We just got back from our first vacation with our son! I wanted to do a quick post about some things we experienced when traveling with him.
The first thing we did to save money was not buy him a seat. Children under 2 may sit on the lap of their parents. However, if an extra seat is available, you can request to be seated next to the open seat and your child can have their own. Of course you do have to be prepared to have them on your lap if there are not any seats available.
Our Chicco keyfit 30 car seat is FAA approved so we were able to take it on with us and seat him in it. I think he did better than he would have if he was outside of it.
Another thing that parents may not know is that babies, even without a ticket are permitted to bring a stroller, car seat and bassinet to be checked plane side.
We opted to take the larges luggage that could still be carried on a check it plane side and it worked out great. We did have to lug it around with us in the airport while waiting, but it worked out.
One thing we were not expecting was that while baby items such as bottles, food and juice are "exemptables" it doesn't mean they will just let you through with them. On our departure flight, they went through EVERYTHING we had with us and swabbed it. On our return flight however, I packed everything that he had left in a ziplock bag and they only swabbed the bag and contents.... much easier.