Traveling with a baby can be more than just stressful – it can be expensive too. Babies aren’t exactly the average traveler that the travel industry can accommodate and whenever you’re dealing with travelers that require accommodations, the price tends to go up. But with a little foresight and planning, you can save money when traveling with a baby.
If you’re going to be flying, you can save money by not buying your baby a seat. Sure, your child not having their own seat is a problem in a car but not on a plane. Many airlines will either let your baby on the plane for free or will only charge you a greatly reduced fee. For example, on Delta Airlines they will let a baby sit in its parents lap for only 10% of the cost of an adult ticket. Usually airlines will only allow children under age two to sit in your lap – children older than this are required to have their own seat. If your kid is going to be sitting in your lap the entire flight anyway, why bother wasting the money on a seat?
Parents who travel with their baby frequently may want to invest in a car seat bag. Car seat bags are exactly what they sound like – bags to put your car seat in. Many airlines will provide you with a car seat bag for around $5, but you can purchase a brand new one for $20 or so. It’s a good idea to purchase your own car seat bag because constantly buying from the airlines adds up and since airlines car seat bags are not reusable, for frequent travelers it’s a waste of money. The great thing about having a car seat bag is that most airlines don’t weigh car seat, so you can toss a couple of additional things into the bag along with the car seat without paying extra.
Some people leave the stroller at home in a mistaken attempt to reduce their costs. This is a bad choice – most airlines will check your stroller for free so you’re not losing money there. It can be annoying to lug a stroller along, but renting a stroller will probably cost you more money than bringing your old one, so take that into consideration when packing.
One great way to save money in general with babies is to breastfeed them. This is not possible or desirable for all women, but it certainly does cut down on the cost and the hassle when traveling. Just think about it – you can probably eliminate an entire bag of bottles, formula and other accessories from your luggage. Fewer bags to check, less money for you to shell out in baggage fees.