Amusement Parks, Family, Florida, parenting, Style, Travel, Vacation

Disney 2K17: Traveling with Kids

After much planning and anticipation on my part, with significant assistance from Emily and the husband, it was finally time to put into action the long-awaited birthday/summer vacation celebration trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

We took off for our week-long Disney vacation in mid-July 2017. Dressing for the trip was relatively easy, as we were going from one hot, sunny clime to another. We packed two umbrellas in our hand luggage in case it was raining when we arrived in Orlando as is typical during the summer season. The boys wore jeans and Disney-themed button-down shirts, while the husband opted for a comfortable polo shirt.  Emily, who has taken many a plane trip with her grandparents, knew what she would be comfortable in, and wore skinny jeans with some stretch and a lightweight top. Sami and I wore lightweight dresses which allowed for comfortable movement and breathability.  The girls and I brought cardigans (or in my case a stretch denim jacket) in case we got cold on the plane.

I liked my silk-blend dress from the Kate Spade outlet.  It was a good length, and the fabric was lightweight and breathable. It also paired well with my white Superga Cotu sneakers. I was glad I opted for those versus wedges, which is what I typically wear on a plane for easy removal when going through TSA lines.  While the Cotus were more of a pain to get on and off going through security than the slip-ons would have been, they came in handy in Atlanta as I ran ahead of my family dashing like a madwoman to get to the gate to find out about our connection to Orlando. Sorry, video not available.

As mentioned in my first post, we flew Delta Airlines.  I typically do not fly Delta as it tends to be more expensive than either American or Southwest for our usual Midwest destinations, but airfare via Delta was significantly cheaper than any other carrier getting to Orlando. This trip offered a pleasant experience from the airline. The staff was really friendly, the selection of snacks was good (it included Kind bars- yum!), and the Delta Studio free entertainment which could be used on your device or seatback screen was a definite plus. Delta Studio kept the kids entertained to the point where I was actually able to enjoy a movie and a half on the flight from LAX to Atlanta.

Some things to consider:

According to the TSA, children under 12 years old to not need to remove their shoes going through the security check. That said, I would recommend that they wear something comfortable and easy to get on and off just in case.

Most major carriers allow paid passengers to bring without charge both a carry-on and a personal item, such as a backpack or purse. Be sure to check with your specific carrier prior to travel. We packed a couple coloring books, colored pencils, a Kindle, and of course earbuds for the younger kids.  The older kids packed their own bags, as they are now teens. We also brought an assortment of dry snacks for all of them to enjoy, and an empty Nalgene water bottle to fill up after we went through security. Just be sure that the water bottle is empty! The husband had to be escorted through security twice on account of his water bottle being full!

Strollers and car seats do not count against the carry-on count.  It wasn’t an issue for us this year, as only Sami still needs a booster.  When the kids were smaller, we would usually check the car seats with our one checked bag, and check the stroller at the gate right before boarding.

To help with the changes in pressure, we brought gum for them to chew during takeoff and landing. On past flights, we purchased Earplanes earplugs to help our older son who was more sensitive to the pressure changes. Gum or hard candy can also help with some motion sickness for older kids.  It is recommended that children under four not be given on account of it being a choking hazard.

This is just a bit of what we’ve learned going on plane trips with our brood. Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below. Life is an adventure meant to be shared!

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