I’m Leaving on an EarPlane…

For most of my life flying was something I dreaded, my ears always had difficulty popping on the flight and most trips ended with me feeling quite cruddy. Then, a few years someone had suggested I try EarPlanes, and let me tell you, this was a game changer for me!  I won’t fly without them anymore, I don’t experience any more in-flight discomfort and regardless of how many stops my flight makes I arrive at my destination with the ability to hear, am pain free, and ready to go!


EarPlanes essentially act as a pressure regulator within your ear.  It looks very similar to a regular ear plug but has small rings within it that help to adjust the pressure within your ear and allow air to flow in and out.

I recommend EarPlanes to anyone who has sensitive ears, or those who are flying with a cold or sinus condition.  You can purchase EarPlanes at most pharmacies and other large retailers like Target or Wal-Mart.  EarPlanes also come in adult and child sizes which can be a real lifesaver when it comes to your kids delicate little ears!

I personally can’t imagine flying without them, I can now fly pain free and relax during the flight.  The best part is that they also help to block some sound and noise (so naps are a little easier to come by).

Note:  I am not endorsed by EarPlanes, this is just my opinion and I love em!

Luggage Fees

Since I am currently weighing and measuring my bags, I thought it may be a good time to post a quick refresher on luggage fees for some of the popular domestic airlines.

Southwest: Offers 1 Free carry-on, 1 Free personal bag, as well as two checked bags for Free. (Southwest only charges for a 3rd checked bag). Southwest also allows a free stroller and carseat per child, and now if you have additional baby items to check, you can substitute them for a free bag on a one-for-one basis. This makes Southwest very family friendly!

JetBlue: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag, and the first checked bag is Free. Second checked bags are $30.

Frontier: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First or Second checked bags are $20.

AirTran: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First checked bag is $20, Second checked bag is $25.

American Airlines, Continental, Delta, United, SunCountry, and U.S. Airways: Offer 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First checked bag is $25, Second checked bag is $35.

Allegiant: Offers 1 Free carry-on and 1 Free personal bag. First or Second checked bags cost anywhere from $15 – $30.

Spirit: Offers 1 Free Personal Item, carry-on fees range from $20 – $45. First checked bag is $18 – $33, Second checked bag is $24 – $40.

Keep in mind that each airline has different size specifications for both carry-on and checked luggage, and it’s always wise to both measure and weigh your luggage before your trip or you might be facing some unpleasant overage fees!

Packing it all in

Since I have spent most of the day packing I thought I would share some of my must-pack items for the Disney parks!

Obviously you will need the essentials, clothes, toiletries, etc. And it is always a good idea to pack any important items in your carry-on, just in case something happens to your luggage, or a flight is delayed or re-routed. For me these items usually include an extra pair of contacts, medicine or prescriptions, cell phone and charger, and a light change of clothes. Also don’t forget any legal documents or tickets! I suggest making photocopies of items such as your license and passport; that way if something did happen to them it will make getting an extra copy a lot easier.

As one of the most important pieces for documenting your trip, don’t forget the camera, camcorder, plus extra batteries and memory cards.

Always pack your swimwear, sunglasses and sunscreen, you can buy sunscreen on property, but it will be at an inflated price. Also plastic bags to transport any wet clothes or to help keep other items dry is helpful. A small nightlight can be very handy to plug in your resort room for any little ones that are scared of the dark and for late night bathroom breaks. Also, packing stamps and preprinted address labels can make sending out postcards a snap.

For the parks you’ll want to bring a day-bag, something light and portable that can still hold everything you’ll need such as money, tickets, a small tub of sunscreen, glasses, etc. Ponchos are something that you can pick up ahead of time and is a lifesaver once a rain shower hits. You can also pick up ponchos at the parks for around $8 and although this is a higher price, if your poncho is damaged during your stay Disney will replace it for free. You can use any type of book for the kids to use as an autograph book with the characters, or you can buy one on property. I suggest also picking up some fat pens for the characters to use (the larger ones are easier for them to write with). Another idea is to pick up some neon/glow bracelets or sticks at your dollar store. Disney sells all sorts of different glowing toys and Jewelry during the night parades and shows. If you come prepared with your own you can save a few dollars and a potential kid meltdown!