Posts tagged Traveling with Kids

Is Your Stroller over 20 lbs?

Weighing in at 12.6 lbs, phil&teds SMART stroller can easily breeze through airport security

We’re in the midst of the nation’s busiest travel season, and for those of you who haven’t traveled with a baby in recent months, might be surprised to find out that at least one airline won’t let you take your favorite jogging stroller behind the security gate.

That’s what I found out this summer when I was traveling on American Airlines. When I arrived at the aiport I was told I couldn’t take my stroller with me in the airport because AA had instituted the following policy:

“Strollers that are large, non-collapsible or over 20 lbs. must be checked at the ticket counter.”

Traveling alone with a 3 year-old and a non-walking 12 month-old, I was stunned. However the ticket agent had mercy on me and allowed me to take the stroller through to my destination since this was such a new policy.  On the return flight, a few tears helped me get the stroller past security again, however I noticed my stroller was conveniently baggage checked (& unaccessible) when I stopped in Dallas for my lay over.

Be sure to check your airline’s policy for strollers before you arrive at the airport for this Holiday season.  For those of you traveling on American Airlines, here’s their policy posted on-line:

Actually American Airlines told me the new stroller restriction was a FAA policy, which I believed until I traveled again a couple of months later. Flying with a different air carrier, I called to verify the stroller restrictions and the airline laughed at AA’s policy. They said that was like restricting wheelchairs behind the security gate for travelers.

We’ll see if other airline carriers take note and institute the same inconvenience for mothers.

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When Vacations = Family Visits

Oh how I dream of the time when my husband and I were able to take real vacations, you know, the kind to other countries or to different parts of the continent. However we’ve discovered that when you have kids, and family doesn’t live in the same state, then vacations turn in to trips to see the grandparents.

This year I was determined to turn these family meccas into interesting trips for us (& the kids).  We always have the problem of staying put once we arrive at our destination.  So when routing our trip to see the grandparents in Alabama, my husband and I started brain storming on what we could do in Cajun country. Our planning resulted in a stop outside Slidell, LA at Cajun Encounters.

We called ahead and made reservations for a swamp tour that lasted approximately an hour and a half.  Assured that they could take babies and toddlers on the boat, we felt safe zooming around the swamp for an hour and a half. There was wildlife (alligators, blue herons, baby alligators, swamp canary, etc.) up close, and felt grateful that we didn’t have to suffer through such boggy humidity back home in San Antonio.  The tour was absolutely fascinating and educational, and was a great detour during our 12 hour road trip.

Once in Alabama we scheduled outings with the grandparents that included a day trip to Gulf Shores, a visit to the jump house Kangarooz, trips to the local beach in Fairhope to feed the birds and fly a kite, and took a little train ride at a local RV park.

On the drive back to Texas we meandered down Highway 90, along the Gulf shoreline to New Orleans and spent the night. Though we meant to visit New Orleans’ fabulous Audubon Zoo, we had to cut that from our agenda since the one-year old wasn’t feeling well. However we did make it to Cafe du Monde and took a nice Trolley ride on the Red Line — as an effort to satisfy the curiosity of the three-year-old.

During the week we were teaching the three-year old what the word “adventure” meant; and what I learned from this adventure is that family vacations are as much fun as you put into it. With a little planning and effort, we were able to turn an obligated duty into a grand adventure that the whole family could enjoy.

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