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Traveling with Young Children


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#1 mamaofgirls

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:05 AM

I have never really traveled, unless you consider a couple hour car ride from home so this is all new to me. I would LOVE to travel but always feel so intimidated with the unanswered questions I have. Could you ladies help, I do not know who else to ask since none of my IRL friends with children travel/fly but maybe there is a reason, and that is because it is not do able! lol

 

My husband is going to a conference in San Diego this spring, we live in the rural midwest with a 6 year old, 4 year old and 7 month old.

 

1. There is no shuttle from the airport to the hotel - how do we get there without bring the car seats? Our youngest would be flying on my lap. It seems like Uber only offers one forward facing carseat so, what about Taxi's? We do not want to bring the carseats... not just the cost, the idea of storing them all in the hotel room is stressful.

 

2. One of the main reasons I would love to go is that we could do a few fun family things - like ocean (walking distance) and the Zoo... but the zoo is 3 miles away and sea world 7. How can someone without carseats go to these places? My 6 year old would probably be fine since she is almost 7 (but I would feel better if she has something in such a large city!).

 

3. Has anyone been to San Diego? An older lady at our church went there a few weeks ago and said there are a TON of people. Obviously there will be more then I am used too but would you, a grown women with 3 children who listen most of the time feel safe/comfortable alone at the hotel pool, walking to the beach or to other activities. I would be baby wearing the youngest.

 

I may have more questions, but these are the first ones that come to mind. I hope I do not sound like a weird sheltered red neck... Thanks!


Edited by mamaofgirls, 13 January 2018 - 10:07 AM.


#2 medawyn

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:19 AM

I travel with my three (soon to be four) frequently- 8-10 times a year. Mine are currently ages 4.5-20 months.

Frankly, I find it impossible to travel without car seats. Yes, it’s a pain in the neck, but with the 4 yo and infant, you’ll need them. The 6 yo is fine with a booster for travel. We almost always rent a car if we are traveling in the US, because I have to install and keep three car seats, plus it gives me freedom to go wherever (and not wait for transportation) if DH is working. It also keeps us from needing two taxis/Ubers, which can sometimes happen depending on vehicles available. Traveling with young children can be exhausting and does pose some logistical problems, but I find it worth it.

I would feel very comfortable in San Diego, especially in the places you’ve described.

 

ETA: San Diego is a large city that very well might have places to rent baby gear, including car seats, etc.  I haven't looked into that, since I find it easier to bring my own.


Edited by medawyn, 13 January 2018 - 10:35 AM.

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#3 Twolittleboys

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:40 AM

I am not sure about getting from the airport to the hotel without carseats. If absolutely necessary, you could maybe take two ubers (one for you and one child, the other for dh, second child (without carseat) and baby). Or maybe you could prearrange a cab with at least two car seats. Or you could bring one car seat (don't you need one for the plane anyway?) and take an uber (if that has one anyway) if you are okay with the oldest riding without.

 

As far as zoo/sea world are concerned, you might be able to take public transport (i.e. a bus/trolley etc.) depending on where you are staying. 

 

Obviously there are a lot of people in San Diego but it is no more crowded than other cities and in my opinion a fairly easy to handle city as it isn't too wide-spread and offers lots of easy options for fun activities.



#4 mamaofgirls

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:02 AM

I travel with my three (soon to be four) frequently- 8-10 times a year. Mine are currently ages 4.5-20 months.

Frankly, I find it impossible to travel without car seats. Yes, it’s a pain in the neck, but with the 4 yo and infant, you’ll need them. The 6 yo is fine with a booster for travel. We almost always rent a car if we are traveling in the US, because I have to install and keep three car seats, plus it gives me freedom to go wherever (and not wait for transportation) if DH is working. It also keeps us from needing two taxis/Ubers, which can sometimes happen depending on vehicles available. Traveling with young children can be exhausting and does pose some logistical problems, but I find it worth it.

I would feel very comfortable in San Diego, especially in the places you’ve described.

 

ETA: San Diego is a large city that very well might have places to rent baby gear, including car seats, etc.  I haven't looked into that, since I find it easier to bring my own.

