Friday, February 20, 2009

Free form flight thoughts

I figure since I am going to stress about this flying thing in the back of my mind anyway I might as well be proactive & pick a specific thing to focus on.  Something I can actively control. Today it is


Should I check a bag or save myself the bag checking & retrieving hassle by shipping our clothes UPS? The cost is about the same really, since US Airways charges $15 to check a bag and UPS charged me $25 to ship 2 boxes to my folks over Christmas. UPS will actually ship the suitcase, no box required.

It's not like we'll be needing those shorts & tees I am packing for another 4-6 weeks after we return. But there is the toiletries issue. We'll need the toiletries right up until we leave and TSA has made flying with shampoo, toothpaste, mascara & hair gel a bit of a challenge. I didn't really think about how much personal care stuff I have until I considered the number of 3oz bottles I would need to find. Shampoo, face cleanser, razor (which will have to travel by UPS), moisturizer, curl control cream, anti frizz spray (which is a necessity in FL), body lotion, eye cream, mascara (which may not be regulated), toothpaste and body wash.  And they all have to fit in 1 quart zip bag.  Fortunately I am traveling with 2 boys who between them only need one 3oz bottle & can share my toothpaste, so technically I have 3 one quart bags to fill, though one probably ought to hold snacks. But it does mean trusting them not to misplace my mascara & body wash.

Or I could just check a bag and fill all 3 quart bags with snacks,as long as they are not gel like snacks, like PB&J sandwiches. Apparently turkey on rye (no mayo) is ok though, and stuffing, but not cranberry sauce, unless it is less than 3 ounces. Would mac & cheese be considered a solid or gel?

It says I can bring a 'reasonable amount' of juice beyond 3ozs if I am traveling with children. Define 'children'. Define 'reasonable'. I suppose it depends on the TSA agent. A parent of young children might likely agree with me that 8 6.75oz juice boxes are reasonable for a 5 & 6 year old to drink over what is a minimum 4 hour period, allowing some extra for any delays.  A single person might consider a 5 & 6 year old could do just fine with one each. Personally I'd agree with them if it wasn't for the whining that would ensue, but mostly because I don't want to be taking the kids to the bathroom every 10 minutes in the airport.

Managing young boys in the airport ladies room is really impossible. You have to use the handicap accessible stall to accommodate everything because they can't be trusted to STAY PUT and watch the luggage while you do your business or not to wander off when they are done with theirs or to remember they came in with a backpack, so everyone & everything gets crammed in one stall together. And the odds of running into someone who actually needs the handicap accessible stall are much much higher than in my local Safeway. So then I have guilt for using the stall.

I suppose I could just buy juice but I *hate* buying things I have at home, things that reasonably I ought not to have to buy at inflated airport prices.

It says the TSA agent might test the juice for explosives.

I think the boys would find that the highlight of the trip.


Lena said...

LOL at the juice! I love it!

ptooie said...

We forgot to put our applesauce container in a baggie once. As we were nearly late to board our flight, we told TSA to pitch it.
DFW airport has 'family' bathrooms- one big room you can cram everything into. They're nice. Maybe your airport has one hidden somewhere? (actually, my Target has one too!)
Last trip to Texas we took 2 baggies of yogurt-covered raisins, 2 bananas, and some sort of granola product. We took packets of Crystal Light and empty sippy cups, and bought water once we were inside security. It worked well.
Oh yea- my local TSA doesn't like when you repackage your goopy products in nondescript 3oz containers. They much prefer you buy the travel size so they know exactly what it claims to be.
No pressure, just what we deal with a couple times a year with toddlers...

Too Many Hats said...

Hehehe - love the testing juice for explosives, I think that might be a fun thing too.

I would just check the luggage. But, this coming from someone who has only flown with all three of her kids once and that was 10 years ago, long before all the added TSA fun.

Good luck!

Jenni Jiggety said...

Just check the bag and pack snacks! Goldfish can't be explosive, can they? Go with the goldfish...

anymommy said...

I hear you. Traveling with little ones is hard. I try to minimize what I'm carrying because otherwise I can't function, but that's caused problems of its own in the past!

And oh god how I hate airport bathrooms.

Daisy said...

Oh, the decisions!! Shipping the luggage ahead might be worthwhile, including toiletries. I'd buy a new set to ship, then just carry the bare minimum along on the plane. Of course, with a 5 & 6 year old, that minimum grows exponentially.