I love getting to explore a new place during a layover, and will almost always extend my travel day so that I can spend three or four days in a new city. Some of my layover highlights from the past five years include 48 hours exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland, spending a few days getting lost in Muscat, and when I spent 24 hours in Abu Dhabi just so I could take photos of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
Don’t follow the beaten path that every traveller takes, just because you feel like you should. What interests you? What do you want to see and learn about? One of the first stops on my trip was Chernobyl — not exactly a popular tourist destination. I didn’t know anybody who had been there, but it sounded fascinating to me. This is your trip: go where excites you, not where you feel you should go.

[…] Tantrums and meltdowns occur on flights when kids get tired, hungry, or bored. So, prepare for these issues by bringing snacks, entertainment, and everything your child needs to sleep comfortably on the plane. One of the best ways to diffuse a tantrum is to have surprise toys and treats ready to distract your cranky child. You can even wrap these up like small presents so they appear even more exciting. Finally, remember to bring a change of clothes for yourself in case your baby vomits or has a diaper accident on the plane. […]
Usually you will need to take your baby out of the sling or stroller to walk through the metal detector, and usually they will want you to collapse the stroller and put it on the belt. If you’re flying alone, I recommend getting everything out you need to get out *before* you get in the security line. Stash your laptop under the stroller, liquids in a ziplock, and that way you can just throw it in the tray and not be struggling to get it out while wrangling a baby *and* folding a stroller if you have one. See below for my easy-one-hand-collapse stroller recommendation. In other situations they want someone to walk through with the baby, hand the baby off, and then walk back through alone. It helps to have a partner for this otherwise a security officer can hold the baby.
Like most savvy travelers, Cocchi dresses in layers — like a T-shirt under a warmer shirt or jacket. Carol Cruikshank of Palo Alto, Calif., who has traveled worldwide with her husband for decades, says she usually wears three layers of tops: a shell or tank under a long-sleeve tee, and a jacket or sweater so she'll be comfortable for a range of temperatures. "I stick to dark colors because, well, I've been known to spill my food down my front."
Excellent advice about talking to locals. When you get to know the people who live there, it really makes for a wonderful experience. And you are so right, they have the best insider tips! We’re guilty of focusing only on photos at one point as well. When we started blogging as a career, we nearly lost ourselves in the work. We now always have to remind ourselves to have balance. It’s amazing to be able to capture a moment at our fingertips, but we feel it’s just as important to stop and take it all in. It’s easy to miss the moment when you’re looking through the lens. Thanks for sharing!
Seating advice? Got a couple of long-haul flights with my very active 2.5 year old son this summer, without hubby. Do you recommend that we go for an aisle + middle seat (easier to get up and move around, go to bathroom, etc, but no access to window and potentially more disruptive) or window + middle seat (he can watch the commotion during takeoff and landing and be further away from other passengers, but we will bother the aisle-seated passenger when getting up which we will surely do often). Any thoughts? Am already dreading this! Reply
There's an easier way to get a better seat on your next flight, and it's way more obvious than you thought. Perhaps you're in a seat in the very back of the plane, acquire a middle seat in the middle of the plane, or, better yet, you're sitting in a seat right by the bathroom. Below is my key way to get a better seat on any flight. Take a look at the upgrade list this flight the other day from Chicago to ...
I’m actually the oldest kid (teenager), but I saw this on Pinterest and thought I’d check it out since I have a younger sibling and flying with him…yikes. If I could say one thing, parents, fly with your kids when they’re young! I have been flying since I was too young to remember, so I’ve never been afraid of it, same with my brother, and it just makes life so much easier. I flew alone for the first time when I was ten, and flew international for the first time (NOT alone) the next week! My first flight that was more than ten hours was last summer, eighteen hours to South Africa, and I was fourteen. Now I’ve gotten to fly with my school several times, and I’m always shocked by the kids who don’t even know how to go through security: or who have never flown at all! Fly with your kids, I know it really helped me out, and I now I plan to move to Europe after college.
The very thought of flying with a toddler is probably the single biggest stress that families face when planning a family vacation. And as even the most-traveled families will tell you, once a kid hits two all bets are off. Although for us *three was the new two* in a lot of cases, I’m actually quite proud to say that we have not once been kicked off a flight, that in spite of a mid-flight barf-o-rama and the odd airplane toilet drama, we made it through our toddler flying years relatively unscathed. I say relatively, since on the flight when Bub was just-turned-three (so technically a preschooler, not matter how much that hurts to say!) he threw a full-on, screaming red-faced tantrum. Dun dun dun. Read More…
It's cramped, noisy, dries the skin and frizzes your hair, but flying is the magic carpet that makes our holiday dreams a reality. Leave home in the morning and by evening you can be sipping a cocktail at Ozone, 118 floors above Hong Kong, or by the pool of your Balinese villa, becoming one of world's slightly more than 3 billion passengers flown by airlines, based on 2014 numbers.