 

WOW!! Thank you so much :) I never even thought about renting a car or the fact that all of us would not fit into one taxis anymore. I also looked and they have a great carseat rental place 1 mile from the airport car rental. We can get all 3 in nice carseats for $120. Plus, I would LOVE the freedom - being able to go shopping or anywhere. The trip seems more like fun instead of a burden like before. Thanks again!


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#5 wendyroo

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:05 AM

I agree with medawyn.  When we travel we always bring car seats. 

 

If your 4 year old is over 40 pounds, and a relatively good listener, then you could try a booster seat.  A booster that is rated for that age and weight is perfectly safe as long as it is used properly.  I would never choose to put my 4 year olds in boosters for day to day driving, because in my experience that is just opening up every trip to power struggles over sitting properly/not playing with the belt, but for short trips while on vacation, I would be perfectly willing to incentivize proper sitting.

 

So, if you get boosters for the older kids, then I would check those (normally free with most airlines) and then gate check the baby's car seat (also free).  If the baby is in a bucket car seat and you will be traveling by taxis, I would avoid taking the car seat base if possible.  All the infant seats I have owned have allowed the option of just strapping the seat itself into the car with a lap and shoulder belt, and that is what I have always done while traveling.

 

Once you are there you could either rent a car, or request larger taxis that can accommodate all of you.  The biggest issue with taxis would be what to do with the boosters and car seat when you arrive at an attraction like the zoo.  I have never been to San Diego, but would it be possible to get a taxi from the airport to the hotel and then use public transportation to go to the zoo and places?

 

As for taking the kids places while there, yes, I would feel comfortable doing that alone.  At those ages, I would probably bring a couple life jackets for the pool unless the kids are really confident swimmers.  I would, obviously, not be hauling them around in the middle of the night by myself, but during the day in busy touristy areas, I would have no problem taking them to the beach, zoo, on public transit, etc.

 

Wendy



#6 lovinmyboys

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:10 AM

I agree you will probably want to rent a car. It has been a few years since I flew with a car seat, but I flew with 3 car seats by myself one time and Southwest checked them at the gate for me. I didn’t have to pay anything and it wasn’t too much of a pain (This was in 2010 so my memory may not be exactly accurate, lol). The logistics of traveling with kids are kind of a headache, but once you do it, it gets easier.

I have never been to San Diego, but I would love to go and wouldn’t hesitate to bring my kids. Have fun!

#7 Rach

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:16 AM

My best tip for traveling with young kids is to just do it.

I have been to San Diego twice in the past year, the second time with kids. There is a lot to do, my kids loved the beach and whale watching. We stayed near the harbor and were on east coast time so every morning we took a long walk and looked at all the boats. We also took advantage of the hotel pool while my husband was in meetings.

Is there a reason you aren’t getting a rental car? San Diego is very easy to navigate for a city, I hate driving in new cities but was fine. We flew our car seats with us, you can check them for free. With a 6 and 4 year old I would take booster seats. They are lighter than car seats, you can check them for free, and it would be safer than no car seat at all. They will fit in the closet at the hotel and you won’t be tripping over them.

If you aren’t getting a rental car, check into public transportation. I did that in DC for the first time in my life with three kids and lived to tell about it. I had to go into knowing I might mess up but we would figure it out. Trust me, if I can do it you can.

Enjoy your trip!

#8 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:18 AM

A rental car is probably the best way to go by far but how well do you drive in heavy traffic?  I ask because some people don't drive well at all in heavy traffic (as in big city heavy traffic).  Have you ever driven in big city heavy traffic?   If you aren't used to a large city it may be stressful.  Try really hard to drive when it is NOT the heavier rush hour times.  It can get really, really bad.  Also, I can't remember if this is true in San Diego or not but I know that some areas in L.A. that are parking spaces along the road during the day become actual additional road lanes at a certain point to handle rush hour.  Read the signs carefully.  If your car is blocking traffic because you went shopping or whatever during the transition time you can incur a heavy fine and risk getting your rental damaged.


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 13 January 2018 - 12:30 PM.


