One of the biggest concerns that parents will face is how to travel with milk for their baby or toddler. Fortunately, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) makes an exception for baby and toddler milk and formula, which means you can bring more than three ounces. Now the big question is, what’s the most efficient way to travel when having to deal with milk?
Non-refrigerated Milk Boxes
With our daughter’s allergy to cow’s milk, she’s been on a steady diet of soy milk and almond milk. We always stuck to buying the refrigerated half gallon cartons of milk until one day we just happened to stumble across its non-refrigerated, eight ounce, single serve counterpart (pictured above). We knew about the single serve boxes but never knew about the non-refrigerated part. Price-wise, I’ve seen them range from $1 to $1.25 each. We’re able to purchase six-packs from our local Fred Meyer grocery store for $5.99, but the most common price I’ve seen is $6.99 at most other retailers, including Target.
These have quickly become our preferred milk option since they require no care and they can be thrown away when finished. We usually take early morning flights so we try to have our daughter drink milk before the flight. This makes it one less thing to worry about at the airport. One time we forgot about our milk box and were stopped by TSA. They opened the box and ran a check and we were on our way with minimal time wasted. The TSA agent was pretty friendly and cool about it so maybe we got lucky. I can imagine how easily things could have swung the opposite direction. In any event, we like to pack the milk in our checked luggage so we avoid any chance of getting delayed.
Buy Milk On-Demand
On our first few trips, we ended up going to the grocery store and buying milk after we reached our destination. It keeps your luggage light and it also presents an opportunity to pick up some snacks or other personal care items you may have forgotten. The only downside to this is that you’re taking time away from your vacation. This is why we’ve come to prefer packing the single serve boxes and some of our own snacks.
Another option is to keep an eye out for milk at airport vendors. Walking on Travels suggests bringing a sippy cup in case the shops don’t carry the single-serve boxes. This option lets you get through security without the added hassle of having TSA check your milk. Bringing the cup is a good idea since you can make use of it throughout the trip. If you carried your own milk from home, you’d likely be lugging around a cooler bag, multiple bottles, and a freezer pack. With all of the other baby/toddler stuff you’ll have in tow, the last thing you need is more clutter. While this option is likely more expensive, it’s hard to put a price tag on convenience.
The Bottom Line
These two options have worked well for us when trying to travel efficiently with a kid. It’s really all about traveling as light as possible while maintaining the core necessities for your child. What are some of the ways you’ve dealt with the milk conundrum when traveling?