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skyflower_bloom

travel with rig AND toddler? logistics? mailing rig to/from destination?

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yeah, first off, i know... bad idea.
but inevitable.

second this is a long post so get over it. skip to the bottom if you want the gist but don't have kids or haven't traveled with the rig and the kid and don't want all the boring details of the physical items and set-up.

finally, i get that "travel with rig" topics come up every week or so, and i get the basics (thanks for everyone's input on prior threads!) and perhaps i am the first human to attempt this feat (since it's probably going to wind up pretty ugly, lol) but just in case-- any experience or speculation on travel with a toddler and a rig???

details (stop reading if you don't want 'em, if you are a parent who has traveled with kids it might help you make suggestions or think up your own ideas):
so pretty much, we are combining vacations, my jump trip (with a nanny at a separate location for kiddo that he knows while mama jumps) and then a family/mama-son trip elsewhere in OR and CA...

now this trip will involve like 7 separate legs of travel LOL, and the rig is only to be used (mostly) on the first one, the week in elsinore... nanny will stay at hotel and around town with toddler while i jump at elsinore, should work fine once we are there, and we'll have a rental car etc. still deciding if we wanna do some road tripping or all flying, and whether we'll try to mail the rig back after week one of jumping, or actually haul it all around (depends on round 1 and how the logistics work out i suppose...)

that leads into i suppose- tips for shipping an entire rig? insure it damn well, i assume.. anything else, packaging? not a good plan? usps or private? OTOH i might like the spontaneity of getting to use it throughout the other journeys and make a jump at san diego or molalla... but, i could always rent if i find myself in the position after elsinore to make a jump..

but yeah-- thinking through the last few times we've flown (sans rig; midwest to west coast), it is always a struggle physically- i have a lotta stuff and i am not that big or strong a person.

typically one big checked bag with all my and kiddo's clothing (he counts as a separate person--duh but i mean he also has his own ticket and seat- so we need to pack for two, but he can't carry his own stuff so that job falls to mommy of course, lol...) then i bring the stroller (since we'll want it at the destination) and wind up using an Ergo (back or front pack like toddler carrier, and then just dumping the carry-on bag, "one personal item" which winds up being about the same size as the carry-on itself (diaper bag), usually some sort of food and drinks, and occasional additional items that don't have to fit in the carry-on, in the stroller (so-- kiddo is not actually in stroller, but it;s useful and we then use it for intended purpose once at our destination if that makes sense).

so, picture-- 26 lb toddler strapped in Ergo chest pack, wheeling checked bag until check-in counter, then pushing stroller over-flowing with carry-on luggage while babe rides on me (kills my back now that he's big but at least it's better than a kid leash LOL).

then picture-- arrive at plane's boarding gate, take everything OUT of stroller and gate-check it (the stroller), haul child and all the baggage onto plane and collapse into the (tiny ucky) seat. rinse and repeat.

last time i was so tired and sore i hardly wanted to skydive. ugh. so i am a bit apprehensive about doing this all with a rig. now, again thinking "aloud" here-- what if i mailed my rig both TO and FROM my destination- is that ridiculous, in terms of risk, or cost, or does anyone do that???

now i know this is super long, sorry! but bear with me if you have ever had kids and tried to accommodate jumps and li'l ones you understand the logistics involved...

i am wondering, specifically, if i travel with the rig and wear it, and wear the kiddo as usual, i could envision possibly "doubling up" i.e. wear rig like a backpack, with the yoke and harness and all just going over the harness straps of the "Ergo" front pack toddler pouch, but it is custom and snug/narrow so this might not fit ideally.. furthermore it would mean carrying 20-some additional pounds on my back in addition to the 26 already on my front, and i have back issues... don't want to throw out my back before a week of skydiving :(

i also worry if i do this that handles are in reach, and attracting attention. i know i could tie the reserve down and plan to, but at a busy airport with so much stuff, i can't keep an eye on both of mister grabby's hands/arms at all times and that rig is my baby #2, i don't want a mishap or something even worse unnoticed but which damages the rig's airworthiness somehow and causes me to die (well, ok, i am not that paranoid, but i would certainly like to travel in a way that ensures my rig's safety at all times).

