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Going on a trip

I'm packing stuff for my travels tomorrow.  The girls and I are going to meet Raph in Arizona, where he's been conferencing.  We prepared their backpacks: each one has the exact same items as the other.  In my head, I am thinking about how this will all logistically happen.  We have one rolly-polly luggage, a carseat, a booster, a Kelty pack, the stroller, then our individual personal items/carry-ons.  I guess I'll just strap all stray items onto the rolly-polly luggage.  In the back of my head, I am thinking: "If only I could strap the kids to the luggage too...."

Never fear, Tote-a-Tot to the rescue!  When I see the thing, I don't know whether to laugh, to cringe, or to thank heavens for my prayers have been answered.  It looks odd, and I don't think I'd want to strap my kid onto the suitcase due to ease of toppling.  Poor child, to be toppled then smothered by an overstuffed luggage!

What do you think?


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I think it is weird. What a great way to get your child kicked in the face and crashed into by the luggage of other busy/unaware travelers. A horrible idea. What's wrong with an umbrella stroller?

Wow! I've never seen one of these before, but I can see how useful it might be, even though at first glance it might strike you as being a rather odd contraption, LOL.

I can imagine how hard it is to travel solo with 2 kids. I haven't done it yet. I'm way too afraid to. In November, I flew back to California to visit my mother, but I decided to just take my oldest with me, and I left behind my then 2 1/2 year old son in my hubby's care. I took the easy way out. I didn't think my very physically active, noisy, and mischievous son would be able to handle being cooped up at the airport and the flight itself for several hours! And, I couldn't see myself being able to handle it either without another adult helping me out!

I hope your little one isn't squirrely, that's what I think. One good wiggle and your kid will wrench the luggage from your hand.

I'm impressed that you are flying alone with 2 kids. Going with one kid wipes me out!

I have to agree -- that thing looks dangerous. Though I have seen that Britax now makes this thing that turns your car seat into a stroller for airports, which may make more sense. But it's $90.

Your post is timely because I'm looking forward to (hah) my first flight with the baby next month. We're going to Florida. I'm going to need all the uM advice I can get, for sure!

Good luck traveling with two!

My husband and I have an opportunity to travel to France sometime this year. We have an 18 month old and we're trying to decide whether or not to take him. We would be gone for about 10 days and my in-laws have already volunteered to watch him.

We would really like to take him but are concerned that none of us will really be able to enjoy the trip. How many family and kid centered places are available to visit in France? Any suggestions?

Yeah, I don't know about the Tote-a-Tot...I don't think I would use it. I know people who have used the Britax seat that turns into a stroller and they said they liked it.

Jennifer- my husband and I are going to Switzerland with our 20 month old in June for a week. Paris is one of the places we would go if we had more time since we love it so much there. Almost all of the restaurants are kid-friendly, and there are a ton of kid-friendly things to do. My brother-in-law and his wife live there. I'll send you an email!

We have umbrella strollers that we used to travel to Sandiego, and I would recommend those. They're so light and fold up super easy. I think even the dual umbrella strollers are pretty light, also.

Spend the 2 bucks and get a luggage cart at the airport. It will hold a surprising amount of stuff. But since it would be hard to manuever it with an umbrella stroller, maybe strap your kids into harnesses.

I know they look silly (I always think of Simon, one of Mike Meyers' characters on SNL). But I have a friend who used them when traveling with her kids and she said they worked like a charm.

Having traveled alone with two kids (2months and 2 years) I think it would have been helpful for carrying the bulky carseat but I would not have put my son in the seat. It was very akward pushing the stroller while carrying the carseat with my youngest strapped to my chest. I say don't travel alone with more then one small child :)

Well, we've come and gone, and we're still in one piece. Traveling with two (ages 5 and 2) is a challenge, for sure. When we landed, I put the 2-yr old into the Kelty, had the 5-yr old carrying her own backpack, and I piled all the stuff onto the Volo/umbrella stroller. I think I pulled a muscle hoisting the carseat/booster (both in one carseat bag) onto the stroller. I rolled the stroller with one hand and pulled the suitcase with another. Voila!

Each girl had their own backpack with identical contents: same fruit leather, same granola bar, water bottle, playing cards, two notebooks, pens, sunglasses. Same is good at this age.

For another previous conversation on traveling with the kids, see: http://urbanmamas.typepad.com/urbanmamas/2005/01/leavin_on_a_jet.html

I say Savior! We've tried the TOTEaTOT and it works great!

Our child loved riding back there and most strangers stopped to smile and wave.

As for the car seat toppling over, it seemed stable either in use or when parked. I think my child's own weight counterbalanced the suitcase and I noticed that the car seat rested comfortably on the floor when I'd stop briefly. The child is safe in the TOTEaTOT because they are in their car seat which is designed to withstand a car crash! It definitely made our life easier getting through the airport, without a doubt.

Thanks, Roxie, for the feedback on the TOTEaTOT. It's great to hear some first-hand experience!

We just used the TOTEaTOT for the first time on our cross country trip to Orlando! It was a lifesaver! When you have two children in car seats it allowed us to check our stroller and only have the things that we needed with us (1 Carryon and 2 car seats - and of course both kids). Our daughter loved looking at everyone as we walked through the airport and we had at least 20 people ask us about it (as they were toting their 25lb car seats on their backs).

For those of you worried about the safety of your child (they are totally safe). Yes, it is difficult to negotiate through security as you have to remove the car seat and put it throught the xray machines but you have to do that anyway and TOTEaTOT saved our backs!

Basically, I would recommend it!

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