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Thread: Traveling with a Baby

  1. #1

    Question Traveling with a Baby

    Hi,

    I'm thinking of traveling interstate for a week with DS, on my own.



    Normally DH and I would travel on the cheap, flying Jetstar, Rex, Virgin Blue, etc - basically, whatever was the cheapest flight. It's easy not to be fussy when you're child-free and on a budget.

    Now that I'll have DS with me, I need to decide how to fly. Is it worth the extra cost to fly QANTAS? They provide food as part of the flight, although that's not a big issue for me. Money is not an issue, my comfort and stress-levels are more important, but I don't want to spend extra money for no reason. Would QANTAS look after us a bit better than the budget airlines?

    And would we get access to one of those bassinet things so that DS can sleep in it?

    Any experience flying with bubs would be appreciated. The flight would be about 3-4 hours.

    Oh, and baby car seats - do Car Rental companies provide them? If we borrowed a car from friends, would it be easy to hire a car seat for the week, and would they come to us and fit the seat?

    TIA.

  2. #2

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    We flew with virgin blue with bub at 10weeks. They were really god with us, and we had two flights up two flights back. I'm not sure if you would get the bassinet, I know you do on international flights, but they just have bub on your lap with an extra seat belt.
    You can hire baby car seats through car rentals, it cost us $ 8 for a day, but I'm not sure about it if you are using a friends car. Do you have the option to take bub's seat? Infant luggage isn't counted generally

  3. #3

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    I flew solo with DD at 12 weeks, and it wasn't as nearly as bad as it had become in my mind lol We did fly Qantas, but honestly, as I had to hold DD I couldn't manage a tray of food so had to knock back each meal. Maybe I'm just unco but I couldn't work out how to do it. We had the bassinett on the way over (5hrs) and I'd requested it weeks earlier. But I did run into another Mom who had also requested one weeks earlier, confirmed the day prior, and they didn't give her a bassinett seat. None of the people enjoying their extra leg room would swap with her either But I digress, it will depend on the size of the aircraft you're on as to whether they are available.

    I did ask at check in if the flights were full, and as none of ours were, they blocked out the seat next to me (I always went window) which gave me a bit more elbow room with BF etc. They make no promises but I found everyone helpful - that was Jetstar and Qantas.

    Baby/car seat hire places are pretty common, and most will be qualified fitters. You could organise it beforehand and your friend have it put in their car so it's ready at the airport? Don't know about hiring one straight from a car rental place without the hire of a car. I do doubt it though? Good luck!

  4. #4

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    Check with the airlines (websites should say) regarding Bassinets. It might depend more on the size of the actual aircraft than which airline. It's important to ring and book the bassinet seat as there are only two on each flight, but I am pretty sure you can do this after purchasing your ticket. It shouldn't really matter if it is a cheaper airline, as long as they have a bassinet and it is available. Car rental companies will rent you a baby seat for a small charge (like $10) but check it has been installed properly as installation is usually severely dodgy and needs adjustment. If you have a sling, probably easiest to carry DS in that at the airport as most airlines will not allow strollers on board, although some will allow you to take them to the gate and put them down the slide where they are lodged as cargo. If you are going to do that it is better to have a bag or cover for your stroller as it can be damaged by the slide. Again this depends on which aircraft and which gate it is leaving from, so given Archie is still little, I would put him in a sling and check your stroller. Strollers are sometimes considered oversize baggage which is annoying as you have to go to a separate desk to check them in/ pick them up, but they are usually included in your ticket if traveling with an infant. Again, as you're traveling alone, it will be easier to manage your luggage with DS in a sling. Don't be put off by all the above, I think your DS is pretty much the best age to travel with - he will probably sleep on the plane and still fits on the change table, and won't be charging up and down the aisles throughout the flight. If you can get the bassinet sorted you should be fine. Have a great trip!

  5. #5

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    Travel with Qantas - cannot tell you how glad I am that I did several trips with them - having the bassinette was a godsend, they are sooo helpful, having a proper meal is awesome, plus their headrests are the best of anyone - meaning you get better rest and can be more comfy if you do end up holding bubs.

    Seriously, it is worth the money.
    And TBH there is VERY little difference between Qantas pricing and JetStar or Virgin pricing (flying WA-MELB anyway) so we now fly Qantas as a matter of routine.

    ETA: With Qantas, you will get an infant allowance too - so you can take 2 pieces of luggage like stroller and car seat or portacot for free.

  6. #6

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    We flew virgin a while back, not with a baby, but they also allow the extra baggage for infants (under 2), including carseats and prams etc.
    With two of us we could take it in turns to eat etc. I guess it depends how long the flight is as to how much that matters really. You definitely want direct flights at any rate.

