Tag Archives: travel

Tips on traveling with an infant

I got this from one of my colleague and many thanks to her and colleagues who responded.
  • Carrier, Carseat and Crib:
    • Make sure your carseat is FAA approved; DO bring it, and use it in the seat on plane, if you bought the baby a ticket. Know where the FAA sticker is on the carseat, and be ready to show the flight attendant on plane when you board (they will ask). To carry carseat  in airport: I buckle the seat belt, loosen them all the way, and shoulder-strap it ; put baby in stroller. You might have to check the base, if you have that; or just use seatbelt routing in CO and leave it at home (or have family there buy an extra base).
    • Make sure that your car seat can be used on the plane (if you bought a seat for your baby).  The airline web site should have info on this.
    • We checked in the car seat the first time round and she sat on my lap through the flight. In our last trip, we rented a car seat and a stroller at our destination. The cost of checking in a car seat equaled renting one.
    • I recommend a car-seat cover/bag.  We had a Graco car seat and Graco also makes a nylon bag that zips around the car seat so that when you do check it at the door of the plane, it won’t get dirty/wet.  It is a minor annoyance to have to stop at the plane door to zip it in, but worth it to keep the seat clean.  I think we got it on-line from babysRus or somewhere
    • If possible, ask someone at your destination to arrange for a crib or pack n’ play for sleeping.
    • We took both a baby bjorn carrier for me and what is, I think, called a “Moby” carrier for my wife (its like a huge scarf that you use to “wrap” the baby against your chest…like an old-school bjorn basically but different from those baby “sling” things).  The moby was a god-send since, for our baby, that thing was basically a sleeping-pill.  In the moby, the baby slept for the ENTIRE trip from the time we left our house in Menlo Park until we arrived at the in-laws in San Diego.  But it can be tedious to get into/out-of on the plane itself, so we used the bjorn actually on the plane because my arms got too tired to walk him around without it for so long (once was over an hour).
    • When I traveled with my son when the restrictions came into effect, strollers and especially car seats did not count towards your baggage count, but I would check with your carrier to confirm.
    • If you are renting a car there, you can rent a carseat with that.
  • Entertainment:
    • Cheerios (if they can eat that), other small finger-food bites help entertain them and feed them. Otherwise, whatever small books/toys they like and can fit in diaper bag. Walk w/ them, bounce, show window… show them other kids on plane, they love to stare at each other.
    • We traveled last month and brought a Baby Einstein video that kept him occupied for 30 minutes.
    • Buy some new toys for the plane, preferably quiet ones so you don’t disturb your neighbors.
  • On the plane:
    • Bring bottle to feed baby, or a pacifier, at takeoff & landing, to pop their ears from pressure.
    • We once took seats right in the front of the plane where they usually put the bassinet and found the seating very uncomfortable as we could not lift the arm rests. This made it very difficult to feed her as she kept hitting her head against the arm rest.
    • For the plane, bring plenty of bottles, formula (if you’re not breastfeeding), diapers and a couple of changes of clothes.  You never know what delays you might experience, especially at Christmas.  A change of clothes for yourself is a good idea as well.
    • Not sure if bassinets are an option on domestic flights but, you should ask your airline right now if your baby is under 25lbs and assuming you did not buy a seat for the infant.  On international flights, bassinets that hook into the bulkhead and/or sit on the floor are provided at no additional charge (first-come basis but you can/should reserve).  This does mean you would likely get the bulkhead seats, which don’t have space to put stuff under the seat in front of you but having someplace to alternatively put the baby to sleep and/or put all your junk is a HUGE help.  Again, not sure if these are an option on domestic flights but we had them international on United.
    • We found aisle seats to be better than window so that it is easy to get up and walk the aisles with the baby to keep them from crying.
    • Good idea to pack some big ziplocs and/or small trashbags to stick poop-y baby clothes in.  Really a drag if you have no where to stick them.
    • Might want to consider some sort of hat or maybe just a blanket to cover them a bit to make it dark.  Since you don’t control the lighting, they alway seem to have the lights on bright when you least want it.
    • Don’t forget to board early.  If the baby is fussy, you may want your partner to go ahead and board with all the junk and get situated while you pace around with the baby in the waiting area until the last second so that you don’t feel trapped in the seat with screaming baby.
    • Change your baby’s diaper about 20 minutes before your flight is scheduled to depart.  This makes sure that your baby’s at least comfortable for the lift off when you have to have your seatbelt fastened.
  • Security:
    • You don’t need an ID to travel domestic and a photocopy of the birth certificate can be carried in lieu.
    • As for formula, we took the pre-made formula bottles ( 8 ounces Similac bottles) and put those in in clear plastic bags and showed it at the time of the security check.  This is easier than mixing formula on flight.
    • We also always made sure that the only thing in the diaper bag was baby stuff.  It made security check points much easier when they did have to empty and check it all.
    • We used pre-packed powder formula packets, and bought two bottles of bottled water once we were past security.  We used the water we bought for feedings when not on a flight, and then asked for water while on a flight.  (Saved space and the hassle of an extra liquid through security). If you normally pump, then if at all possible, fill bags AFTER checkpoint, rather then before.  (I have had to taste test milk at security check points, my wife so nicely pumped BEFORE, rather then later.
  • Strollers:
    • Use a light umbrella stroller thru the airport, and gate-check it at boarding (assume is free). If you have a light “docking” stroller like SnapNGo to put an infant carrier in instead, that is even better- holds both, gate-check it.
    • Ask to check your stroller at the gate.
    • We have a BOB stroller and it has a luggage bag that worked out because I checked it at the curb, and then carried the the baby through security, to the plane in the sling.  Then for the car seat, I had a large weekend bag (from lands end) that I also checked at the curb.  The way the luggage representatives check it in, you shouldn’t be charged for the extra pieces.
  • Misc and Web sites:
    • http://www.babysaway.com/
    • http://www.flyingwithkids.com/
    • I also recommend that you look-up a head of time the ped’s in the area you are traveling to, so you have their numbers and where the best place is to go if you need to hit an after-hours clinic at 11pm some night.
    • You may want to order the diapers and wipes from amazon and have them shipped to your destination before you arrive.

