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Passport Required

Parents flying with children should be prepared for new passport requirements.  The United States is now requiring passport identification for travelers entering the country from Canada, Mexico and South American countries.  Gone are the days when a birth certificate was enough!  So next time you travel to one of the neighboring countries or take a cruise, be sure that you have a valid passport in hand.  If you need to apply for a passport, do not wait until the last minute.  It can take up to 8 weeks to receive a new passport.  Families have many passports and documents to organize together.  Consider using a Family Passport & Document Case to make organizing your family's passports a little easier to manage during times when you need to quickly present your documentation. 



TSA Family Guide

TIPS Before you reach the airport

  • Please allow yourself and your family extra time to get through security - especially for baby travel or flying with kids.

  • Call your airline or travel agent for their recommended check-in times for your departure airport.

  • Talk to your children before you come to the airport and let them know that it's against the law to make threats such as, "I have a bomb in my bag."  Threats made jokingly (even by a child) can delay the entire family and could result in fines.

At the airport

  • Speak to your children again about the screening process so that they will not be frightened or surprised. Remind them not to joke about threats such as bombs or explosives.

  • Tell your children that their bags (backpack, dolls, etc.) will be put in the X-ray machine and will come out at the other end and be returned to them.

  • Let your children know that a Security Officer may ask to see Mom or Dad's shoes, but that they will get these back as well.

  • You may want to consider asking for a private screening if you are traveling with more than one child.

(Courtesy of TSA)

TIPS After You Land

In popular, family-friendly destinations like Orlando, accommodations are abundant but also in high demand. Deciding where to stay is an important decision, because while a flight may last only several hours, you'll probably remain in your accommodations for at least several days. Timeshare rentals are a great alternative for large families who require more space and privacy than the average hotel room can provide. With a Florida timeshare you can choose from family-friendly accommodation options with as many as three bedrooms and extra living space. Rentals also offer access to resort amenities you won't find elsewhere like babysitting referrals, children's programs and laundry services. And when you don't have to pack extra clothing, you can worry about more important things like making room for your child's favorite stuffed animal.

Fly safely with your baby:  Baby restraints - Travel safety announcement
Live airport status updates:  Click for interactive U.S. map to select major U.S. airport

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Time to Buy Your Dream Home!

You travel with your family so you may already know wonderful places where you like to relax and unwind.  With the global recession in full swing, home loan rates are at all-time lows.  This may be a perfect time to invest in a retirement property in one of your favorite vacation areas.  Or, it may just be time to make that first home purchase for your family.  Find out more about home loan rates.

Family Travel Insurance

When families travel, there is always the risk that a sudden injury or illness to an an adult will leave minor children without an attendant. In this case there are family travel insurance benefits you can get to pay for the economy transport costs to return unattended children home, with an escort if necessary.

When you are traveling alone and you become very seriously injured or ill, there are also family travel insurance benefits that can help to bring a family member or friend to your hospital bedside.

Other travel insurance benefits provide reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses when a physician recommends that the Insured have a family member at their side during a medical transport.

If you are planning family travel contact a Churchill Travel Insurance agent for more details and information about your travel insurance options.

Preparing to travel with your kids? Make sure you stock up on travel gear and kids entertainment before you head out on your trip!

Readers Write with Questions about Baby Travel

Reader: I am so happy to come across your site! I am a new mother of a 5-month-old son. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I need to fly round-trip twice per month from Austin, Texas to San Jose, California for work. My parents live in the Bay Area so I am happy that my son can stay with them while I am at work. I just really worry about the health of my son having to fly 2 round-trips from Texas to California per month. In your experience and wisdom, do you see this as a problem if a baby is flying so often?

    --Cross-Country Commuter (1/28/2009)

FlyingRugrats Editor:  Hello, Cross-Country Commuter.  In general, there should be no problem with baby travel  for 5-month-old flying regularly.  Of course, all babies are different and only you know particular information about your child’s health condition.  If your baby has any special health issues or if you just have general concerns and would like to set your mind at ease about infant travel, consult your pediatrician.


