Bump Club and Beyond
Have your kids pack their own carry ons, especially if they have their own seat. I love Skip Hop Zoo Packs and Rolling Luggage and tell my kids they can only take what fits inside for the plane. I also have them carry them through the airport so it is one less thing I have to carry on my own.
I love the Whale bag from Saltwater Canvas. It's mesh and perfect for the beach. But it also has a zip top and can be used as a carry on bag.
Whether you are checking bags or not, stick to travel size toiletries if you can. We love Babyganics as it has all of our favorites for your kids in one portable package.
Getting to the airport:
With all of your stuff, just getting there can be hard. A few options I love:
Going Green Chicago Car Service can be ordered with car seats if you don't plan on taking your own.
If you do plan on bringing your seats, make a reservation with O'Hare Personal Valet. Your valet will meet you outside of curbside check and will sit in your car while you take every thing out, including your car seats. And you can curbside check and then go right inside. When you return, they meet you outside of baggage and you can install your seats right there without any pressure.
If your child sits in a booster or even a five point booster, consider getting a Bubble Bum. This inflatable booster is portable and blows up for use. It is the perfect travel companion vs. lugging along a big booster.
Getting Through the Airport/Security:
There are a few options/tips I use depending on your scenario, who is traveling with you and what you are bringing.
I am a fan of bringing your car seats on the plane and installing them in the seat. You can wheel your seats through the airport attached to the Britax Travel Cart, which will alleviate the need for a stroller at the airport. If you have a lap child, you can also use a carrier to get them through the airport. We love the Boba Air which is the perfect travel carrier as it folds into it's own pouch.
If you are going to check your car seats and use a stroller, a lightweight stroller is a must. A few of my favorites include the Summer Infant 3D Light or the BabyZen YoYo which fits in an overhead bin.
Print out the TSA guidelines for what you can bring on board, and know your rights. This way you have it handy if you come across a TSA agent who challenges you about your baby's food or your breast milk.