#9 Danae

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:08 PM

When my kids were in the 4-6 range we used RideSafe travel vests. They're legal for kids who are old enough for boosters but instead of lifting the kids up so the seat belt fits they redirect the belt. Once they were too big for those we used Bubble Bum inflatable boosters.

If you're going to rent a car and can rent car seats for all three kids that would be my first choice. Second choice would be to get vests or inflatable boosters for the older two and bring a seat for the youngest. I would not ever check a car seat, though, unless it's in a protected carrying case. If you won't be using it on the plane, depending on when your plane gets in you could wait at the airport with the kids while your husband collects the rental car and drives to the closest Target or similar store and buys a car seat for the baby.

#10 Mrs_JWM

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

I've travelled on my own with my child since she was six weeks old. We take a few trips each year - usually just road trips, but sometimes longer-distance train trips, too. She doesn't relish the idea of flying, so we've never done that together. We've gone to rural areas and big cities and everywhere in between. We've rented cars, taken public transport, walked, shuttled, used ferries, etc. We've stayed in hotels, camped in tents, done Airbnb, moved around every night, and stayed put for a week.

Now, I only have one child, obviously, so of course it's a little trickier with more, but I echo what someone else said upthread - just do it. You'll figure it out. People are unbelievably kind and helpful and most places are very safe. You'll make great memories together and your kids will see you confidently navigate new areas AND problem-solve when things to awry! I know plenty of women who don't travel on their own with their kids and to each her own, but I think they're missing out on something special.

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#11 MBM

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:38 PM

The airlines will probably allow you to board first so you and your children can get situated.

Rent a car and car seats if you don’t bring your own. Car rental prices can change throughout the day so you could initially rent one that allows cancellation and then, if you find a better price, cancel the first (keep at least an electronic trail of it). We do this whenever traveling.

Also, if you can join the car rental club for free, you might want to read what benefits they offer. The most painful part for us is waiting in sometimes long lines to get the car. Some memberships have ways to expedite this for members.

San Diego is a fabulous city. Go and have fun!

#12 Plae2009

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:55 PM

I would get a bubble bum booster seat for the 4 and 6 year old. They are about $30 on amazon. They are super easy to travel with. I think you would need to bring a car seat for the infant. Check the laws in California. Some states don’t require car seats in taxies. San Diego is super fun with kids. I don’t think it is hard city to get around. We did not have a car and walked and used the street car. Enjoy


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#13 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:00 PM

You'll have fun if you keep expectations reasonable.  Don't attempt to see the entire zoo, just go and enjoy what you do see.  If your kids would rather chase the pigeons in the zoo than see the lions and tigers and bears... well that's ok too.   :lol:


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#14 Farrar

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:17 PM

The number one thing is not to be intimidated and just do it. The more you get stuck in the "I can't" mentality about it, the worse it'll get. I have known some families who never go places with their kids because they get nervous - even localish places half an hour away. They get overwhelmed thinking about it. But I think it's not doing them any favors. Kids become good travellers through practice. And even if it's a disaster, you'll live through it.

 

I personally would just do boosters for the 4&6 yos - I know that's not the current recommendation, but I personally would feel fine about it unless your 4 yo is abnormally tiny. I think there's no way to travel without bringing your seats along. Check the carseat and let the baby be lap in the airplane. We pay for airport satellite parking sometimes instead of Ubering - just depends on the circumstances. Price it out and consider the convenience factors too. We're past the carseats and boosters stage now, but I know people who throw the booster in the Lyft for their kid and it's fine. Seconding renting a car at the destination.


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#15 wilrunner

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:47 PM

When our kids were young and we flew, I found the kids flew better if they were in their car seat. They were more comfortable because the seat fit them and it was familiar to them and they were much less fidgety. Even travelling with a baby in a car seat was easier for a lot of the same reasons.


Edited by wilrunner, 13 January 2018 - 06:45 PM.


