We just got back from our first plane trip with London. Going into the weekend getaway in California, I was not that nervous about London’s behavior on the plane. I was mostly concerned with the technicalities of traveling with a stroller and our decision to lug her Radian RXT booster seat with us (this seat weighs 40 lbs, maybe more). I spent more time looking up travel tips last weekend than writing any blogs, hence the complete lack of posts for a week or so.
Flying truly has become more of a hassle in the post-9/11 days. Then you throw a baby in the mix and my head hurts. One tip that we followed, that probably most parents follow, is to arrive at the airport earlier than you would if you were flying sans baby. This is a great decision if you stress out over having to rush through everything at the airport like I do. I actually enjoy being able to be as slow as I want once I arrive at the airport. I feel less stressed and I am way more prepared if anything goes wrong, like if baby has a blowout, or if I forget to lock the stroller wheels in place and she goes rolling off toward security by herself.
I would rather be over prepared for something like flying with a baby. And I think I was, because it seemed almost easier. If it weren’t for having to sit on the plane with a baby in your lap, flying with a baby would be easier than flying without one, based on our sole experience. At both airports we checked bags at the curb, immediately freeing ourselves of some tremendous weight and time waiting in line. At security, we were selected for the fast line, and at DIA for the TSA Precheck line. We didn’t have to stand in the stupid X-ray machine either. Maybe we looked absolutely clueless the entire time because we just seemed to be given preferential treatment wherever we walked. Little did everyone know that I spent a week studying for this like it was a final.
The part about traveling with a baby that is a drag is the actual plane ride itself. Even if your baby is very well behaved, like mine, you can’t really relax while holding him or her. One thing I love about flying is turning my phone off, being disconnected from the world for a few hours, and really getting into a book or reading a magazine from cover to cover. That won’t be an option for quite a few years, but I’ll get it back. In the meantime, I feel like a slightly more accomplished parent now that I have run the TSA gauntlet with London in tow and have not lost her or slowed any other traveler down due to a lack of preparedness.