For business travel to a routine destination, it can be important to establish relationships with child daycare centers or babysitters you can trust at the remote location.  It can sometimes be difficult to find child day care centers that will take a baby part-time.  You are fortunate to have family who can help out!


Both of my first 2 children flew frequently with my wife on business from the time that they were 3 months old.  They flew up to 2 trips per month between San Francisco and Houston.  They also traveled internationally.  My daughter traveled to London and The Netherlands when she was just 3 months old.  My youngest baby is still not yet 3 months and has not flown at all yet.  He may go on a few upcoming trips this Spring though.


As your baby grows older, you may wish (as we did) to keep your baby on a strict feeding, playtime, and sleeping schedule.  That can be a little more challenging when you must alternate time zones.  This is a big issue for international travel, maybe not so much of an issue for kids travel between California and Texas…but 2 hours is 2 hours and babies do not adjust as well as adults. 

However, if you can stick to a schedule and make the time zone transitions, life with baby will probably be easier in general since you would be able to plan your days with a better understanding of what to expect from your baby.  And, it lays the foundation for your baby falling asleep easily at night and staying asleep for the full night.  Uninterrupted sleep is probably something that you are looking forward to having.  I know I am right now!

I highly recommend a book titled “On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep” by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam.  My wife and I found “Baby Wise” very beneficial when we were starting out with our first baby.  The book helps with understanding and implementing concepts of establishing and keeping your baby on a schedule.  As the parent, you will be better off if you own and maintain the schedule…and do not relinquish that power to your baby.  Best regards and keep me posted!




Baby Travel Tips

The mere prospect of boarding an airplane with a baby or toddler can seem somewhat terrifying for parents traveling with kids. This can be particularly the case if the parents did not use air travel before having children and not everyone can fly business class to get extra help.  Organization, patience and preparation are key when making airplane trips with babies or small kids.

Whether flying to locations in the domestic U.S. like Walt Disney World in Orlando or to far off exotic destinations on distant continents, many of the the difficulties are the same for family vacations.  For example, take a look at what amenities the hotel has to offer, while Orlando vacation hotels may have many Disney or kid themed resorts, not all destinations will. Sometimes a simple water slide will suffice, but you don't want to get stuck in a place that's very boring for your kids if you can avoid it.

We are dedicated to sharing tips and ideas from parents who have gained expertise by regularly using air travel with children or babies.  It is our goal to provide you with information that may help you better prepare for baby air travel so you will have an easier time while in the air.

Even parents with lots of baby travel experience can have problem situations from time to time.  Preparation is key to helping you reduce the frequency of those situations. We want you to have knowledge and tools that will help maximize your chances of having positive family friendly vacation experiences using air travel with your tiny tots.

Browse around our topic areas and see what tips you can uncover.  In addition, if you already have experience flying with kids or babies and you have new tips or information that could benefit other parents, feel free to send us your suggestions.  We are always looking for new ideas to share.

This site is a great place for you to start doing your homework in preparation for baby travel.  Look around, get prepared and then board your flight with confidence.

Air Travel Tips for Using 3-1-1

When you have kids fly with you, the last thing you need is trouble at airport security check points because of your travel suitcase or carry on bag contents, especially if you are on a family trip with an infant that nurses from bottles of formula or breast milk.

Because of efforts to ensure air travel security, you should expect that your carry-on bags will be inspected by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

Prepare yourself by following TSA guidelines with respect to liquids and gels.  Knowing the rules can help prevent problems at the airport and keep you moving along without a hitch.  You will not be asked to do anything that will separate you from your baby or children.

Baby formula and breast milk are allowed in your carry-on baggage or personal items. You can take these through the security checkpoints and aboard your plane. However, you must be traveling with children, a baby or toddler.
All items including formula or breast milk will be inspected, however, you or your baby or toddler will not be asked to test or taste breast milk or formula.  Security Officers will not test or taste formula or breast milk.

View A Video
Bringing infant formula through a security check point.

Except for for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and breast milk, and other essential liquids, gels, and aerosols, the following rules apply to all liquids, gels, and aerosols you want to carry through a security checkpoint.

