Parenting & Family

flying/travelling with a 1 year old

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  • Sep 26th, 2019 10:30 pm
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[OP]
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May 23, 2017
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flying/travelling with a 1 year old

so my family got an offer to go to hawaii for free. at the time of the trip my daughter will be one year old.

What should I expect about travelling with a 1 year old?

Will her flight be free? how does she travel, on our lap? do we need to purchase anything special? issues with a stroller?
when we get there, we will need a car seat, can/should we rent that from the rental place?
experience/suggestions about having a child on a beach?

I have been to hawaii 10+ times so I know what to expect when I get there but I have never traveled with a child.

also, am I stupid to take a vacation with a 1 year old? I am thinking probably shouldnt go but we have a free place to stay ect.
Last edited by riseagainstthemachine on Sep 11th, 2019 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dec 12, 2005
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Under 2 years old, they sit on your lap and pay for the tax portion only. If you want her to have her own seat, you buy her a seat. For strollers, you can gate check it. As for car seat, you have to decide if you are going to rent a car. In case you decide you will rent a car, you can bring her car seat and it will be counted as her luggage or rent one from the car rental company. Normally, car seats from car rental companies are not taken care of properly and could even be dirty.
[OP]
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ai_c wrote: Under 2 years old, they sit on your lap and pay for the tax portion only. If you want her to have her own seat, you buy her a seat. For strollers, you can gate check it. As for car seat, you have to decide if you are going to rent a car. In case you decide you will rent a car, you can bring her car seat and it will be counted as her luggage or rent one from the car rental company. Normally, car seats from car rental companies are not taken care of properly and could even be dirty.
thanks, that is what I am reading about the car seats from rental places. I didn't know that we could take it as luggage, thanks for that.
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Nov 23, 2015
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In my experience, airlines don't ding you for a car seat, but you do have to deal with the hassle of lugging it around.

And with the stroller, you just gate-check them as you board (make sure they give you a proper gate check tag). No charge.

Hawaii is a good destination to take a baby to because it's a laid back destination, you don't have the pressure to see sights or do the dining, entertainment, etc. of a city trip. I took my kid around on a range of domestic and overseas trips before he turned 3 and I think Hawaii was the easiest one. He loved the beach and spending time scooting around outside. The only hard part was the flight, he was not the greatest sleeper as a child and the early departure for us from Canada and late departure from Hawaii messed him up a bit.

You do have to shape your expectations a bit with a baby... you probably won't be able to match the pace you had before having kids, but you can still have a great time. Just be prepared to accommodate the baby's needs.
[OP]
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56kbps wrote: In my experience, airlines don't ding you for a car seat, but you do have to deal with the hassle of lugging it around.

And with the stroller, you just gate-check them as you board (make sure they give you a proper gate check tag). No charge.

Hawaii is a good destination to take a baby to because it's a laid back destination, you don't have the pressure to see sights or do the dining, entertainment, etc. of a city trip. I took my kid around on a range of domestic and overseas trips before he turned 3 and I think Hawaii was the easiest one. He loved the beach and spending time scooting around outside. The only hard part was the flight, he was not the greatest sleeper as a child and the early departure for us from Canada and late departure from Hawaii messed him up a bit.

You do have to shape your expectations a bit with a baby... you probably won't be able to match the pace you had before having kids, but you can still have a great time. Just be prepared to accommodate the baby's needs.
thanks, I think we will do it. doesnt look like there are any direct flights from toronto anymore which sucks.
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Aug 31, 2014
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We went to Hawaii when the little one was 19months. We actually deliberately chose to stop over in Vancouver because he can ran off some energy and get a change in scenery. Also we did afternoon/evening flights so he slept thru most of those (also not a good sleeper here).

At 19 months though, he didn't enjoy the sand sticking to his skin, so we didn't get to spend as much time on the beach as we wanted.

Agree with the slow pace - we often went back during nap time and everyone takes a break.

We rented a car seat from Enterprise Honolulu and it was in good conditions, just that it's a basic Graco type.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Good posts so far

Some of your questions can also be answered by looking at the airline’s website ... especially when it comes to baggage for kids:

Example ... Air Canada
https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/hom ... ecked.html

Just punch in the related info on Airports
Status & Seat Class
As well as the age of the flyer
And info will come up on allowances
(Example ... in addition to 1 Checked Bag per person, a kid under 2 is allowed
Any 2 of the following items to be Checked for FREE
Stroller - Car Seat - Or Playpen)
And when on-board you get an additional Carry On Allowance for yourself ... of a Diaper Bag for them.

Our kids began flying all in their first year
And we always managed nicely with the baggage allowances
What was sometimes challenging was having them on our laps the whole trip
Really tough if it’s just one Parent & Baby
Easier if you have another Parent along, or a Grandparent / Travelling Companion

Here’s a Tip ... Figure out where your kid will be sleeping when away from home
Sometimes a playpen is an excellent choice
(Not all hotels offer cribs etc)
Besides a bed, it can also be used as a “safe zone” to contain a little one
If you opt for bringing a playpen ... then it’s easy enough to rent a car with a car seat
So you still can have all 3 items at your disposal at the Destination
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- When sitting on your lap the flight is free (tax only). If you want the child to have their own seat (such as if you want them to travel in their car seat) then you pay full price. Up until 2 years of age they can fly free.
- The child needs a passport. You should call the store ahead of time to make sure they'll do photos for children this young, some do not. If I recall our local Costco would not do it.
- Car seats are expensive to rent so I would bring that and your stroller. A play pen is needed but check ahead and see if your hotel has one. If not you can always buy one down there for less than the cost of renting a car seat. When a hotel says they have a "crib" generally it means a playpen.
- You can, and should, gate check the stroller. That's where you take it to the gate and leave it in the jetway right before you board. Just remember you have to fold it for them.


