walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Travel Fun: How to Travel with a Toddler and an Infant, Draft

I've mentioned this Plan in a couple of earlier posts today (this is brain dump day; shortly, I need to go grocery shopping, but right now, I am decluttering my head). On the last day of our visit to Seattle, two friends with three children between them (all grown) were casually dismissive of my assertion that we-won't-be-traveling-for-awhile. They seemed to believe we'd just find another arm. I was openly skeptical. Okay, I flat out accused them of blocking out the memories, not having relevant experience and generally being delusional (really!). They did have some experience (a Seattle-Phoenix run one adult two small children that was miserable start to finish), but most of their travel involved 4 year olds and older.

Let me just say, dude. Not the same. No baby buckets. No car seats.

T. slept a lot on the long leg home, and was stunningly quiet on the short leg, giving me a substantial amount of dramamine laced awake-but-sleepy time (I'm not irresponsible about the pregnancy; I took 1/4 tab each leg so 1/2 tablet total for the day and this med is supposed to be safe for during pregnancy). I started working through the constraints: I know the gear you have to have with an infant. I've got a handle on the toddler gear. I know what R. and I want on a trip. How to make it all fit?

Step 1: reduce the electronics. This is why I want an Asus EEE, and why I was contemplating a smartphone instead (but I really don't like going that small). R.'s laptop, my laptop, a kindle, 2-3 iPods (depending on how you count them), cameras, videocamera, chargers for everything (I'd like to plug the Cable Stable right now. Really amazing.) -- it's insane how much weight is involved and it is almost all carryon (we will check the Cable Stable with chargers, batteries and so forth). I'm currently schlepping a MacBook, which is Teh Awesome but isn't that light.

Step 2: replace my checked bag. I currently have a Victorinox rolling bag/backpack with attachable day bag. On SW, it could be carried on as two items; in practice, I check the base. From past experience, I know I won't be able to use it as a backpack while nursing an under one year old (mastitis/plugged duct risk). I'll be replacing it with better rolling bag with an old skool handle that you can actually attach a carryon to and have it stay put.

Step 3: get out the baby bucket stroller. Use the basket for some of the gear (probably that carryon post bag check). Transport infant in bucket on top, or at least transport bucket if the baby is in a soft carrier on someone's body. The baby bucket stroller itself can be gate checked. I'm currently contemplating replacing it, if the Britax Companion fits on the Maclaren Easy Traveler, which is in doubt. I looked hard at the Vigour and the Preview and the reviews do not impress me.

Step 4: and possibly most important, use the freaking luggage carts. Thank you, I., for civilly, and with no mockery whatsoever, pointing out that these are available. Everywhere.

I think this gets us down to rolling bag+shoulder bag on top, stroller frame+baby bucket+othercarryon. One person can manage all of that (I know. Trust me, I know), leaving one person free to chase down a rampaging 3 year old. Dunno what we'll do after that. Hopefully the rampaging 4 year old will be a little less likely to hare off on his own.
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