Travelling with children

MariposaTraicioneraJune 22, 2007

I called AA this morning to find out what the restrictions are when packing hand luggage for kids (snacks, drinks, toys) etc., and they were not the most helpful. We travelled before the fiasco last year in London so we had EVERYTHING in our hand luggage!! I know that we have to use Ziploc bags and nothing must be more than 3 oz. but does this apply to say little fruit cups, chocolates, cookies etc.? There are favourite things they like, so we would prefer to buy before and pack. For those who travelled recently with their children, what did you pack for them to munch on?

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Everything/all you pack that is 'spreadable' (this is how hair gel was described to me- ick) must be in a quart-sized ziploc bag. That's not very big. Each child with a backpack would be allowed one ziploc bag. They won't let YOU take 3 in your carry-on for them. Your chocolates,cookies, goldfish, sandwiches, are fine on their own- it's pudding, possibly fruit cups, juice boxes (I think they're over 3 oz, though) jello cups- all need to go in one plastic bag per passenger. Cram it full.

Where are you going? DS was in Europe last semester and had his antiperspirant taken away on his short jaunt to Ireland. Britain is VERY strict. Spain- not so much.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 7:04PM
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Check TSA's web site for the most complete and up-to-date information. All airlines and airports (at least in the US) comply with TSA's regulations.

I just traveled from Oregon to Pennsylvania, and I had packages of cupcakes in my carry-on bag. I think you're OK taking food, just not liquids or gels. Yogurt would probably be taken from you, but cookies should be OK. I don't know about fruit cups. The worst that will happen is that they'll take the items from you.

Keep in mind that the restrictions for your carry-ons apply only to getting through security. Once you're through security, you can buy food and drinks to take on the plane. Not as cheap as taking your own snacks from home, but at least your kids won't be hungry. Get some bottles of water too. It takes at least an hour after take-off to get anything to drink on the plane.

Here is a link that might be useful: permitted and prohibited items

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 11:45AM
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My DD just flew to Texas with her 20 month old son. She packed cookies and some other snacks in her carry-on luggage and had no problem with security. Once we got through (I was able to go through to help), we bought milk, juices and water and a few other snacks for her to carry on to the plane (for both of them). Our airport (BWI) sells small chiller bags, too, that will keep those drinks cool on the flight.

You can't carry liquids (except small amounts) through secruity, but once through you can buy plenty of snacks and drinks and carry them on to the plane. I'm not sure I'd want fruit cups, the juice is sticky and spills easily.

Good luck with your trip.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 12:07PM
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Does anyone else think the restrictions on liquids are the most arbitrary and ridiculous things ever? My half-empty tube of hair gel got confiscated because it was 3.4 ounces. The limit is no container larger than 3 ounces. But you can fill up a one quart bag with several 3 oz containers! I just don't understand what they think they're accomplishing when I can go through with five 3 oz containers and an empty water bottle, then pour all the containers into the water bottle after security and end up with the prohibited one quart of liquid in a one liter container. The whole thing is a bizzare waste of time that had to be dreamt up by someone who wanted to look like he was doing something in order to get a good performance review.

Anyway, my ranting aside, I do travel a pretty decent amount. You can take a one quart ziploc filled loosely with containers no larger than 3 oz in size. One baggie per person, so you can take three if you're travelling with two kids. When you pass through security you must take the bags out and pass them through the x-ray machine on their own in a bin (you can toss all three in one bin). Keep the bags handy in an outside pocket for quick access and stowage.

Here is a link that might be useful: TSA rules

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 4:59PM
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I agree, they are very silly, as are most of the other travel restrictions/requirements. As with all things like this, it's the innocent (us) who pay the price in wasted time and money. Someone who really wants to do something will easily find a way around the restrictions.

I flew yesterday, and the screening is such a waste of time. I leave all my liquids/gels at my daughter's home so I don't have to carry any of that stuff when I fly down. But travelling someplace where I can't easily get to a store to buy an adequate amount of shampoo, etc makes me curse "them."

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 5:50PM
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If any of your children is on formula it's not included in the 3oz rule. I travel with a 19month old back and forth once a month to hospital. We carry on a case of formula and a great deal of prescription medication. Each medication is labled with his prescript and individual doses are premade by the pharmacy for travel day.

The 3oz rule is a bit hazy depending on the airport. I argue on occasion about the amount of liquid I carry (due to the formula) but have never had it taken away. What I don't carry is spreadable babyfood, yogurt, etc.. It will be taken.

I would also be careful with sandwiches. I've seen those confiscated. The mayo or peanutbutter is "spreadable" so they are within their rights to take it (even if it's total crap LOL).

I'd purchase all liquids there as well as any pudding packs etc., that you want. It's more expensive, but cheaper than buying twice if it's taken, which it most likely will be.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 7:59PM
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Thanks guys for your helpful suggestions. We are going to Playa Del Carmen in Mexico for three weeks! Can't wait to get on the beach, Margarita in hand, and just stare at the beautiful turquoise beach,lol

We have taken out all the liquid stuff, and are now down to a few baggies of candy, chocolate, almonds, and crackers. If they decide those are a no-no I'm going to eat the lot before they're thrown out!!