The TSA has provided some guidelines in the form of the 3-1-1 for carry-ons:

3–1–1 for carry ons = 3 ounce bottle or less; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each passenger can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers or travel bottles. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.

All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each passenger can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

Each passenger must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.

Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.

Be prepared. Each time Transportation Security Administration (TSA) searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.

Declare larger liquids. Prescription medications, baby formula and milk are allowed in quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

Come early and be patient. Heavy passenger volumes and the enhanced security process may mean longer lines at security checkpoints.

Courtesy of the TSA, Click here to print a 3-1-1 for carry-ons wallet-card

For additional information about carry on luggage size and the 3-1-1 program, visit www.tsa.gov. 

Search for additional information to help with your flight preparation:



Do you know anyone who just had a baby or who might benefit from tips about flying with kids?  If so, help them prepare for their next family vacation by sharing the Flying Rugrats web site with them.  By doing so, you will be providing them with lots of family vacation tips and advice that has been gathered from families who have faced the same challenges before them. 

Send your friends with newborn babies or small children an email to tell them about Flying Rugrats!

  Check out our FREE ADVERTISING offer!


Sometimes your drive time to the airport can be pretty long. Making sure you have car insurance to protect you and your loved ones no matter how short or long your drive to the airport is important. Companies like First for Women Comprehensive Car Insurance offer major discounts on comprehensive coverage for women drivers.


The Parent-to-Parent Guide
Air Travel
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Quick Tip of the Day

Before booking your next trip, check out our airlines portal to find special family travel deals for cheap family vacations from many popular airlines.  Find your last minute family vacation deals.  Click here.



Flying Rugrats
 Flying Kids Mission

As parents, we are responsible for molding our precious babies into well rounded adults who have an appreciation for the variety of opportunities that they have available to them as they grow and develop as individuals.  Exposing children to varying geographical locations and cultures around the world is an important teaching method that many parents have the option to use for developing generations of culturally aware future leaders who have childhood experiences that help them understand and personally relate to global issues.  It is the mission of Flying Rugrats to arm parents with information about flying with children, toddlers or baby strategies in an effort to dispel fear or apprehension about air travel with kids so that families may better educate our future world citizens.  We want to keep kids flying! 

The Airport Screening Process when Flying with Kids

At the X-Ray

  • All carry-on baggage, including children's bags and items, must go through the X-ray machine.  Examples include: diaper bags, blankets, and toys.

  • All baby-related equipment that will fit through the X-ray machine must go through the X-ray machine.  Examples include: kids car seats, modern strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, travel car seats, infant seats and booster seats, backpacks, and baby slings.

  • When you arrive at the checkpoint, collapse or fold your baby-related equipment.  Secure items that are in the pockets, baskets, or attached to the equipment and place it on the X-ray belt for inspection. Plastic bins are provided to deposit such items.

  • If any of your baby-related equipment does not fit through the X-ray machine, security officers will visually and physically inspect it.

  • Ask a Security Officer for help gathering your bags and baby-related equipment, if you need it.

NEVER leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the X-ray machine.

The Walk-Through Metal Detector

If your child can walk without your assistance, it is recommended that you and your child walk through the metal detector separately.  If you are carrying your child through the metal detector and the alarm sounds, the TSA Security Officer will have to additionally screen both you and your child.

  • Remove babies and children from their strollers or infant carriers so that Security Officers can screen them individually.

  • You may not pass the baby to another person behind you or in front of you during this process.

  • Do not pass your baby to a Security Officer to hold.

  • A Security Officer may ask for your help screening your child.

(Courtesy of the TSA)

Looking for Jobs?

Are you among the many parents who now find themselves between jobs?  If so, be sure to come back regularly and check the Job Finder on Flyingrugrats.com.  We specialize in listing jobs related to childcare, child education, airlines, airport security jobs and traveling jobs.  However, through our partnership with Simply Hired, you can browse or search jobs of any category that are available all over the country!  Check back often...and find that perfect job!!

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