 15 and shorts/pants 15 – you can reware items and wash them on the road if need be.  

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