Really, the whole thing about liquids really annoy me. As for water... one friend takes in several empty bottles and fills them up when she goes through the scanner. I agree that fruit cups wasn't a good idea. Some of the kids (lots of family going) have an obsession right now for fruit cups but we told them about the hassles and promised to get them all the fruit cups their little hearts desire in Mexico.

Hope you guys have a happy summer and enjoy whatever you plan to do. Oh, Happy 4th as well. We almost always seem to be abroad for the 4th.

Hasta luego.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:45AM
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A funny story about restrictions...

DS, a good Eagle Scout, always carries a small swiss army knife. His is attached to his keychain and he uses it almost every day. Once a child in front of him stepped onto an escalator and her knotted shoelace got caught in the mechanism. He was able to quickly cut it off at the shoe and they watched the rest of the lace twist up and disappear- scary. Frankly, if I were on a plane with terrorists, I would want an Eagle Scout with a knife on the plane, too, but nobody asked me...

Anyway, he's gone through security I don't know how many times with this little knife- never thought about it. They did catch it once at our local airport and took it away. He found a cheap version of the same knife for sale at the gift shop INSIDE THE SECURITY GATES.

I can't think about this stupidity too much or my head will hurt.

Mari, have a wonderful and relaxing holiday. We need a full report when you get back!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 9:05AM
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Pack minimally, then you can stock up on snacks and juice and stuff in the convenience stores inside the terminal. There is no restriction once you get through security. If you buy it in the terminal, you can bring on whatever you want.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:09PM
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I've been travelling to Europe with my kids for 10 years now. Often by myself without the other parent to share the load to carry. Even before 9/11 I never would have taken things like juice, fruit cups or sandwiches along. The mess they potentially can make if spilled is too much for me to handle during such a flight.

It's always been water and like your friend I have never had problems taking an empty water bottle through security and filling it in the washroom behind it. Only problem might be that you happen to be in an airport where all the washrooms dispend nothing but very warm water, yuck (Heathrow is one of them). But even then, flight attendants usually don't mind to refill your water bottle on the plane as it cuts down on the individual refills of little cups they have to serve.

For snacks to eat I usually take more solid stuff like granola bars, trail mix, chewing gum, and the absolute favourite: candy blox - they can be played with and are eaten very slowly.

I can't comment on formula as that was never an issue for us. My breasts always produced more than 3 oz of milk per feeding but that shouldn't be confiscated :-))))

As to fluids like hair gels and such they are simply placed in the luggage that's checked in. Quite frankly, I have no idea how a parent could manage to pack her on board bag with all the extra snacks, some toys and a few extra clothing items for the kids, diapers, the necessary travel documents for everybody, a camera (I never travel without one and would never check it in) - and still have room for her personal beauty items.

Here is a link that might be useful: Candy Blox

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:30PM
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We are now beyond the diaper bag/formula stage with our kids and so far we've only taken short flights them (none much longer than 2 hours). For these short trips, I carry nothing more than my purse onto the plane. Everything else gets checked.

For short trips:
I'll put a paperback book, some snacks in baggies and maybe some playing cards in my purse, which can then be stowed under the seat in front of us (way easier than dragging bags in and out of the overhead). I don't bring any drinks on the plane because we are normally served one by the flight attendants - even on these short flights. And I want to minimize trips to the bathroom.

For the most part, the kids stay entertained by listening to the on-board earphones and looking out the windows. We have time to have a snack and visit the bathroom. Maybe play a game of cards. And the next thing you know we're landing.

One other tip - if you have a baby, be sure to do a diaper change right before you need to board the plane. While it is possible to do a diaper change in an airplane bathroom, it is not at all easy - very cramped, no place to lay the baby down, etc. You'll want to do as few of these as you can get away with!

Good luck and have fun!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:20PM
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I'm a bit of an expert on diaper changes and airplanes (we always have long flights so we have to do a change). First, always change right before the flight :) That's important because it buys you time LOL

Secondly, check your plane in advance online to see if it has a changing table. Many do, and often the flight attendants don't know it, but still, if you don't get a chance to check online ask them if one of the restrooms has one. If they do, they're small, but servicable. If they don't here's the second option:

Behind the toilet there are a door that is used to service the toilet. It's the same width as the room, but not very deep. It is however a longer flat surface and will work better than nothing or trying to balance a child on the closed toilet seat.

Before you place your child on it, please look to see if there is any area with sharp corners. Normally there is one area to the upper left hand side with a metal box. I ALWAYS tape a folded diaper on the box (with painters tape) and leave it there for the flight. It's a clean diaper :) Now you have a flat and safe area to change your child. It's also much cleaner than the balance of the room because it's normally closed LOL I personally always carry a changing pad as well to go over whatever I lay my son on.

And if anyone on the airlines reads this and thinks this is a bad idea..let me throw this one out to you....PUT CHANGING TABLES IN ALL OF THE REST ROOMS YOU CHEAPSKATES!!! YOU MAKE OUR LIFE A NIGHTMARE OVER A SIMPLE PIECE OF PLASTIC!!!

Ok I feel better now :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 2:59PM
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Amen, Igloochick.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 9:05PM
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