more generally:
to carry it on (a rig), would i then have to forfeit my right to carry on an actual carry-on bag (i.e. the rig is your carry-on, or is it a "personal item"?? (i could stuff it all in the diaper bag) but i suppose since i bought two plane tickets we are entitled to twice the carry on baggage (it's just that only one of us does the actual carrying!)

i have also heard reference to certain types of bags that prevent handle mishaps, unwanted attention, etc. and protect the exterior from dust and dirt, etc. and may want to invest in that.. just don't know with my rig (a bigger one- a vector3- v350) if the size would be a problem if i try to put it in an additional bag- i suppose unless that additional bag were not shaped, but soft, if you know what i mean... like a BASE stash bag kinda thing? but then i don't know how i would carry it with baby attached to me and a bunch of shite in the stroller and arms pushing the stroller...

ugh sorry thinking aloud these logistics are mind boggling.. i would just send some stuff to elsinore but then we are extending our trip onward and i don't want to be mailing things all over the place LOL... but i might have to??

anyways, pretty much, anyone ever traveled with both a child and a rig?

ways to protect the rig itself from the child, the child from the rig, and the parent from dying of exhaustion and frustration?

maybe i should have bought 3 tickets and told someone they could have a free ticket to elsinore and back if they help me carry all my shite haha, any takers?

so:

short version: logistics of getting gate-checked stroller, carry-on bag, diaper bag, checked bag, new rig, sling (Ergo pouch) and toddler through multiple flights without killing my back or having a mishap with my rig or the airlines? or should i simply go for a plan B and mail myself a bunch of stuff, potentially including rig (i've got time)- pro/con? thanks... i know, not the typical situation, but please do spare me the lecture on kids and dz's, he'll be fully accounted for and supervised at all times, and at a location several miles away from the dz at that.. so.. yeah :P
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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Definitely mail it.


^^^^^^^^^^^
see, short posts can also be useful



Haha.. thanks! With all the posts on travel with a rig I sorta assumed that there was a reason people didn't do this regularly.. or maybe they do just don't have reason to post about it like with TSA and shit.. *shrug*

Sounds like the simplest answer may be the right one.. all those logistics make even my head spin lol.

Thanks :P:P
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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I read where someone tried to mail a puppy. I'd say you could probably mail a toddler if the container had air holes, and one of those hanging sippy bottles like hamsters use. If you choose to check the toddler at the gate rather than taking him/her on board and stowing him in the overhead compartment, probably best to use a rigid container to minimize dents.

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Mail the rig & jumpsuit & helmet each way. Or consider just mailing the rig and jumpsuit, and seeing if you can get a demo helmet for hte days you're jumping. Mailing won't cost more than the cost of an extra checked bag. For the airport at least, consider getting one of the child leashes. Yes, it looks appalling. But it eases your back and lets him wander a little without getting into danger. The nice thing about that is that it uses up energy, which means a better nap on the airplane.

Instead of the kind with a harness, you can try the wrist-to-wrist tethers that have coiled cord -- people don't seem to eye those the same.

BTW, I think your plan of how to combine vacations looks sensible.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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You might want to consider calling the DZ and seeing what they have for rent, and what they charge. If you currently jump a 175, there's a good chance they'll have something very similar.

First off, taking your rig on the plane is going to be tough, and probably cost you something. Keep in mind if you check the rig and it gets lost or damaged, the airline isn't going to cover the cost. So if you do take it, it needs to be your carry-on, but then you still have to pay for the extra bags you'll check, both ways. On top of that, if you take it on the plane, you need to drag it with you everywhere else you go on your vacation.

