Travel advice etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Travel advice etc.
12
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 3:59pm

Hey Ladies, So I'm planning a trip to DC to visit some family this spring. James will be between 10-12 months probably when we go. We're going to be flying, and I'm not planning on buying a seat for James. I'd really rather not bring a car seat if possible. The airlines charge for all checked luggage (including car seats/strollers as far as I can tell). We'll be staying right downtown on the metro line, and should be able to get everywhere on the metro/bus. (we also can't really park where we'll be staying, so we won't rent a car) Does that seem doable to do without a carseat? There's a small chance that we could get a ride from family once or twice, but seems like too much hassle to bring a carseat just on the off chance that someone wants to take us someplace.

I'm thinking we'll need to bring a pack-n-play. And maybe a stroller. Sightseeing without a stroller seems like maybe a bad idea, though we do have the ergo carrier, and slings. Also, how much sightseeing is reasonable to do with a baby that age? Any experience with that? I was also thinking we could buy a cheap stroller there instead of checking it (it would be $40 to check the stroller I think) Does that seem like a bad idea though, to try to get around with like a cheap umbrella stroller?

I'd appreciate any and all advice you ladies might have. Also, Sarah I thinkyou live around there, so if you have any area specific advice, that would be awesome! Thanks in advance ladies!

Photobucket

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2006
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 5:18pm

If you're staying downtown or even in NoVa you should be ok without a car seat.

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 5:43pm

Are you sure it costs to check the car seat? On the other hand if you are staying in the city you won't need it. As for the stroller, gate check it, it won't cost you anything that way and it will be there when you get off the flight.

As for doing the city without a stroller, it is doable, we've done it once or twice, that being said I do like having a stroller to store all my stuff, I put baby/toddler up in the carrier.

You depending on how James is, you should be able to visit whatever attractions you want. I suggest the zoo, both Desmond and Eloise love it, in fact we're going there for Eloise's birthday on the 14th if the weather is nice. The Mall is nice since you can wander around and stop in the various Smithsonians as you wish, the art museums don't allow you to carry a baby in a back carry in them, I believe the others are fine with it. I would suggest again the Holocaust Museum with a baby, but other then that you should be fine almost anywhere else.

I do suggest the Baltimore Aquarium, but since you would have to drive to get there it is probably not that likely, both Eloise and Desmond enjoy it though.

You should be great without the car seat in the city, though do keep an eye out with a stroller, since not all Metro stations have an elevator.




Thanks Joelle for my new sig







babies




Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 5:45pm

Thanks Heather. Just for clarification, we're staying with family, not at a hotel. Unfortunately the family we're staying with has no kids/kid connections. (it's my dad's brother and his wife, so they're in their 60's and never had any kids) It would be best if we fly into Reagan so we can take the metro to their place, as that's by far the most convenient way to get there.

Thanks for the advice though, I really appreciate it. I might look into renting some of the items we'll need (pack-n-play, stroller) since it might cost $40 to check them. I'm not sure if the checked luggage fee is one way or round trip...

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 5:48pm
oooh, that's a good point about elevators. Has anyone taken a stroller on an escalator before? I feel like I've seen people do that, but I've never had a reason to try it myself... I'll ask the airline about gate checking the stroller.
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 5:58pm

Argh. I just had a whole email written up for a friend with travel tips, but then I saw them in person so I ended up deleting it before sending. We're actually taking Patrick to DC next month, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Just take the stroller to the gate and have them gate check it, as others have said. It's free, and they'll have it waiting for you on the jetway at your destination. We're planning on doing it without a carseat. I'm personally willing to do a short taxi ride with the baby in a pinch, and it's legal in DC, but I know not everyone is comfortable doing that.

My trick for not buying the baby a seat on the plane - reserve a window and an aisle seat with and empty middle for you and DH. Then unless the plane is completely full, they'll move anyone who ends up in that middle seat, either when you check in, or you can ask the stewardess. Three of the four times I've done this no one even reserved the middle seat, and the other time he was more than happy to move.

In other admissions of sketchy things I've done - on our last trip we bought a pack n' play at BRU and returned it at the end of the week. I made sure it was good as new before we returned it. But, we looked into renting and it was going to be twice as expensive as just buying one. And then I didn't know what else to do with it at the end of the trip. Another option if your family is up for it would be for them to get one off of craigslist for you and resell it afterward.

~Lorien











Photobucket

~Lorien





Lilypie Second Birthday tickers




iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 9:46pm
I've taken a stroller down the stairs before, it isn't allowed on escalators. We had to take the child out first, but the elevator in the station was broken so we didn't have much choice as to what we would do so one of carried Desmond and Eloise down the stairs the other one got the stroller.



Thanks Joelle for my new sig







babies




Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2008
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 4:47am

I do escalators all the time here with strollers- just make sure you are below it when traveling up with the stroller also facing forward and when traveling down I normally go first and then have the child/stroller facing away from the bottom so they aren't leaning forward. Did that make sense?



Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 9:32am

Checked baggage fees tend to be one way for the cost. Who is charging $40 a bag? I know Delta is only $25, and I find that bad enough $40 is insane.

At that cost it might be worth it to just ship the pack and play to where you are staying or buy a cheap one and leave it there, I know we got the pack and play we never use at my in-laws for around $30. Baby's R Us seems to have some for under $50 and I bet Walmart and Target would too, though I don't think there are any in the city so you might have to ship it. Heck if you need it and I can get it to you, you can use the one that we keep at my in-laws it isn't getting any use anyways.

The stroller should not be charged a check fee if you gate check it. Be prepared for a fairly full flight FYI, I have never had a flight into our out of Reagan that wasn't full. If you fly at slightly off times, like 2pm or so you might be luckier, but even then the flights I've taken out of Reagan have always been full.




Thanks Joelle for my new sig







babies




Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2007
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 11:38am

Just an FYI, we have gate-checked both a stroller and carseat several times and never had to pay for either. If you check them at the check-in counter, you will have to pay. I'm not sure why there's a discrepancy there, but I'm exploiting it, heehee.

As far as sightseeing goes, we can usually get an hour or two out of Ry at a time (and could when he was 10-12 mos. as well). I would say it depends on how active James is, though, because Ry is fairly content to sit in his stroller with a book as long as he's not really hungry or really tired.

-Megan

wttg>Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
Photobucket
Photobucket
wttg
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 11:49am

Grace,

Have you already bought your ticket? I've flown United and American and neither charge for checking "assistive devices" including car seats and strollers. And we actually saw a BOB jogging stroller being loaded on a plane with gate checked items (now DH is going to insist we bring the BOB instead of the super cheap and super light umbrella stroller - bah).

We were in Dallas this past weekend and the cheap umbrella stroller just didn't cut it. But Dallas apparently is unaware of the ADA and half the curbs we got to had no ramp (DH, who works in road construction, was appalled). So if you can get it to the gate or under the plane for free, I would bring the nicer stroller. Barrett really did a great job sightseeing in between his morning and afternoon naps. I think if we had stayed out longer, he would have just fallen asleep and taken his afternoon nap while sightseeing.

If your relatives have any friends that have grandchildren they may actually be able to find a pack-n-play to borrow. If not, it will probably be cheaper for you to buy one there (maybe craigslist?) than to pay the baggage cost both ways on your flight.

Photobucket

Lilypie

Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket

Pages