Later this summer, my older sister is getting married in South Carolina, and since my husband will be deployed again, that means I get to travel across the country (from California) with a 5-month-old and a 2-year-old by. my. self. Oh my goodness. By. My. Self.
So far here’s what I’m planning:
- I already have a car seat for Anneliese with my parents in SC. I think I’ll buy another for Joseph and have it shipped there too. That way I don’t have to haul car seats through the airport or check them and risk having them thrown around and damaged or lost in transit.
- I need to look into valet service at the airport. I didn’t even realize this was an option, but someone mentioned it to me on Twitter, and it sounds AWESOME. I could pull up to the departures entrance and unload my baggage and kids, and the valet would park the car for me. When I get home, I won’t have to haul luggage and kids all through the parking area to find the car either. Helpful!
- I recently got an easy-to-fold stroller for Anneliese for when we run errands or go out places where there isn’t a shopping cart for her to sit in. She’s still less than 2 and isn’t a reliable walker when we’re out and about, so a stroller is a good option (and I wear Joseph in a sling or carrier). I think I’ll take that for the airports – we will have 1 or 2 layovers each way – with Anneliese riding in it, Joey on my front, probably a backpack as a carry-on, and my purse, which can fit in the stroller basket. We can gate-check the stroller at each plane.
- On the plane, Anneliese will have her own seat and will ride with a C.A.R.E.S. harness for safety (Child Aviation Restraint System).
Joseph will have a Baby B’air restraint, which will let him still sit in my lap/in my arms, nurse, and move comfortably but will protect him from flying out of my arms in the event of turbulence. (This happened to the child of the person who invented this harness, and the child hit the ceiling! SO SCARY!)
I’m not sure what I’ll do once I get to South Carolina…I may have to rent a car for the duration of my visit, because the car we’ve borrowed from my dad before is getting older and less reliable, and he said he doesn’t feel like it would be safe enough for the 2.5-hour trip to the wedding (and then back).
I’m also not sure if I should drive back in order to fly out of the same city (where my parents and in-laws all live, and where I’ll be for most of the visit), or if I should try to fly out of the wedding city instead (cutting out another long car trip with the 2 kids by myself).
I know that by then Joey will be less floppy, more sturdy, and able to travel better (I hope), and I’ll have more practice as a solo mom of two, but I’m still sooooo nervous about this trip. Anyone? Advice? Tips? Thanks in advance!
Edited to add: I wrote this a while ago, but now I’m thinking I may just fly into the wedding city to begin with, stay there for our visit, renting a car, staying in a hotel, and then fly home. It would be simpler, though possibly a bit more expensive (hotel vs. staying with my dad) BUT it would also be a nice little vacation for me and the kids – going to the beach, parks/gardens I went to when I was a kid, etc – and 2 of my sisters live there so they could get some bonus Aunts time, Uncle time, cousins time. I need to figure out how to get my car seat from my dad 2.5 hours away though.
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