We are SO EXCITED to be heading to the Florida Keys for Spring Break next week! We planned this trip a year ago and we’ve been counting down the days all winter. Ever since we knew we’d be having a baby, I’ve been telling Thomas every time we took a trip and things felt a little chaotic: “Just wait until we’re flying as a family of four!” And here we are. Honestly I’m quite anxious about all the logistics, and I’m trying to get as organized as possible. I’ve been packing little by little and making lists all week.
We’re flying out of Richmond so that we could get a nonstop flight, so that does make things so much easier than running through an airport to make a connection (I’m looking at you CHARLOTTE Terminal E! Also, Please CHO airport, we need just one nonstop flight to somewhere warm in the winter!) Our flight leaves first thing in the morning, which means getting up at 3am and making the 1.5 hour drive to Richmond. Mazen will be fine. I’m crossing my fingers Birch doesn’t cry the whole time.
My Giant Car Seat Backpack
I bought a new car seat bag (my old one was MIA!) to hold Birch’s Mesa and crossed my fingers the Lotus crib we bought would fit in there too. IT DID! The reason we are bringing the Lotus crib is that the resort does not offer cribs and renting a pack and play would cost over $100. It was cheaper just to bring our own. If it did not fit, our back up plan was to wear the crib on our back through security. Or just pay to check it.
I love the new car seat bag, and it’s a lot better than the one I loaned out and lost, so it was a good purchase. The back pack feature will be nice when we have to carry this from baggage claim to the rental car. Or maybe we can get a push cart… it’s really heavy!
Here is our plan for the gear once we get to the airport:
- (free) Uppababy Mesa car seat + Lotus travel crib in the car seat bag
- (free) Mazen’s booster loose because it’s a cheapie Graco and I don’t care if it gets scuffed. And it won’t fit in the car seat bag!
- (free) Uppababy Cruz Stroller in the branded bag that guarantees its protection
- ($25) one giant suitcase to hold clothes for Thomas, me and Birch. Bringing laundry detergent because our accommodations have a washer/dryer (a dealbreaker on why I chose this resort – I can’t wait to tell you all about it!) I really hope our one giant suitcase is not over the weight limit. We’re going to buy things like diapers, wipes, and sunscreen when we arrive. At least we just need warm weather clothing!
- Me: Birch in the Boba carrier on the front and backpack with diaper bag items on the back.
- Mazen: Walking with his rolling suitcase. Possibly wearing a backpack too.
- Thomas: Backpack with all of our carry-on valuables and things we need in flight.
I’ll have Thomas wear Birch on the way home!
I considered bringing the stroller through to the gate along with its travel bag and attempt to gate check it so we can put some things underneath and not have to wear/carry everything. American Airlines has a 20 pound stroller limit, and the Cruz + bag is too heavy, BUT lots of people online said they were able to gate check it just fine. If we can get it through security then worst case they would just put it to baggage claim, which is totally fine.
The main reason I decided to check it is so we can have it perfectly packed before we leave our house and not have to worry about taking it apart and stuffing it into the bag last minute at the gate (at 6am…) Plus it’s free to check so there is no con to checking it.
We could bring an umbrella stroller instead, but I don’t think Birch is quite sitting up well enough for one, and we’d really like to have the Cruz during our trip in Florida.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO!?
And now that I’m formally mentioning the Lotus crib, we love it!! Birch has been sleeping in it in our room and he’s been sleeping well! It’s so much softer and cozier than our Graco pack and play. It’s REALLY easy and fast to set up. And it’s so much more lightweight than the Graco, which we would not have attempted to fly with. I also love that the Lotus can be worn as a backpack in case we need to do that at the airport, or simply carrying it from car to hotel.
I decided the cost was worth it because we’ll be doing a good amount of traveling in the next year, and this is something he will be using well into his toddler years. It came highly recommended by my sister, and after trying it at her house I was sold. I bought both the matching cotton sheet and the plush quilted sheet for when he’s older.
Birch got too big for his bassinest but he’s still waking up too much to sleep downstairs to his nursery all night, so this is our crib solution for the short term. I have so much to share on the sleep front, but I’m kind of waiting for us to solve our issues so I can share how it all went down. The short story is that the perfect storm of sleep regression hit us at 4 months and we’re still figuring out how to sleep again. We also LOVE the Kyte sleep sack that my sister gifted us! It’s our favorite one. So soft and easy to zip.
Part of the reason he outgrew his bassinet is because he is on the move! Rolling both ways, doing 180 degree turns. Look at him move across the blanket from one side to the other!
Please share your travel tips!! What am I forgetting?