Friday, January 4, 2013

Recommendations Needed

Oh, how I laugh at my pre-baby self. Tommy and I booked a trip with the baby prior to her being born. On an airplane. Leaving at 6:00 in the morning. What in the world was I thinking? (On the 6:00 a.m. thing it was the shortest travel time – tell me this was a good idea, right?) This one will also go under the completely na├»ve category.

On the plus side, we are bringing our moms on this trip, so the baby to adult ratio is 1 to 4. I am hoping this helps. And I am hoping the fact that the trip is still over a month away may make my travel anxiety subside : ).

So all of your mommy travelers, I need your help.

1- Advice on how in the world to check the carseat, pack n play and stroller? Unfortunately, we are not taking Southwest. Do you gate check the carseat and stroller? How does that work?

2- Would you bring your snap n go stroller or your umbrella? (Mind you, we have never actually opened our umbrella stroller since she is only three months old.)

3- What brand of car seat bags do you recommend? Here are my options on Amazon:

JL Childress Carseat bag – $35 (mind you, I am already betting this is our last trip with the baby in car seat for quite sometime and I am only willing to pay for this if it is an absolutely necessary expense).

Option 2 is a little more reasonable since we won’t be doing too much traveling via plane, but wanted to see if any of you guys had bought one. This is Jeep brand for only $18.

Do I also need the Snap n Go Travel bag?

And now for the fun part – we are actually super excited to be traveling for a wedding to Charleston, SC. I would love your recommendations on things to see, do and eat there! We have never been and I am excited to add another state to my list of places traveled! Can’t wait to see hear your “must-dos!”

12 comments:

Emily @ EMILY POSTS said...

I moved to Charleston a year ago from OKC! You will love it! There are so many great places to eat and things to see. My latest favorite restaurants are Macintosh and FIG. Justine's Kitchen is a great southern diner good for a fried chicken lunch. What area are you staying? If you're here on the second Sunday of the month King street closes it off and restaurants and shops bring tables etc outside. You really can't go wrong sightseeing downtown. (Although I would avoid the market. Drive by and check it out maybe, but it's all crap!)

SushiMama said...

We traveled to Maine when E was 5 months old and it went really smoothly! We could each gate check one baby item for free, so we did her stroller and carseat (the carseat snaps into the stroller, but they come apart, much like your snap and go, I'd guess). We just used this while in the airport, and right before we'd board, gate check them. We didn't use any bags for them and had no problems. We actually took 4 flights total- 2 there, 2 back, and didn't have any issues. Just check to see what your airline allows. We stayed in a hotel and requested a pack n play, so I don't have any advice about checking that (but if you're staying in a hotel they do have pack n plays).

We didn't check anything, just each had a carryon, and a personal item- I used a backpack for my personal item, which held my wallet etc, but also her diaper bag stuff. I nursed upon take off and landing, or at least had her sucking on her paci to help with the pressure on the ears. She slept most of the time, or was happy and friendly.

Good luck!

Heather said...

Make the moms take care of everything. You all enjoy yourselves! ...that way if she is the screaming baby on the plane, you can act like she isn't yours! :) JK!

Had was 8 months the first time she flew, and I was nervous for MONTHS, but she did awesome!

I would take your snap and go stroller and carseat. You will have more storage for your bags than you would with the umbrella. Also, you don't have to take it apart until right before you board. And when you board, you can just check it at the gate. We didn't use a bag or anything, and we had no issues with damage.

Also, I kind of changed her eating schedule a few days before where she would start eating as the plane took off. I am not sure if you can do that with Emmy's but it made it super easy and she never acted like her ears bothered her.

Aja said...

Fun! We did a baby carrier (bjorn) and the umbrella stroller, but Evie was like 10 months when we flew.. So if I were you, I would do the car seat and snap and go stroller. Like pp said- use these in the airport and then gate check them. That way they are laid on top of all the luggage and have WAY less chance of being damaged. You just wheel right up to the plane and then leave them for the attendants to load up when you get on the plane. Then pick up as soon as you get off! Super easy. I wouldn't bother with a cover for the snap & go, unless you have one. And as for the car seat cover- I think that's a must, so it doesn't get scratched or damaged. I borrowed one from Sarah! It was old and banged up, but who cares! (I think it was a hand-me-down to her). Maybe someone you know has one you could borrow instead of having to buy?.. I'm sure Sarah would let you if you need it! And definitely don't worry about a pack n play- hotels will have cribs for no charge! Just let them know you need one! It will likely go WAY more smoothly than you anticipate. And your moms will love holding her during the flight, so you'll probably have an easy ride. :) Do nurse or give the paci when you take off and land. It will be great!

Stephanie C said...

