My family had the good fortune to travel to Barranquilla Colombia this past winter. It was the second air travel for the boys, and their first time out of country. Here are some of the things we figured out along the way.
Fun fact: all legal guardians must be present in order to obtain a passport for a minor. Easy to work with as long as you know that ahead of time. They also take 5-ever to come in, so get those things AGES before your planned trip. You can also take your own passport photo. We used head shots from a recent family photoshoot. This meant my kids were looking good and they were good quality.
2) Airplane Seats
Plus: kids under 2 fly free! Minus: there are only 4 oxygen masks per row, so unless your family gets a row to themselves, you’ll be forced to split up. This has it’s pros and cons as well. Also, if you choose to bring a car seat on the plane, they can only be in the window seat. Be prepared for that. We were not and our seating arrangements were not what we paid for. We’d have been better off with a little more planning to at least keep us near each other. We did get lucky on 2/4 flights and had our own row.
3) Airplane Entertainment
Are you an anti screen time parent? Ditch that mentality. Use all the screen time. My kids NEVER get to play with tablets or cell phones. We won’t allow it. On the airplane? They each got their own tablets complete with baby headphones. They were life savers. We also had snacks for days. Including things they usually don’t get. This kept things novel and interesting.
Do it. Seriously. We use a Twingo, which is specially designed to work as a tandem carrier or two separate carriers. I wore them through baggage, through the plane, and through US security. (The security in Colombia had me take them down.).
Be prepared for the rest of the world. In Colombia we weren’t allowed to drink the water unless it had been oiled first. For the boys, we only have them bottled water. That being said? It still didn’t agree with their tummies. They had very loose stools for most of the trip and about a week after we got back. My kids are not sensitive or allergic to anything. I’m not sure if putting them on a probiotic would have helped? I put them on one when we got back and I like to think that helped clear things up as quickly as it did.