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    I've flown a bit with both kids on my own and aside from the meal, I really haven't found much difference between Qantas and the others - except Tiger, they suck.
    I've never had a bassinette though, it def depends on the size of the aircraft and often if you're travelling alone they will give those seats to able bodied passengers who don't have someone to look after (just in case there's an emergency - well that's the line they often feed to me anyway).
    I've never been charged for anything infant related as luggage, though making sure you can manage all the paraphernalia and DS is the challenge. I rarely fly with a stroller for example and use the sling when travelling, as it's just easier.
    Car rental places won't hire the carseat without the car, but there are plenty of baby hire places in capital cities if you do a search. Usually installation is up to you though.
    If you do hire a car, many will now get you to install a babyseat yourself as they don't want to be held accountable if it's wrong IYKWIM?

  8. #8

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    I've flown to Brissy by myself with DD, she was just one though.

    I went with Virgin and their service was excellent, I have never even thought to ask about bassinets, I just thought the were for international flights and having flown a LOT across Australia I've never seen one on a domestic flight !

    I chose flights at times generally evening flights when I knew that DD would feed on take off and generally go to sleep afterwards which she did, I was then able to enjoy a drink and nibbles. Before the Brisy trip the weekend before we went to Melbourne with DH for a bit of a test run to see how DD would go so I had a bit fo an idea on how she would go.

    The staff were always really helpful and I was more than happy with going with Virgin.

    Never had any trouble with baggage, last time I took my pram (in a special bag for it) large bag for the two of us, a nappy bag and my handbag. I used a sling or carrier to take DD on and off the plane. You can take what ever you need at no charge, pram, porta cot and carseat

    I used to commute weekly to Canberra for 2 1/2 years and we would fly over with Qantas and back with Virgin, and I have to say I really enjoyed flying with Virgin a lot more than flying with Qantas, but that was before kids and these days we just fly Virgin unless Qantas could match the price. I wouldn't go with Jetstar or Tiger, they aren't as baby friendly based on the experiences of quite a few friends

    We have hired cars in Brisy, Melb and hired a car seat, which was installed when we picked up the cars, but just note that it is your responsibility to make sure it is firm and tight ~ we did but never had a problem. It wasn't that much more and made it really easy.

  9. #9

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    We flew jetstar earlier this month. The crew were lovely but it was sooooo cramped with a toddler on my knee. I think with qantas you would have more room so perhaps a better choice.

  10. #10

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    I just went to Perth a couple of weeks ago, we flew Virgin there, and Qantas back. Virgin were lovely, but Qantas was HEAPS better. Bigger plane, staff were even lovelier and more accommodating and helpful. It was a much more pleasant experience, and the cost difference really wasn't that great. Totally worth it IMO.

    As for car seats in rentals, make sure you question them on the phone. We used Europcar, and they were hopeless. The seats weren't fitted when we arrived, so we had to stand in the cold rain with the kids while the guy did it. He had no idea, I had to fix the seats! And I still wasn't 100% happy. Thanks for reminding me, I need to contact them about it, I can't believe they have someone fitting seats who isn't trained.

  11. #11

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    I think plane size depends on the time you fly rather than carrier

    I would recommend either Virgin or Qantas, NOT Jetstar as it is really cramped
    I flew on the weekend and Virgin was more roomy than Qantas
    Whichever one gets you to your destination at a reasonable time is the best idea IMO

    Many of the car companies do not do rear facing seats but they almost all arrange forward facing so best to ring
    When you pack go light on your hand luggage. My first time travelling alone with a baby I took the normal nappy bag and my handbag...the baby is like more hand luggage as you have to carry them too
    Now i take a small backpack with everything, it helps if it can fit under the seat in front and an Ergo or some kind of carrier that can be truly handsfree (not a ring sling) is a godsend though they will make you take it off in flight

    A bassinette is AWESOME My first experience was with DS at 3 months 2 and a but years after travelling with kids and I didn't know myself
    Good luck

  12. #12

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    That's true about the plane size Polly

  13. #13

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    Hi there;

    Flying is rather eay with a bub. I wouldnt worry about paying more for your flight, the budget flights are just as good. You can take your own food and drink on the planes with you, and also all baby related items fly free too.... SO you can take pram, car seat, porta cot and other baby essentials with you without having to worry about excess luggage costs. Bubs sits on your lap with their own belt attached to yours. I find all the attendents are quite good with the kids and will help you out if you need it. Just remember to ask for help if you need it rather than toughing it out.
    And you can rent car seats from car rentals but you can also use yours too if you take it with you....

  14. #14

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    Thanks for all your help ladies. I'm leaning towards Qantas or VB if I'm travelling on my own. Feel like I've done the budget travel thing as a backpacker, need some relaxed travel now

  15. #15

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    You definitely want to go with an option that makes you feel much more relaxed, hope you have a fabulous time
    xxoo

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