Shipping a complete rig, fully insured, both ways is not going to be cheap. Even then, if something should happen to the rig, it takes time to collect the insurance money and replace the gear, and if that time extends into the skydiving season, you're not going to be happy.

So if Elsinore is where you be jumping 'for sure', call them, and see if you can rent a rig. Some of the bigger, year round DZs have rig for rent that are sport rigs and not just student rigs. If you want to stop on the 'spur of the moment' at a DZ along the way for a jump or two, just rent gear there as well.

In the end, it's going to cost you something to have a rig to jump on vacation. Taking your own also adds the pain in the ass of transporting it, or the cost of shipping it. You can leave it at home, safe and sound, and just rent some gear for your 'semi-jumping' vacation.

Now if this was a 'jumping' vacation, where that was the primary reason for the trip, and all you planned to do, by all means you want your gear, but in this case, it might just be better to rent.

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For the airport at least, consider getting one of the child leashes. Yes, it looks appalling. But it eases your back and lets him wander a little without getting into danger.

I have to disagree. Those things are appalling. We flew with up to 4 young kids at a time and never used those. That's why kids have hands, so you can hold onto them. ;)

BTW, have lots of kid snacks, books, toys for the plane ride. Cheerios in a zip lock bag are great. Whatever the kid likes to play with. Reading books to kids is a great way to pass the time.

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Having flown with 4 toddlers at one time, one toddler doesn't seem daunting to me.
Find a toddler sized back pack and fill it with items that would entertain during the flight. Make the toddler wear it and keep track of it. Buckle it on so it's not easily taken off. The backpack will also be easy to grab when the toddler tries to wander off. This way you won't have to add toddlers entertainment stuff to your carry on items. This also gives the toddler some responsibilities and makes them feel like they are a big help on the trip! I would go shopping with the toddler before the trip to pick out their new back pack so it's exciting to them and also to get a new toy, book or something special and not letting them play with it until the plane flight. This will add some extra incentive for behavior as well and give them something to look forward to. Also, a new toy will keep their attention better than an old one. The child might not understand what the trip is about, but they can certainly understand that they have new toys to play with and fun things to do while they are traveling. They can look forward to that.

Put your rig into a carry on backpack. There are backpacks out there that will hold a rig plus extra stuff. This will keep your rigs handles covered and also let you carry it on your back so you have hands free to chase the toddler. This way you can also fit your jumpsuit, and diapers for the toddler into the backpack with your rig. You won’t need a whole diaper bag for one flight. Only carry on what you think you'll need. Borrow a helmet when you get there or put it into checked baggage.

I'd scale back on what you take. When you get there, you can always buy a $10 umbrella stroller for the trip rather than dragging yours along. That seems like more hassle than it's worth. Do you really need a whole diaper bag or just a few diapers for the trip and buy some diapers when you get there? I’d really think about what would be nice to have and what you really NEED. What you can buy there later versus taking what you have at home. You might be surprised at how little you really need to pack.

I would make the toddler walk as much as possible at the airport too. Even though the toddler might slow you down a bit, get there early and allow for this. Ask your toddler to carry things for you and help you so that they feel important and have something to do. Even if it's just a useless piece of paper or something, give them jobs to do. Giving them something to do will help keep them focused somewhat while you are busy with things. Constantly praising good behavior will reap more good behavior. “You’re so good! I don’t know what Mommy would do without you?!”

Choose your battles and realize that a child will not and should not be expected to behave like an adult. I remember one time when my 4 kids were very small. All of them were 5 years old and under at the time. My son was around 2 or 3 at the time and he got a cookie and a glass of sprite from the flight attendant. I was juggling an infant on my lap and the other two girls etc. I looked over at my son, sitting by the window and he had crushed up his cookie and put it into his soda to make a thick paste with it and was finger painting on the wall of the plane. I figured it could be cleaned up later and let him as he was being quiet and entertained for the moment as well as being very creative! The key is not to get to uptight or upset and rattled while traveling or the toddler will too. They take their keys from you. If your toddler is out of control, take a second and reflect. Sometimes you both may need a calm hug.