#16 HTRMom

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:53 PM

I’m not as strict about car seat safety as other parents. I would bring a baby bucket seat and let the other two go without. You could bring a small backless booster for the 4yo if you were especially concerned, but the forward-facing seat would suffice for the airport trip. I would be fine with kids riding a bus for 7 miles without car seats, and would wear the baby in a structured carrier. In my state a trip in a taxi situation without a car seat at age 4 would not be illegal, but California has a lot more laws about everything, so maybe it is illegal there.


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Edited by HTRMom, 13 January 2018 - 01:54 PM.


#17 mamaofgirls

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:32 PM

A rental car is probably the best way to go by far but how well do you drive in heavy traffic?  I ask because some people don't drive well at all in heavy traffic (as in big city heavy traffic).  Have you ever driven in big city heavy traffic?   If you aren't used to a large city it may be stressful.  Try really hard to drive when it is NOT the heavier rush hour times.  It can get really, really bad.  Also, I can't remember if this is true in San Diego or not but I know that some areas in L.A. that are parking spaces along the road during the day become actual additional road lanes at a certain point to handle rush hour.  Read the signs carefully.  If your car is blocking traffic because you went shopping or whatever during the transition time you can incur a heavy fine and risk getting your rental damaged.

 

That is one of my biggest fears... I can hardly handle driving in our 'city' thirty minutes away during busy times (evenings/weekends) and the population is 60,000 :(  How am I going to handle driving when there are 1.4 million people?!! Even my husband gets nerves, though he can navigate in St. Paul Minnesota area better then me.

 

When I add up the cost of our flights (way too high!) plus the car rental and carseats we are pushing $2,000.... I told my husband I would rather take that money and go out west (south dakota/montana). Those are more our style anyways.



#18 mamaofgirls

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:34 PM

The number one thing is not to be intimidated and just do it. The more you get stuck in the "I can't" mentality about it, the worse it'll get. I have known some families who never go places with their kids because they get nervous - even localish places half an hour away. They get overwhelmed thinking about it. But I think it's not doing them any favors. Kids become good travellers through practice. And even if it's a disaster, you'll live through it.

 

I personally would just do boosters for the 4&6 yos - I know that's not the current recommendation, but I personally would feel fine about it unless your 4 yo is abnormally tiny. I think there's no way to travel without bringing your seats along. Check the carseat and let the baby be lap in the airplane. We pay for airport satellite parking sometimes instead of Ubering - just depends on the circumstances. Price it out and consider the convenience factors too. We're past the carseats and boosters stage now, but I know people who throw the booster in the Lyft for their kid and it's fine. Seconding renting a car at the destination.

 

Thank you, that is encouraging! I know my husband wants us to go... he hates being alone!


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#19 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

:grouphug:

 

I think San Diego is amazing and there is a TON to do out there.  I think it would be a great opportunity.  That being said, with what you have shared in your latest post I do wonder if the stress would be worth the experience/cost.  Where your hotel is, are there many things to do right in the immediate area?  If so, it might still be worth the journey.



#20 maize

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:40 PM

We did a trip to San Diego with young kids--similar situation, my husband was there for work. I bought a family membership to the zoo and the kids and I went there every day.

#21 solascriptura

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:47 PM

If you’ll need to get around with small children, your best bet is to get a car rental. If you don’t want to bring your own you’ll be able to rent from the car rental company, but it can add up quickly.

I have tagged along during my dh’s business trips with multiple small children and it is worth it, but it isn’t easy. All I can say is plan, plan, and plan!

#22 Rach

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:02 PM

That is one of my biggest fears... I can hardly handle driving in our 'city' thirty minutes away during busy times (evenings/weekends) and the population is 60,000 :( How am I going to handle driving when there are 1.4 million people?!! Even my husband gets nerves, though he can navigate in St. Paul Minnesota area better then me.

When I add up the cost of our flights (way too high!) plus the car rental and carseats we are pushing $2,000.... I told my husband I would rather take that money and go out west (south dakota/montana). Those are more our style anyways.

It’s ok to go and just hang out in the hotel and check out the sites with your husband.

I grew up in South Dakota, I know what you mean about big cities being intimidating for driving. One thing I learned is that I might miss a turn, I might get lost, but nothing is undoable. You just pull over and figure out how to correct the mistake. I wouldn’t let that be a deterrent for not going.