Find an Independent Lounge: Airspace has a small network of lounges in domestic airports, which American Express Platinum card members can access for free. In Asia and Canada, look for spaces from Plaza Premium ($49 per visit); No. 1 Traveller ($45 per visit) and Servisair ($28 per visit) have lounges throughout the U.K. Services such as Lounge Pass (from $35 per visit) and Priority Pass ($27 per visit, plus $99 annually) partner with airlines and independent companies to offer access to locations worldwide.
We didn’t obsess about bathing our baby nightly. Babies, when they aren’t walking, don’t really get that dirty. We found so long as she was thoroughly wiped down, she was fine. So there was no transporting a baby tub or stressing about bath time. If we had a tub, great. If we didn’t, the sink always worked fine for when she did need a bath. The older she got, the more frequently she needed to be bathed as she explored the environment, but still at 13 months we bathe her a couple times a week at most. Common sense would dictate if baby is stinky or visibly dirty…perhaps a bath is in order! Otherwise, no worries.
Great article. You had me at towels for galactic hitchhiking. “Don’t panic, in large friendly letters.” A fav in regular quote rotation in our house. I’m proud to say I live and do most of the tips! Will need to remember the incognito browsing. Who knew? And I’m definitely on #teamnomoneybelt. But I still can’t bring myself to step into a Starbucks. Can barely even do it in the states! Happy travels and thanks.
Thanks Matthew, I’m a 65 Year old new Zealander and been travelling south America last 6 months aiming for world! I got sick in hospital Bolivia and just had accident falling down steps in Quito Ecuador Hostel, but been enjoying myself nevertheless! Insurance far too expensive someone my age, so have to risk travelling without it. I’m traveling on my fortnightly pension! Thanks for tips.
Very informative post Lauren! I use most of these tips myself but there were a couple that I hadn’t thought of before – I especially love 89. I google image places to see what they look like too. I have also always used Skyscanner but have started looking on Momondo a lot more as there have been a lot of times when flights are cheaper on there. I also recently discovered Secret Flying which publishes error fares and great deals for flights – some of the deals on here are unbelievable!
We have eaten everywhere from our favorite dives to Michelin star restaurants with baby in tow (though my preference for the latter style of dining is *definitely* to hire a sitter)—the key is go early. If your baby makes unfortunate, loud baby noises as babies do, there are less people to disturb and thus less mortification to be had. And if they’re a little more mobile towards the end of that last year, it gives them a little roaming room. Another tip, when a high chair isn’t available and the baby is old enough to sit up, we have been known to “strap” her to the chair using a baby carrier. When she was too small, we simply wore her, held her in our lap, or put her in the stroller on the rare occasion we had one with us. A lot of restaurants abroad are quite small, so a stroller isn’t the best option in those tight places. If you can hit dinner right when your baby passes out for the night, obviously that’s ideal, but you can’t always plan for that.

When I was in Peru in 2010 with the intention of hiking the Machu Pichu Trail,that year there was massive floods and we were not allowed to do that hike.I had a Goretex jacket,hiking poles and boots ,and also I purchased some things along the way ,I had another 50 days left of my trip in South America and I did not want to carry all this extra stuff in my pack sack,one of the guides told me / us that we should send it home , from Lapaz Bolivia,where postage was cheap ,about $40 USD. Doing this I saved lots of space and weight,if you want to buy something some where sent it home ,mail parsel post.
Way To Make Flying With Kids Easier If you are a frequent flying family, get a Trunki (the website has Canadian stocklist info). These hard cases double as ride on toys that make it fun and fast to get to your gate. Your child takes a seat, holds onto the horns and you just pull them along. They work with children ages three to six, and the case is big enough to hold a weekend’s worth of kids toys and clothes.For kids under three, you might want to consider investing in a car seat/stroller combo, which can be used on the plane for your child to sit in, and will eliminate the need for hauling two cumbersome pieces of equipment on your trip. Reply
Great tips! I have three kids. Though they are growing at this moment, I still recalled those days when I was packing their stuff and I had to bring three big luggage for only a one-day trip to other city. It was tiring, though I tried hard to enjoy my quality holiday with them. I know how it feels when I was very hungry and I brought nothing to eat, as everything within the luggage are my kids’ belongings. LOL
Seating advice? Got a couple of long-haul flights with my very active 2.5 year old son this summer, without hubby. Do you recommend that we go for an aisle + middle seat (easier to get up and move around, go to bathroom, etc, but no access to window and potentially more disruptive) or window + middle seat (he can watch the commotion during takeoff and landing and be further away from other passengers, but we will bother the aisle-seated passenger when getting up which we will surely do often). Any thoughts? Am already dreading this! Reply

7. Forget the pacifier wipes, but bring a hand cleanser. I like individual packets of Wet Ones with anti bacterial goodness. Your child will be touching something gross before you have chance to call out their name, so make sure you have your hand cleanser of choice with you. The bathrooms may be questionable and inaccessible, especially once on board.
I love getting to explore a new place during a layover, and will almost always extend my travel day so that I can spend three or four days in a new city. Some of my layover highlights from the past five years include 48 hours exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland, spending a few days getting lost in Muscat, and when I spent 24 hours in Abu Dhabi just so I could take photos of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
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