When we went to Florida last February, I checked the car seat (most airlines will let you check it for free), used an umbrella stroller in the airport & checked it at the gate & shipped the pack n play to our destination via UPS (it was cheaper than paying the fee to check a bag). We were staying at a beach rental, not a hotel & they didn't have a crib/pack n play available. I didn't use a car seat cover because I didn't think of it until the last minute but we put it in 3 or 4 heavy black trash bags & it was fine. I perferred the umbrella stroller to our big stroller because it was easy to check at the gate. Alex was 14 months, though, so we were using the umbrella stroller most of the time anyway. I wouldn't worry about a bag for your stroller if you're gate checking it. Some airlines have a stroller weight limit now, so make sure yours isn't too heavy to gate check. Most airlines should have a page on their website about traveling with an infant. Some require that you get a boarding ticket for them - it's free - you just have to call the airline ahead of time & give them the baby's name, date of birth, etc. And this won't be a problem on this trip but if you ever fly with Emmy when she's around a year & a half or older, bring a copy of her birth certificate so you can prove she's under 2 years old. Our friends almost missed their flight because their daughter was 21 months old & the airline wanted proof she wasn't 2 yet.

Don't worry - it will go fine. Just try to stay relaxed & I'm sure Emmy will, too. And having the two moms with you will be great!

Sarah Martin said...

You can borrow my old banged up carseat cover! That sucker has been around the world! I would go snap and go and carseat and gate check like Aja said. That way you have them for the airport walking as well. Sounds like fun!! I am dying to get out of town.

Jaclyn said...

This is such a coincidence that you asked this! I'm traveling ALONE with my 2 month old in a week and wondered these things! I was told about the snap and go and car seat was the way to go and I'm planning on bringing my baby bjorn also.... Hoping that he's not too bothered by the pressure! Good luck to you and to all you experience mamas... I'll take any more suggestions :)

erin said...

My advice, be the very last one on the plane, let the grandma's get the seats and all of your stuff settled on the plane and you and baby last on that way you are not sitting inside the plane any longer than you have to with the baby, cause we all know that is at least 20 extra minutes of entertaining that you will have to do in a small space.

Brooke said...

I've been meaning to comment, and I just can't seem to keep anything straight, so I apologize! We took quite a few big trips right after sweets was born, surprisingly. The biggest one was when we went to New York for Thanksgiving. I think she was 4 months old, so not old enough to use the umbrella yet, and had to pack ALL the stuff that comes with being a baby!

We just used a duffle bag for her carseat. It was a large one we bought at Wal-Mart, so I think any one of those you listed will do just fine!

As far as stroller is concerned, we had the carseat checked (which is a bummer because you will probably have to pay for it, but it is worth it not to have it on the plane with you), and we gate checked the stroller...that was best for us as it was ready to go for any layovers. For walking and whatnot while in NY, we used our Baby Bjorn and it was fabulous especially because it was very cold and David or I could wear M around and button our coats around her.

We were in SC this summer at Hilton Head. It was my first time there, and honestly we did nothing but stay at the beach. It was lovely, but it was not somewhere we would go until Mallory and the new baby are older for sure...but being IN South Carolina will be much better than at the HH.

HAVE SO MUCH FUN!! and don't worry about Emmy on the plane...they are really good, and DO NOT underestimate the beauty of a little medicinal "health" if you need to!

Brooke said...

I've been meaning to comment, and I just can't seem to keep anything straight, so I apologize! We took quite a few big trips right after sweets was born, surprisingly. The biggest one was when we went to New York for Thanksgiving. I think she was 4 months old, so not old enough to use the umbrella yet, and had to pack ALL the stuff that comes with being a baby!

We just used a duffle bag for her carseat. It was a large one we bought at Wal-Mart, so I think any one of those you listed will do just fine!

As far as stroller is concerned, we had the carseat checked (which is a bummer because you will probably have to pay for it, but it is worth it not to have it on the plane with you), and we gate checked the stroller...that was best for us as it was ready to go for any layovers. For walking and whatnot while in NY, we used our Baby Bjorn and it was fabulous especially because it was very cold and David or I could wear M around and button our coats around her.

We were in SC this summer at Hilton Head. It was my first time there, and honestly we did nothing but stay at the beach. It was lovely, but it was not somewhere we would go until Mallory and the new baby are older for sure...but being IN South Carolina will be much better than at the HH.

HAVE SO MUCH FUN!! and don't worry about Emmy on the plane...they are really good, and DO NOT underestimate the beauty of a little medicinal "health" if you need to!

Marisa Cromey said...

Hi there!
I live in Charleston! I may be biased but I think you will LOVE it!
First off, the Charleston airport is a breeze. It's really tiny and getting in and out is easy. So hopefully that eases your mind a bit.
For dinner I might suggest High Cotton. It's a favorite go to of ours. You will see people dressed up and you will see people casual. The food is very very good and it has a charming, classy and southern atmosphere. The food is really really good :).
Another place if you are looking for a fancy place is called HUSK. If you are considering it, you might want to make a reservation now. It's that popular. I've only been once, as its a treat, but its amazing. The chef, Sean Brock is world famous and the place gets a ton of press/awards.
For drinks I would say you have to check out the Market Pavillion Hotel Rooftop Bar. The views of the city are amazing, the cocktails are delicious and there is a beautiful pool on the top that is just so serene and pretty. You will want to relax there all day.
For shopping/site seeing shop King Street and the Charleston Place Hotel.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or if you plan to do anything with the baby (my son is 1 and the Charleston Aquarium is great!).
I hope that everyone is lovely to you and that the city meets your expectations!
Have fun!
Marisa

Sweet Simplicity said...

We will be flying at the end of May and will need your advice!

 
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