Suck-y Customer Support from ICICI Lombard

This is the chat transcript that i am attaching from a recent conversation from a support guy for ICICI Lombard Insurance. More than the guy i was chatting with i was more furious with the process. How insane is it to say that you need to go to the “Nearest ICICI Lombard” branch. And this guy seems to respond every 10 minutes as he might be connected to other 1000’s of FURIOUS customers like me.

Whats the point in having the customer support that can not help. I dont care weather i have taken the policy Online, via Agent or what so other #%&*(. All i need is to “Get my job done“. Am i asking for more ??????????

The following is a record of your online chat.
General Info
Chat start time May 16, 2008 10:26:26 AM EST
Chat end time May 16, 2008 10:50:32 AM EST
Duration (actual chatting time) 00:24:06
Operator Rahul
Chat Transcript
info: Please wait for a site operator to respond.
info: You are now chatting with ‘Rahul’
Rahul: Good Evening
Rahul: you have reached ICICI Lombard 24×7,
Rahul: how can I help you?
SureshKrishna: HI Rahul.
SureshKrishna: I am chatting from California. My parents are here for a visit.
Rahul: ok
SureshKrishna: They had the Lobard insurance till May 12th and i would like to renew it.
Rahul: Sure
SureshKrishna: for 2 more months.
Rahul: Certainly i will assist you with the same.
Rahul: Please help me with your policy number.
SureshKrishna: Thanks.
SureshKrishna: XXXX/XXXXXXX/XX/XXX <Father’s Name>
Rahul: Was the policy bought online through our website?
SureshKrishna: XXXX/XXXXXXX/XX/XXX <Mother’s Name>
SureshKrishna: i dont think so. It was done via travel agents i guess.
Rahul: online chat we only have the details of the policies which have been bought through our website
SureshKrishna: can you let me know the best way to renew this policy ?
Rahul: you may visit the nearest ICICI Lombard branch and they will assist you further
SureshKrishna: As i said…i am not sure if there is any ICICI branch in Califronia.
SureshKrishna: Is there any kind of US toll free number that i can call and renew this.
Rahul: Sorry but you have to visit Branch for the renewal

SureshKrishna: Comeon dude….i am saying that i am in California !!!

Rahul: You have any relatives in India they can visit
SureshKrishna: Please give me tollfree number ! I am asking for the best way to do it.
SureshKrishna: Is there no Toll Free Number in US ?
Rahul: Yes
Rahul: 1 866 978 6447
SureshKrishna: no one is picking up this phone number !!!
SureshKrishna: i tried this number.
Rahul: Please try once again.
SureshKrishna: I have tried 5 times in the past 1 hour.
SureshKrishna: let me know if you want to respond ?????
Rahul: yes
SureshKrishna: Any other number that WORKS ?
Rahul: kindly send an email to customersupport@icicilombard.com and they will revert back to you within 48 working hours.
SureshKrishna: So at this time you do not know how to deal with this ?
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to sharp.krishna@yahoo.com at the end of your chat.