Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Up Up & Away!

Between a serious cold (read plague) that won't go away, an ever-growing pile of agreements on my desk at work, and a quick trip to the beach in SoCal...the past few days have just flown by!

On Wednesday, I packed up the tot and trekked down to SFO for a little beach getaway with my family in San Diego. With only a 90 minute flight, it's the perfect location to jet to when you just need to get away (and boy, did I need to get away)!
I'm always asked, "is this tot's first flight?" No. Not even close. This little jet-setter has been just about everywhere including St. Thomas (USVI), Toronto, Charlotte, and Texas. But, traveling with an infant is much different than traveling by yourself and something all new mom's can easily prepare for. Don't be scared - I promise that getting on that daunting 6 hour red-eye with your 12 week old isn't as bad as it sounds!

Here are some tips & tricks that I've picked up over the past year:

1. Pick a family-friendly airline. You want everything from the check-in process to boarding to run seamlessly. Virgin America and Delta have both been amazing with tot as we prepare to sail away! From comping the bags with baby equipment to helping you fast-track security, both airlines have been phenomenal when it comes to the extra baggage you have to carry. Also, double-check on if you're allowed to pre-board. I travel with tot alone quite often, and always ensure that I befriend the gate agents ahead of time so we can get those few extra minutes to settle before the crowds race in.

2. Stock up the diaper bag (we have the one below)

Gray Classic - Pottery Barn Kids
I've been delayed for hours before and it is not fun unless you have your essentials with you. But, be smart about what you pack - you don't need the entire kitchen sink. Messy flights aren't fun so we always try to snag gear that is as mess-free as possible. Tot's bag always has a few of these stuffed in there:
3. If you're a couple that travels a lot (like us), you'll need compact and light gear for your little one. We knew some of our destinations can be a hard on our baby equipment so we purposefully did the research to ensure each product we purchased had a great warranty and could withstand a couple flights a month if we needed it to. 

For tot's stroller & car seat - we went with a brand we knew we could rely on. From the customer reviews, UPPAbaby led the pack in both safety and compatibility for parents. If you're renting cars at each of your destinations, you want a car seat you can easily plug in without any hassle or sweat. Who wants to work during a vacation? Not me! The Mesa is federally regulated, which means it can easily be placed on a plane in the seat next to you so you can enjoy that same episode of Vanderpump Rules you've seen 7x already while tot naps peacefully. I can't say enough wonderful things about UPPAbaby. Their customer service is phenomenal, and they're available at your local Nordstrom if you ever need any maintenance or additional gadgets to amplify your momma gear. Portability and safety - what more could you ask for?


UPPAbaby Cruz
UPPAbaby Mesa

4. Last, but not least...sleeping arrangements. You obviously can't carry a crib around with you and while most hotels offer you cribs, it's tough to pack your bumpers and safety gear in an already jam-packed suitcase. This was a tough one for us and it required a lot of research - we don't always stay in hotels and wanted the ability to gate-check or even bring our pack n play with us as a carry-on. After a lot of trial & error in the quest for a portable crib, we stumbled upon the Guava Lotus Crib. 
It's incredibly light-weight (13 lbs - including mattress and crib sheets), provides a hands-free portable option (backpack straps), and can easily fit in the overhead bin on any major US airline. While I may be book smart, I'm not the quickest with equipment set-up, but this crib can be assembled by ME in less than 15 seconds. It's easy to wash and most importantly, tot sleeps peacefully in it. She even sits in it while I'm working from home some days instead of using baby-gates. 

I don't think words can truly justify how in love we are with our Lotus Crib - take a look at this quick video for more information: https://vimeo.com/54987870

While every parent needs to decide what works for them while traveling, we've found these few little pieces of information incredibly helpful along the way. Always trust your gut and over pack if you need to - trust me, no one's judging. 

And momma's, I promise after a few test runs - flying alone with little one will be a piece of cake. See you at an airport soon - we'll be the girls in matching bows. 

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