AKRON, OH (WOIO) - It's spring break season, but if the thought of traveling with small children makes you wanna cry, don't cancel plans. Travel experts and moms alike say flying with kids is easier than ever, if you're well-prepared.
Stacy Salvi, of Broadview Heights, is traveling to Indians Spring Training with a three-week-old and a 2-year-old. She is concerned about hauling things like car seats, a diaper bag, and a new double stroller, and getting through security.
"What I'm really nervous about is wearing a baby, having a diaper bag, having a two and a half year old that I'm worried about running through the security line without me and probably the stroller, breaking down the stroller is the hardest thing," she said.
Head of marketing at Akron-Canton Airport, Lisa Dalpaiz, says strollers, car seats and even a diaper bag can be checked or gate checked at no cost to parents.
"You're able to bring those really important equipment pieces that you're going to need if you're going to Disney World or if you're going to Myrtle Beach and you need that stroller," Dalpaiz said.
Experienced travelers like the Fulytar family shipped their bags ahead, traveling only with a few essentials. And they invested in TSA Precheck (at a cost) to stream line the security process.
"Kids under 12 don't have to take off their light jackets, their shoes, their head ware, anything like that where it takes some time," said Dalpaiz.
You can wear or carry a baby through the x-ray, but you'll have to collapse your stroller to be examined. And TSA is also accommodating when it comes to snacks and drinks.
"The 3.4 oz rule does not apply to child nourishment, so if you have those pouches, that are 4.2…but it's lunch time, and you need that nourishment for them, it's totally allowed," Dalpaiz said.
That applies to breast milk, formula, and juice boxes, as well. They just need to go through a non-invasive screening. Freezer packs are also allowed if they're frozen, just alert the TSA about it and what they're for.
"I know now to put anything aerosol, or anything liquid in a separate bag just to show them so they can check it right off the bat so we're not digging through everything," Sarah Fulytar said.
She says they've sought out new tools to make travel less tricky.
"We tried the dolly and it folds up perfect, we piggy back the car seats on it and we pull it through," Fulytar said.
Once inside, CAK has family friendly amenities like a nursing station and a play port for kids to burn off energy before the flight.
"I try to cover all the bases so we are not the people with the screaming kids on the flight," said Salvi.
Salvi arranged for a ride, to alleviate parking issues, and will use hotel cribs instead of checking even more equipment. And she plans to depend on the kindness of strangers if things get tense in transit.
"I find that the majority of time people are friendly and helpful, people will say 'I miss those days' or 'enjoy those days,' I know it seems frustrating right now,'" she said.
"As long as we have options, you can't go wrong with any of them. You just have to take a leap and try something," Fulytar said.
If you have further concerns, or specific or special needs, like mobility issues the TSA has a program, called TSA Cares that can answer additional questions and even provide on-the-spot assistance.