Now if the cost is prohibitive that’s a different story. If it would be less stressful to travel someplace less populated, by all means try it. You take care of three kids every day. All that is changing is the location.

Edited by Rach, 13 January 2018 - 03:03 PM.


#23 mamaofgirls

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:35 PM

Thank you everyone, I am feeling better about it. It's not life or death, we will have fun even if we just spend the day time hours at the pool or walk to the ocean. Especially since it is -8 outside right now...


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#24 Rosika

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:35 PM

My oldest four were born within six years of each other, and we traveled extensively. The first three were on airplanes before turning a month old, which seemed normal at the time but crazy when I reflect back. I had my oldest and youngest buddy up, and my middle two buddy up. Your older two are perfect ages for it. Basically they keep an eye on each other while you're distracted with the airport and logistics and stuff. 

 

Tips:

1. Dress the kids in the same color - shirt, pants, either, both. It just makes an easier visual in the chaos of the airport. Take a quick photo before you leave the house/hotel, or at the airport when you're checking in. Heaven forbid a kid wander off there or while on an outing, it's just nice to have a very recent picture in your phone. 

 

2. Pack a grocery bag or kitchen sized trash bag (non-perfumed, preferably) in your purse/diaper bag. You'll use it for any diapers you change at your seat, food trash (banana peels, granola bar wrappers), baby wipes used to clean (definitely wipe down the tray table), tissues, and potential "Sweet Mother, here's the inflight magazine just rip it to shreds" moment when the kids are bored or their ears hurt and they're borderline insane. This lets you leave your row relatively neat and keeps you from bugging the flight attendant. Just hand her your one bag at the end of the flight. 

 

3. When the flight attendant comes through with the cart, request 1-2 empty cups. Babies love these. Big kids can use them to hold snacks. Bigger kids can use them to hold crayons. Don't plan on drinking anything hot. In fact, with a baby in your lap I wouldn't plan on drinking anything she serves. You're better off bringing your own bottle (water, soda) that you can keep a lid on and stashed in your lap or the seatback pocket. Drink your coffee/tea in the terminal or at home. 

 

4. Fussy babies love the air vents. Just stick their face in front of the air vent for a second. They're forced to inhale, and thus to stop fussing/crying. Make a game of it. Hopefully you brought a sweater for yourself. LOL

 

5. I bring a travel pillow - especially nice if you'll have baby in your lap the whole flight. Armrests start to hurt after awhile, and babies never seem to be comfortable in the positions that are comfy for us, am I right?? Before we board I shove a paperback or magazine into it, in vain hopes I'll be able to read something. (Note: I pack a second pillow case to use at the hotel. Airplanes are dirty. For our return trip I use the first pillow case, inside out.)

 

6. Older kids each bring a backpack they can carry. We put in a few books, snacks, non or low-noise toys, headphones, and blanket. Even if they don't get cold, I've used those to clean up vomit, as a barrier for potty accidents in the seats, as sun shades, to block cold at the window seat, and when my boys were younger they had enough space on the floor to play trains. Those were the days! The most important thing to pack: plain paper tablets. We can draw, write, tic-tac-toe, fold origami, paper airplanes, so many options. Also it's something I can do half-asleep or with a fussy baby on my lap. One of our easiest "games" was to each think of one item and then we each had to draw a picture with it. So I picked a tree, Son 1 picked a dog, Son 2 picked apple pie, Son 3 picked a soccer player, etc. and we each drew a picture that incorporated all four items. Then we shared with each other. That bought me about 10 minutes at a time, sometimes more. At 4-6 I brought crayons, but older than that I found colored pencils easier to carry around and use. 

