Why is it that no matter how hard I looked, I could not find information about flying by yourself with a one-year-old and how to pack your stroller? Why was no one providing information for how to get through the airport with all the gear?
There were pointers for how to manage once you were on the actual flight, but I wanted to know how to get from point A to point B with all our luggage. So, I am sharing with you all how I managed to navigate an airport by myself with a toddler and keep our stroller safe by using a travel bag.
I started having a lot of anxiety about how I was going to manage to go through the airport and flying by myself with a one-year-old. It all just seemed so daunting to me. Being organized was key. I had all of our travel documents in a zip up travel bag, ready to be pulled out of the diaper bag whenever I needed to present them. Within the diaper bag was also all the usual essentials; diapers, wipes, pajamas, snacks, bottles, formula, and my wallet.
Once at the airport everything was organized onto my UPPAbaby VISTA stroller. The diaper bag was within reach at the back in the basket, the carry on bag was in the basket at the front. I was also able to fit my baby carrier in the basket too and the travel bag on the stroller handle. My daughter then got settled into her seat on the stroller and buckled in. I was set and ready to check-in and get through security with my daughter.
One very nice thing about traveling with a small child is having priority through security, our wait time was very short to get through there. I was also very thankful that another traveler helped pull tubs out for me to load our items into that needed to go through the machines in security. This made a huge difference to my fear and anxiety about traveling on my own with my youngest daughter. So, if you’re ever going through and airport and see a parent who may need some help even just with a tub at security, please offer!
A TRAVEL BAG IS A MUST TO KEEP YOUR STROLLER PROTECTED
A huge cause for concern was the stroller. It was a must for me to bring the stroller. I needed it for in the airport to help carry our gear but to also contain my daughter so I knew she would be safe. The stroller was also a must to bring to our destination. I also knew I needed to keep it my stroller safe during travel too. My last trip with the stroller sadly resulted in damage to it, and a lengthy fight to have the damage corrected.
After the damage happened I was kicking myself for not getting the travel bag that was specifically designed for our stroller. Huge regret. This time round, I had the TravelSafe Travel Bag for our UPPAbaby VISTA and I was putting it to use. I was surprised by how compact the bag was. It rolled up and stayed shut thanks to a velcro strap. When you need to use it, simply unroll. The travel bag is made with a strong, durable fabric. It also has two exposed wheels on the base to make it easy to roll.
The one thing that really had me set on having the Uppababy TravelSafe Travel Bag this time was the TravelSafe Program from UPPAbaby. UPPAbaby ensures that you can gate check your stroller in the travel bag and know that any damage caused during the flight will be covered by UPPAbaby. That brought so much peace of mind to me during this trip. Just be sure to have the Travel Bag registered with UPPAbaby before the trip. If you have an UPPAbaby stroller, it should have been registered for their warranty.
PACKING THE STROLLER AND GETTING TO THE GATE
- WAIT TIL YOU ARE THROUGH SECURITY: I needed the stroller for keeping my daughter contained while going through security and it also helped to keep everything organized. I also made sure to wait to pack the stroller up until it was about 20 to 30 minutes from boarding time. When traveling with a young child you have priority boarding, which means you can board earlier and get settled in with some assistance if needed.
- FIND A NURSING ROOM OR COMPANION WASHROOM: I needed a place where I knew my one year old would not wander away from me. This is why I searched out a nursing room or companion washroom after getting through security. Often, these rooms you can lock the door and they have a bit more space for moving around in. Both times when I needed to pack up the stroller I found one of these rooms and within them was also a seat that my daughter sat in while I packed up the stroller. With a couple snacks, she was happy!
- DOCUMENT YOUR STROLLER: Meaning, take pictures of your stroller so that if something does happen you have images you can send, if needed, about how your stroller looked before flying versus any damage that may have occurred. I also photographed the gate check tag so I had a copy of it if needed.
- START PACKING: I unloaded the stroller contents (diaper bag, the travel bag, baby carrier, and our carry on bag) onto a counter and then set about unrolling the UPPAbaby travel bag for my UPPAbaby VISTA. The VISTA needed to be folded in order to fit into the bag. I also had to remove the large rear wheels. One thing I love about the travel bag is that it comes with a small bag to put the large wheels into. I gave them a quick clean before popping them in the bag. The main frame of the stroller went in first, then the seat, and the wheel bag inside the seat. It all fit nice and snug inside. Zipping shut perfectly.
- GET TO THE GATE: This is the last big hurdle to getting on the plane, simply getting to the gate. Once I had the stroller in the travel bag, my daughter in the carrier, and the diaper bag on my back I was able to just pull my carry-on bag and the travel bag. Thanks to priority boarding I was one of the first to head to the plane, pulling my bags behind me. All I had to do was leave the bag at the gate and the flight crew loaded it onto the plane. While boarding the plane itself, a flight attendant offered to help with my carry-on and made sure we were settled in our seat. When returning home we were one of the last ones off the flight and an airline staff member was waiting with our travel bag and offered to help assemble to stroller for me. That offer was above and beyond what I expected and truly appreciated.
I was able to get through the airport with my toddler and all our stuff thanks to having our stroller. Our stroller was kept safe during both of our flights thanks to having the TravelSafe Travel Bag. I had peace of mind that if something did happen to my stroller that it would be addressed by UPPAbaby. If you are considering traveling on your own with a child, or even multiple kids, it is doable. After having done it once, I would definitely fly on my own again with either or both of my girls.
Disclosure: We were provided with the TravelSafe Travel Bag by UPPAbaby in exchange for this feature. The opinions expressed in this blog post are our own. From prior travel experience, we knew a travel bag was going to be a must, we won’t be traveling without it and wanted to share with you why.
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