|by Danielle Contray||Airfares & Flying, Airport Check-in, Questions and Opinions, Safety and Security||19|
I've been a travel editor for almost 12 years, logging countless miles around the world, and I pride myself on my efficiency at the airport. I am a whirling dervish of organization as I breeze through security—toiletries out, shoes off, pockets metal–free, and all back together again. I smugly never check a bag. I did a weeklong trip to French wine country with just a small duffle and still had room to bring home a couple bottles (this was pre 3oz rule). In fact, the last time I checked a bag was in 2009 on my way back from the U.K. after buying too many bottles of Scotch (post 3oz rule).
And then I had a kid.
This Saturday we will take our first flight with our infant and I am petrified. I finally came to terms with the fact that checking a bag is unavoidable, even though I am not happy about it. It's the logistics that are now keeping me up at night, juggling him and a stroller and bags while not holding up the line at security and being "those people." I have poured over the TSA's Traveling with Children pages to make sure that I am well versed in current regulations. In a fit of hyper organization, I even considered staging a mock check–in at home. And then I realized I had gone to the dark side.
What tricks do you have for getting through security with a little one? Are airlines lenient about checked bag fees when a baby is involved? Do I really need to worry about the TSA confiscating bottles of formula? Will we get dirty looks from other passengers, no matter what we do? Please save my sanity!
MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL