Traveling with toddlers

 In October we headed out to Boston and watched as my baby sister marry her best friend. We were anxious about flying with a one and three year old but thankfully we had three adults and two toddlers.  We traveled with a sitter and neither of our flights was too terribly long.  I did however make a bonehead move and booked a 6AM flight the day we left.  That meant we were leaving our house at 3:30AM.  We woke our poor kiddos up at 3:15AM got them changed and headed out to the airport.

   While hitting up Amazon I found these travel car seat bags.Why couldn't I have invented something like this?  It zips and makes for easy travel and easy access to your convertible car seat. We traveled with two large car seats.  Kate is still in a convertible car seat and Drew is in a 5 point harness high back booster seat.  We rented a car when in Boston and I was more comfortable having their seats when traveling by car.  These bags worked perfectly.  They had a strap that clipped on the outside so we could carry them like a duffel bag, they were sturdy and protected our seats from any damage.  I did notice there was some scraping on the bag when we got home, however I was so thankful it was on the bag and not on our seat.  I would highly recommend these to anyone who is traveling with children and wants to check their car seats.
When we finally got all of our baggage and car seats checked, we headed up to the security line and every line we went through the TSA agents were more then helpful.  We looked like a three-ring circus coming through.  We had 2 small backpacks (one for each child), my large diaper bag, Brendan's roller bag with all the extra clothing and wedding clothing, our double stroller, and then our sitters small carry on.  Seriously, we were a hot mess!  We took our Baby Jogger City Select that we have converted to a double stroller.
The seats easily detach so they can slide through the security belt.  However, the base is too large.  Each time we went through security they swiped the base to check for explosive material.  No biggie.  We really liked having this stroller with us as it was narrow and the basket is huge and was able to store the kids backpacks when were were going from place to place.  As we were going through security the agents allowed me to carry Kate and Drew happily walked through himself.  Neither child had to remove their shoes or sweatshirt.  We were also expedited when in the security line in Boston.  Apparently it pays to look like a circus at 5AM.  

This was the first time Kate would be flying.  Drew has flown before and did great.  He has a ton of games and movies on the iPad so I really wasn't concerned about him.  I did however get him a few new small toys to help entertain him in case he needed a change of activity.  I went to my always trusted Amazon and looked up best travel toys for toddlers.

This looked pretty entertaining to me; mini pinball game. When he wasn't on the iPad he chose this.  Now that we're back this has gone in the car and he loves paying with this on car rides.

Disney Planes sticker book, this wasn't even looked at until we arrived in Boston.  Drew is fascinated with airplanes, airports and all that travel has to offer.  He really could just sit and stare out the window while we are flying.  I have no idea why I bought the rest of these toys.

I also packed some of Drew's cars and trucks for him to have at our house we rented and of course his airplanes.

Each of the kids has a travel doodler, and I put those in their backpacks.  This was a big hit with Kate and saved many meltdowns.  
Peek-a-Moo, Kate was mostly entertained with books while on the flights.  Thankfully we brought along quite a few.

I then found a few other little things to throw in her backpack.  She played with almost everything.  

This was a great little toy to have.  It has two little boards in the reusable package and reusable stickers.  This was a hit with Kate.
Lastly I threw in her purse that is always filled with her little cellphone, credit card and little mirror.  She mostly had fun pulling everything out of her backpack and putting it back in.  

Thankfully neither of our flights was terribly long and we did have a little lay over. If you're looking for a really good post on traveling without technology. Emily over at Imperfect shared some awesome tips on tech-free travel.

Both flights were pretty smooth, Kate had a minor meltdown on our second flight but after a few minutes of crying and she was fast asleep for the remainder of the flight.  A few other products I would highly recommend for traveling with toddlers.

Take and toss sippy cups.  We used these both while traveling and while in Boston.  If we lost one, no biggie.  I brought two packages along and I think we ended up back home with maybe three cups.  
We stopped while on our layovers and ate at restaurants with the kids.  Kate obviously can't eat with regular utensils so these were a great alternative to have when we traveled and at the rental house.

My diaper bag worked beautifully while traveling so I can't say enough good things about it.  I used the Skip Hop double duo and although it's huge, I needed the room.  Between Drew's blankie and cow, Kate's blankie, diapers, wipes, cups, you name it.  We needed the extra room.  This bag has so many pockets I had room for all of the things the kids needed as well as my wallet, cell phone and any other necessities I brought along.  

Our travels went more smoothly then I imagined they would.  I can't recall anything that we lost or if we did none of us have missed it yet.  The airline staff was absolutely amazing with our kids and our sitter was a lifesaver to have along!  I am so thankful we were able to go and see my little sister and her now husband celebrate their big day.  We made memories that will last a lifetime.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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