Well, we survived the first vacation with both of the kids last week. Traveling with two young kids is certainly no easy feat, but having the right accessories made it a whole lot easier. We decided to bring the E3 Stroller (See Review) over our lightweight Maclaren umbrella stroller which was key, because we used it as a jogger, an infant carrier and with both kids at the same time. The E3 held up very well, especially since we gate checked it and purchased a heavy duty nylon travel bag. Tip: If you don’t use a travel bag for your stroller, the airlines will destroy it.
The biggest hit of the trip however was the Go Go Kidz Cart which turned our Britax Roundabout Car Seat into a stroller for maneuvering our two year old around the airport.
A nice feature is that it can stay attached for use on the airplane (you must remove it for automobiles). We were stopped by no less than 10 people who noticed that Britax doesn’t make a car seat and asked us about the Go Go Kidz and where they could get one. My daughter loved it and it made it a lot easier to get her around the airport, especially with a connection.
I wish I could say that flying American Airlines was as pleasurable as my experiences on Jet Blue. On our return flight, the gate agent in Dallas refused to let us pre-board, saying it was their “policy” even though we had been offered that option on our previous three flights. This was extremely frustrating given the amount of equipment we were lugging around and in general the Dallas gate agent seemed to go out of her way to be rude to passengers. My favorite moment was when she came on board and was yelling at folks to sit down so that we could “take off” on time. However, anyone on the right side of the plane could see that there were still 150 pieces of luggage to be put onboard by a gentleman who must have been orchestrating a union slowdown because it was not humanly possible to load bags any slower. It was about 10 more minutes until he had any help and 25 minutes later until we left the gate. And you wonder why the traditional carriers are struggling?
One last note, Skype was a lifesaver for me on this trip. I purchased $10 worth of credit for the Skype Out service, which let me call regular phone numbers from my computer. The cost was about $.02 per minute versus $1 per minute of roaming charges for my cell phone. The calls were very clear and I was able to keep up with all of my work and check in with friends. If you are planning to travel out of the country and have a laptop, Skype Out is an amazing service.