 

7. Set expectations ahead of time to reduce potential for whining/anxiety. My routine was to look around the airplane during boarding - where is your nearest exit? Where are the bathrooms? What is the F/A doing? What are the ground crew doing? What does the emergency card say? How do your lights work? Killing time stuff. I made them pay attention to safety and crew announcements, just a respect/habit thing. We read books from push back to the first ding. At that point I let them get into their backpacks (nowadays I'd let them on their iPads). We'd have a snack at the level off announcement or beverage service, whichever came first. Anything goes during flight. At the "We've begun our descent" announcement we'd put away everything in the backpacks, including electronics. Then we had our second snack. At the "prepare for landing" announcement we handed over our single (full!) trash bag and read until landing. Many times I read aloud, sometimes they read on their own. Once we got to the gate, we only had one book to put away. The kids did that while I got baby into the sling. 

 

8. Some people like a stroller. I didn't. But if you want one, stick with an umbrella stroller and see if the crew will let you stow it in the front closet. 

 

9. Some people like the bulkhead seats. I didn't. I really needed the storage space from a row in front of me. PLUS these days there isn't much room for kids to play anyway. Your kids are old enough to not kick the seats in front of them, and the baby young enough that he won't intentionally do it. 

 

10. Make a note of CA's laws re: car seats. I believe it's 8 and under need seats of some kind. Renting a car is your best bet. Buses are another option, I'm not sure if SD's buses hit the tourist areas but it's worth looking into or asking here. 

 

Your kids are a perfect age to do this! It can feel overwhelming, but I promise it's not that big of a deal. Just have a plan, make sure part of that plan is to be flexible, and enjoy your trip. 


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#25 mamaofgirls

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:38 PM

Ummmm... I just read that carseats travel FREE?!!! Is this true?!! That makes a world of difference. lol. I would much rather just bring them - well I would bring the 4 year old with a high back booster and the baby the Graco My Ride which rear faces. Can you bring formula? I need to do more reading...lol


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#26 Rosika

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:50 PM

Car seats are free. They get banged around in baggage, so I try to bring mine on board. But that gets crowded and hectic, so it's totally a personal call. If you're going to check them, definitely use a bag for the infant seat - even if it's just a trash bag. The ramp is dirty and I see so many people check their infant seats, toys and all, without thinking about what the baby is going to ingest next time she's in the seat.  :ack2: Some airlines have clear bags you can use for all of your car seats. 

 

Formula is okay to bring. If it's the powdered kind you might want to bring the bottle with powder in it ... and either a separate bottle of water OR plan to add water on the secure side from a water fountain. Not all checkpoint agents are informed about what is/isn't allowed and some agents will open the bottle. They do a gas check on it, but sometimes they're messy and put their fingers all around the parts the baby eats from. Yuck, better to avoid that by just not giving them a reason to touch the bottle at all. 

 

Rules have relaxed since your first kid! Definitely keep reading! LOL

 

 


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#27 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:01 PM

Wait, I thought you couldn't bring any sort of liquid over 3 oz. in a carry on unless you bought it AFTER the checkpoint.  Wouldn't that apply to water for baby formula?  Or are you saying she needs to buy her water after they make it through security?  Or is that rule no longer applicable?


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 13 January 2018 - 04:01 PM.

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#28 Rosika

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:08 PM

Wait, I thought you couldn't bring any sort of liquid over 3 oz. in a carry on unless you bought it AFTER the checkpoint.  Wouldn't that apply to water for baby formula?  Or are you saying she needs to buy her water after they make it through security?  Or is that rule no longer applicable?

 

That is still the rule but there are exceptions! 

 

I think there is a medical exemption for which you'd probably need a note? But there is definitely an infant exception, for which you just need to show the baby :)

 

So traveling with a baby you have two options:

1. bring a bottle of water with you through security; expect a bag check (which can take 5-10 minutes), or

2. buy a bottle after security (or fill up at the water fountain)

 

If I was traveling alone I'd choose option 2 just because the chaos of going through the checkpoint, plus trying to keep tabs on the kids during a high traffic, emotionally charged (for lots of fellow passengers) situation would be not ideal. 

 

If I was traveling with my husband or kid 10+, I'd choose 1 because I prefer spring water or distilled water, and neither is usually available at my airport (and certainly not at a reasonable price LOL)


Edited by Rosika, 13 January 2018 - 04:23 PM.