Traveling with small children doesn't have to be a bad experience if you prepare for it. Enjoy the trip and make it enjoyable for your toddler too! Give them choices as often as possible to make them feel like they are a part of the trip. "Do you want to wear your red shirt or your orange shirt on the plane?" "Do you want to eat your cheerios now while we wait or when you get on the plane?" "Would you like to sit here or over there when we wait for the plane?" "Would you like to stand on this side of me or the other side of me while we wait in line?" Little decisions like that mean a big deal to a toddler and makes them feel in control when things seem out of control to them. Always think of little choices they can be making along the way to keep them engaged. We all have choices. They need to be making their own, no matter how small so they feel like they are doing something and in control of what is going on.

Constantly talking to your toddler about what is going to happen, what is happening, and talking about the tings surrounding them at the time will alleviate a lot of their anxiety. Asking them questions and engaging them in age appropriate little games will help too. “We’re going to the airport! What will we see there?” “How big is the airplane we’ll fly on?”
“Look at the yellow cart? What is it carrying?” “While we wait in line, let’s see if you can stand on one foot?” “Can you stand on Mommy’s feet?” If you constantly engage them, and distract them, the trip will be more enjoyable.

Hope this was a little helpful! Have a great trip!

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Don't know about OP, but I'll ask you if you were a solo adult traveling with child(ren) on a skydiving vacation?



Yes, somewhat... JohnMitchell was flying in the cockpit in the jumpseat. I had all 4 kids in the back with me in economy seating. I'd say I was pretty much on my own with them. ;) Does it count if we were going to visit family and happen to take our rigs to use while we were there? Didn't actually take the kids out to the DZ then.

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Don't know about OP, but I'll ask you if you were a solo adult traveling with child(ren) on a skydiving vacation?



Yes, somewhat... JohnMitchell was flying in the cockpit in the jumpseat. I had all 4 kids in the back with me in economy seating. I'd say I was pretty much on my own with them. ;) Does it count if we were going to visit family and happen to take our rigs to use while we were there? Didn't actually take the kids out to the DZ then.



You are one tough cookie.

Does it count? Sure. But still, you had another adult with you when you deplaned.

I still don't know if the OP is a solo adult on the trip.

I would never say it is impossible, but with all the stops she mentioned, it does seem a bit like she's stacking the deck against herself.

Me, I'd never try such a thing, but I admit I am not the best parent to start with. So I'd naturally shy away from it in the first place.

Seems to me that a lot depends on how much family is around at each destination.

Any sort of mishap at the dz will quickly become a nightmare if her support is thin on that leg.

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Seems to me that a lot depends on how much family is around at each destination.

Any sort of mishap at the dz will quickly become a nightmare if her support is thin on that leg.



Agreed! Personally I wouldn't take a small child to a DZ without having someone constantly with them at all times. For the sake of the child and others that are there to jump. It also depends on the DZ. Some DZ's are just not appropriate for children no matter who is there with them. I raised my 4 kids at the DZ, but it was a family friendly place. Even still, someone was always with them.

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For the airport at least, consider getting one of the child leashes. Yes, it looks appalling. But it eases your back and lets him wander a little without getting into danger.

I have to disagree. Those things are appalling. We flew with up to 4 young kids at a time and never used those. That's why kids have hands, so you can hold onto them. ;)

BTW, have lots of kid snacks, books, toys for the plane ride. Cheerios in a zip lock bag are great. Whatever the kid likes to play with. Reading books to kids is a great way to pass the time.



Pfft. You're over-engineering it.

Need a nap? Dimetapp!

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I use to use a kid leash. Worked great. I tied one end to my upper arm or belt and gave him the other end. Told him to hang on or I'd get lost. He still keeps track of me 29 years later.
U only make 2 jumps: the first one for some weird reason and the last one that you lived through. The rest are just filler.
scr 316

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