Friday, June 20, 2008

Because it couldn't possibly have been that simple

After talking to a few people recently who strongly suggested I call Air France to confirm their travel restrictions/allowances, even though I had scanned and read and re-read the page on their website about travel with infants, I decided to go ahead ad call just to be safe... and good thing, too. I had been planning on bringing our stroller with the snap-in car seat, use that (and the Snugli carrier) for porting Donovan around in the airports, and just gate-checking them for the actual flights.

I found out that the car seat, if brought, would need to be regular-checked with our baggage (D does not have his own seat to hook it into on the plane). So if we bring the stroller, it needs to be with its proper seat if we want D to sit in it. And that while we can gate-check it, we may or may not actually see it again once we get off the plane-- that often big strollers like this one (as opposed to the umbrella variety) get put in the underbelly of the plane and don't come back out till you get your bags at your final destination.

Hm. Bummer. Kinda throws a wrench into our plans.

The closest thing I have to a cover bag for the car seat is a plastic bag. Which probably won't hold up too well in transit. So right now we're trying to coordinate having people take us to and from the airport on this side, using our car seat(s) here (kinda glad we have 2 of them now, for more flexibility) so we don't have to illegally hold D in a car to get to and from the airport, and then we could use my step-sister's old car seat once we get to the US. Although as of this morning I'm also thinking about how to install it, will it be easily changeable from one car to the other, etc. As I researched car seats while pregnant I kept hearing all these horror stories of how it would take people hours of poring through detailed and complex instructions to install their car seats, and even then a whopping 80% of US car seats are estimated to not be installed properly (which is why I was a bit shocked when we bought ours here, and it was a 5 second seatbelt installation). This car seat is 5 years old, I have no idea if the instruction manual is still around. As far as the stroller, I figure we'll still take it, as it would be nice to have during lay-overs, but if we don't get it back till the end of our trip it won't be the end of the world, I guess.

Zach's been trying to help me not freak out about all this stuff. I guess he has a point, that there's only so much we have control over and the biggest wild card of this whole trip will be D's mood, and that will determine, more than anything, whether it's an "easy" (hah) trip, or not so much. But man am I glad I called as I'd much rather find this stuff out now than when we arrive at the airport Sunday morning.

In other news, CHECK OUT DONOVAN'S SHIRT:

COOLEST.SHIRT.EVER
This was one of the many (many, many) gifts that D's Auntie Jenny and Abuelito brought for him at Christmas, and it is possibly one of my favorites. The shirt's actually sized 12 months, and you can kinda see it in the shoulders-- they hunch up to make him look like a football player. But it mostly fits, and I'm planning on getting as much wear out of this shirt as I possibly can b/c I love it so much. I'm bringing it with us (along with some of his also-too-big UT stuff) b/c I figure he HAS to wear it while in Austin. And before you remind me that it's currently summer and therefore probably 90-100F-plus outside in Texas, well, I'm also bringing him a couple sweaters b/c if it's scorchingly hot outdoors, you know it's going to be arctic-ice-cold indoors, and he'll need long sleeves and a hat and possibly a goose down parka to keep him warm enough when we go inside any building with air conditioning.

6 comments:

  1. Here is what we do when we travel (I usually travel alone with Ellie, unfortunately):

    1) Pack as little as humanly possible for you and D in one suitcase (kindly ask your mom to pick up everything you'll need besides clothes back home)

    2) Bring the car seat the snaps into the stroller. Once you go to check your bags, remove baby from car seat, hand to your husband, then unsnap and check the car seat (along with your bags). The airline will provide a heavy-duty plastic bag for the car seat (but be sure to ask anyway--once, on one leg, BA didn't do it for us). All you should be left with is your stroller (which you've now put the baby into) and diaper bag.

    3) (You will have practiced practiced practiced folding and refolding your stroller by now.) Give baby to husband, fold stroller, place on security conveyor belt. Reassemble and repack baby on other side. (A sling can also be used in place of the husband if traveling alone but I find that the husband is faster, if available.)

    4) Take stroller up to gate, check just before getting on plane (either sling or hand over baby). Only thing going on plane should be baby and well-stocked diaper bag (and maybe sling). (You will be expected to fold your own stroller, so again, practice, practice, practice.)

    5) When you get off the plane, your stroller will either meet you as you get off the plane or in baggage (depends on airline/airport). You can pick up your luggage and car seat there as well. Car seat will be in fine shape due to airline-supplied plastic bag and will be ready for you to use on the other side!

    Hope that helps!

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  2. PS: Don't forget to reserve the bassinet seats with the airline!

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  3. Jackie7:01 AM

    Donovan looks so much older all of a sudden. So handsome.
    If they still have the bassinet in the bulkhead option they had when my daughters were babies then I strongly recommend you reserve that, as Kidkate recommends. It is a great place to put the baby down to sleep and change the diapers etc. And don't leave your wipes in the airport bathroom. I did that and then my daughter had an explosive diaper on the plane and I had to try to clean it up with just a couple of wipes as no one had any they could give me. Not fun. That when I was traveling alone so I couldn't exactly prowl the aisles looking for help.

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  4. I LOVE the shirt. I watched the Daniel Johnston documentary a while back. Wow.

    Steph

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  5. I wear a heavy sweater when I'm inside. My classroom and my office are both freezing. Then again right now I'm cuddled under a blanket on my couch with the a/c running. It takes a couple hours for the house to cool off when I turn it up for the day.

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  6. Marcy - Just a note we just brought owen's carseat on the plane with us as to not risk checking it and it doesn't arrive. From Vienna to London it fit in the overhead and from london to PHL they stowed it in the wardrobe. They were really nice about it, it was BA though...

    Good luck!

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