Vacations are different with children. You are not stupid for wanting to take your child to Hawaii. They will experience many different things there, and while they will not remember any of it, they will experience it in that moment. You will soon learn that on vacation it is about your child(ren). The activities you do, the times they need naps/rest, places you eat, etc. - most everything will be focused on them. You have to go into it realizing it is different than when it's you (or you and an adult travel partner).

Also stop and pick up things for the beach to play with. Little things to scoop with, carry sand, etc. If the city in Hawaii has some sort of dollar store then it's a great choice. It doesn't even have to be beach toys - you could literally use any sort of "spoon" to scoop with. You will know better than myself what your child is into at that age, but for us our child love playing in the sand and we just bought cheap things to dig with and play with.

Good luck - and remember there will be moments where you are frustrated and moments where you may regret your choice. But you have children and you have to realize it's about them now, not you.
[OP]
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May 23, 2017
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TrevorK wrote: - When sitting on your lap the flight is free (tax only). If you want the child to have their own seat (such as if you want them to travel in their car seat) then you pay full price. Up until 2 years of age they can fly free.
- The child needs a passport. You should call the store ahead of time to make sure they'll do photos for children this young, some do not. If I recall our local Costco would not do it.
- Car seats are expensive to rent so I would bring that and your stroller. A play pen is needed but check ahead and see if your hotel has one. If not you can always buy one down there for less than the cost of renting a car seat. When a hotel says they have a "crib" generally it means a playpen.
- You can, and should, gate check the stroller. That's where you take it to the gate and leave it in the jetway right before you board. Just remember you have to fold it for them.


Vacations are different with children. You are not stupid for wanting to take your child to Hawaii. They will experience many different things there, and while they will not remember any of it, they will experience it in that moment. You will soon learn that on vacation it is about your child(ren). The activities you do, the times they need naps/rest, places you eat, etc. - most everything will be focused on them. You have to go into it realizing it is different than when it's you (or you and an adult travel partner).

Also stop and pick up things for the beach to play with. Little things to scoop with, carry sand, etc. If the city in Hawaii has some sort of dollar store then it's a great choice. It doesn't even have to be beach toys - you could literally use any sort of "spoon" to scoop with. You will know better than myself what your child is into at that age, but for us our child love playing in the sand and we just bought cheap things to dig with and play with.

Good luck - and remember there will be moments where you are frustrated and moments where you may regret your choice. But you have children and you have to realize it's about them now, not you.
Thanks for this advice. I think that my wife thought when she told me about the trip that I would immediately say no. I went home last night and told her that we would go and shes so excited. We understand the issues travelling with a small child but I think it will be interesting and a fun experience for all of us
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1 yr old should still be generally. They'll still get antsy on the plane but still better than at 1.5-2 yrs regarding the flight. Once you're there, it'll be similar to being here assuming you have the car seat, stroller.
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We bought a yoyo babyzen to hopefully avoid gate check (and to eventually replace our full size stroller anyway). From what i hear of others gate checking their strollers, many times it will be damaged in the process.

I will be travelling to China with a <1 year old. Wish me luck!

Any advice for long flight would be welcomed. First time travelling with a baby.

Do we change the diapers in the small lavatory?
Do we breast feed in our seat?
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Aug 31, 2014
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goJays wrote: We bought a yoyo babyzen to hopefully avoid gate check (and to eventually replace our full size stroller anyway). From what i hear of others gate checking their strollers, many times it will be damaged in the process.

I will be travelling to China with a <1 year old. Wish me luck!

Any advice for long flight would be welcomed. First time travelling with a baby.

Do we change the diapers in the small lavatory?
Do we breast feed in our seat?
Change diapers in the lavatory. Change more frequently than you'd think.

Breastfeed in the seat was fine.

Bring tons of snacks, toys, change of clothes. And depending on your views on screentime....

We walked up and down the isle a lot.

Good luck!
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took a 8 month old on a plane, had a really long flight too, 2 stops 6 hours each stop, it was nutz, will never do it again

took a 2 year old and a 4 year old to the caribbean, it was rough but managable, will not do it often
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goJays wrote: We bought a yoyo babyzen to hopefully avoid gate check (and to eventually replace our full size stroller anyway). From what i hear of others gate checking their strollers, many times it will be damaged in the process.
I have gate checked strollers many times and have never had damage as a result, but I never took a heavy, expensive stroller with us. I only took a snap-stroller when the kids were infants, and then light and inexpensive umbrella strollers when the kids were a bit bigger. I would be too nervous to gate check an uppababy, city jogger, etc. I would think the babyzen should be fine.

I agree with Tsanger's advice. Definitely bring way more diapers/wipes than you think you'll need, and bring a couple changes of clothes. We learned the hard way that it is damn hard to buy baby clothes in some large airports.
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56kbps wrote: I have gate checked strollers many times and have never had damage as a result, but I never took a heavy, expensive stroller with us. I only took a snap-stroller when the kids were infants, and then light and inexpensive umbrella strollers when the kids were a bit bigger. I would be too nervous to gate check an uppababy, city jogger, etc. I would think the babyzen should be fine.

I agree with Tsanger's advice. Definitely bring way more diapers/wipes than you think you'll need, and bring a couple changes of clothes. We learned the hard way that it is damn hard to buy baby clothes in some large airports.
We brought our uppababy g luxe to Hawaii and Asia no damages at gate check. It was Air Canada and I think West jet...

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