Wednesday, April 22
I've been doing a lot of traveling lately, and most of it has been solo trips on planes. (And by solo, I of course, mean me, Buttercup, her Britax car seat, one big suitcase, my purse, her diaper bag, and a carry-on for each of us. Trust me on this...it wasn't pretty.)
According to airline regulations, I didn't need to bring the mammoth car seat with me with Buttercup still under two years of age. And if I had traveled with her as a lap child, it would have saved me the cost of her ticket and a whole lot of frustration manuvering all that shhhhtuff on and off the plane on my own. But I did my research (as usual) and made my own decision, based on safety factors, to buy Buttercup a ticket.
So how was I going to handle it all?
Two items, one previously reviewed on my blog, saved my sanity on the three trips I took with Buttercup in the last few months. One is the ergo, which allowed me to get on and off the plane with Buttercup on my back as I manuevered everything else with my (thankfully free) hands.
The other item is one I had laughed at before actually having to put it into practice. The gogo Kidz Travelmate is now defintely at the top of my travel must-have list and should be at the top of yours, too! Why? Let me count the ways:
1) It's a little tricky to put together but it is not impossible, and with a little patience you'll have yourself a sweet little contraption that will enable you to turn your bulky car seat into a wheeled stroller for easy airport manuevering.
2) Two screws secure a variety of car seats to the gogo Kidz TravelMate (check the website to see if yours is compatible) and make it a cinch to set up and take apart when necessary. We did a test run in the house the night before our first trip and then placed the Travelmate in the back of the mini van with our suitcases. When we arrived, it took a minute (because the screws are LONG) to reassemble, and then we were on our way.
3)The Travelmate busts open the options door for handling a load of luggage and a toddler, especially if doing so alone. Either pop the kid in the ergo like I did and use the Travelmate to cart your carry-ons from security to the gate or use the Travelmate for its intended use and buckle the kid in and make it a fun ride in their new "stroller." (I went with option number two when I had an extra set of hands on one of my trips. Buttercup loved it.)
4) Once it's time to board, you can either undo the whole set up(Check out the website though for details on a new quick release feature I would have LOVED) and store the Travelmate, or do as I did and just slide the handle down before buckling the car seat in as is. Doing so does push the car seat up just a bit and reduces leg room (and the possibility of a toddler kicking the seat in front of them) but it worked for us just fine.
5) The Travelmate weighs just five pounds and is worth every ounce in gold. Not only did i keep me from going any crazier than I already am, it saved me the cost of having to rent a car seat when I got to where I was going while granting me the security of allowing my baby to fly safely.