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#29 Rach

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:09 PM

Ummmm... I just read that carseats travel FREE?!!! Is this true?!! That makes a world of difference. lol. I would much rather just bring them - well I would bring the 4 year old with a high back booster and the baby the Graco My Ride which rear faces. Can you bring formula? I need to do more reading...lol

Yes, free. I know a lot of people worry about them getting banged up in baggage but we have never had an issue. The airlines 9/10 put them in heavy duty plastic bags, the one time they didn’t for us one one of the seats got dirty but we have never had trouble with them otherwise.

You can take formula. Go to the tsa website to read on the requirements.
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#30 Rach

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:12 PM

Wait, I thought you couldn't bring any sort of liquid over 3 oz. in a carry on unless you bought it AFTER the checkpoint. Wouldn't that apply to water for baby formula? Or are you saying she needs to buy her water after they make it through security? Or is that rule no longer applicable?

You can’t typically unless it is for medical reasons.

#31 HomeAgain

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:26 PM

I don't put car seats in baggage.  They are emergency equipment, and I'm certainly not trusting a baggage handler to treat them well.

 

My personal options would be to invest in these:
-a mifold, boostapak, or bubble bum for the 6yo.  The advantage with the Bubble Bum or Boostapak is that they make decent boosters at restaurants for a younger child, but a Mifold is slim enough to fit in my purse.  Graco is debuting their version of a folding booster this year but it's probably not on the market yet.

 

-a Safe Ride Vest for the 4yo (or both the 4 and 6yos). They're expensive, (about $150) but portable.

 

-I'd bring the 7mo's car seat.  If it's a convertible, check how the tether stores on the seat.  Some connect and make a carrying strap (a Britax I could throw on my back in airports like a backpack). 

 

 

Rented seats, you almost never get the user manual and don't know if there have been any recalls or fixes.  It would make me more uncomfortable to use a seat that I didn't know if I was using properly than ones I trusted.



#32 Alicia64

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 06:06 PM

Just a money-saving thought: if you're a Costco member, go through them to get a rental car. Awesome savings, plus Costco takes care of problems if any should arise.

 

One note about driving in traffic: sometimes it can be a good thing because everyone is forced to go slower. Drives dh crazy, but when we come to a stop on the freeway because of traffic and then creep along. . . I love it!

 

Also, the San Diego airport will definitely have rental car places.

 

I would look at traveling with kids as a way to stretch and grow as a person. As if it's a neat challenge that will make you so proud of yourself when all is said and done. Don't expect everything to go perfectly, but don't be surprised if it does either!

 

One great thing about San Diego: the only "weather" they have besides beautiful, is rainy. So it's not like you have to worry about tornadoes, hurricanes and so on.

 

Also, there's no scary animals to beware of either (like alligators in FL).

 

The other basics I've told friends:

 

  1. Don't share on social media when and where you're going.
  2. Stop your mail and newspapers.
  3. Ask one caring neighbor to stomp around your property if you expect snow (so it'll look like someone's home). I don't tell a ton of people that we're leaving in case someone inadvertently mentions it and the wrong someone hears that your home will be empty.
  4. Given San Diego sun: think sun screen, sun screen and more sun screen. That sun can be incredibly sunny so don't overlook sun screen and sun clothes for the kids.
  5. Also, use your hotel as your starting point and look at crime info. around it by two or three miles. I don't think you should be afraid of San Diego at all -- it's an awesome place -- but I think it's smart to go into any new area w/ your eyes open.

Also, here's a super article on San Diego: https://www.familyva...y-vacation/dfv/

 

And Legoland CA is super close to San Diego: https://www.familyva...y-vacation/dfv/

 

I have way more confidence since I started traveling alone with my boys. No, they're not babies, but I started taking trips w/ them without dh when they were 11 -- and grew as a person.

 

Have a blast!!

 

Alley

 

 

 



#33 Rach

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:12 PM

Something else to consider on price, if he is going to the conference for work, will his company pay for the rental car? They may only pay for the days of the conference but that’s not money out of your pocket. The conference may have discounted tickets available for attractions in the area. Not all conferences do that, but many do.
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