When my wife and I travel with our two girls, one of us handles the kids and the other person gets to sit in a “sanity seat.” Basically, one person is stuck with the kids, while the other person is in a child-free paradise in another part of the plane, eating sandwiches with those other couples. When things get bad, you simply switch seats with the other parent so that everyone shares in the misery. If I’m sitting in the “sanity seat” and I hear my kids wailing and screaming at the back of the plane, I often turn to the person next to me and say, “Geez, some parents just can’t control their children.”
6. If you have a child who suffers from motion sickness, I have discovered from experience that children are worse when they have little control over their situation. For my son, he gains comfort from knowing how far we have to go, how long that will take etc. I also carry a collapsible bucket (from a marine store) made of canvas with a plastic bottom. I take a roll of plastic bags with me and double line the bucket in case of any vomit-events. Again, for kids, if they know if they are sick, they won’t be sitting in a putrid stinky mess for the rest of the flight, this helps. I just pull out the plastic bags, double knot them and get the hostie to dispose of them. They are usually super happy they you haven’t left it for them to scrub out of the seats(!)

“Infants have very small Eustachian tubes which allow the pressure to equalize in their inner ears. This can mean a lot of pain and crying during takeoff and landing because little kids have no other way to tell you their ears hurt. Having something for them to suck on during the ascent and descent, like a lollipop or pacifier, will help lessen the pain—for everyone.” —Mike Gudmundson. Here are 7 more ways to soothe your kids’ ears on your next plane ride.
Some people are anti-screen entirely. I get that, and if you are, try those wonderful cardboard books that baby can’t tear up. We certainly don’t shove her in front of a TV or computer as a babysitter or as a recreational activity for her, but when you are stuck on an airplane or in a car with a screaming baby, I personally have no problem playing her favorite nursery rhyme show on YouTube, “Dave and Ava”. We call it “the big guns”. Bonus there’s an app so we have it even when we have no internet like on flights or far flung destinations. She’s loved “Dave and Ava” since she was a tiny baby, which surprised me, and she loves it still, even after a year old. When things are urgent and we’re desperate, it always works to calm her down and keep her occupied, well 98% of the time. Excellent for the above scenarios or say a mad dash we’re-going-to-miss-our-flight-if-we-don’t-hurry packing scenario where a screaming baby isn’t tenable. Make sure to download the app on your phone for when there’s no cell service/wifi (i.e. on a plane). It’s expensive—like literally the most expensive app I’ve ever purchased at $24.99—but it’s been worth every mind saving penny.

Thanks for the great post! We have done road trips with our son before, but we’re planning a trip to Europe (and his first flight) in early summer when he’ll be 1 year old. I was hoping to get clarification on whether you think we’d need his carseat. We’ll fly into Berlin to visit family with 2 young girls, so we can use their carseat when they get us from the airport. Then we’ll fly to Copenhagen without friends/family to lean on! It sounds like we can take a train to/from the airport there, so would we need a carseat for that? We were hoping to just travel with the Ergo, no stroller. In general, if we’re just walking and taking trains, there’s no need for a carseat right? Pre-baby we traveled for a month with just a backpack each, so we’re hoping to still travel as light as possible! Also, if you’ve been to Copenhagen, any spots you’d recommend? Thanks!


This is slightly redundant, as I say above to not bring a lot of baby gear. But this is for the parents. The less the better. Always. I’ll publish a separate post on packing light. But the key, for me, is making sure every single clothing item pairs with every other single one. I travel with one pair of shoes, two max. No outliers! And don’t pack for “what if’s”. You can buy most incidentals at your destination.
43 Most tourist accommodation isn't particularly child-friendly, so once you've checked in you'll probably need to make some adaptations yourself. Start off by checking locks on doors and windows to make sure the room is secure. Check the sturdiness of the fittings - wobbly balconies and railings are unsafe and mean you should change your accommodation straight away. Point out things such as loose towel-rails or curtain rails to the staff and either agree that you can't be responsible should they fall down, or ask for them to be fixed or removed. Use insulating tape to cover exposed wires or sockets or block them off with furniture that's too heavy for your children to move. It's also a good idea to check the temperature of the hot water; it's often scalding, so you may need to warn your children.
Thank you so much for this post! I will be traveling to a few countries this summer when my son will be 14 months. Can you provide any insight to traveling with a toddler now that your daughter is older? I’m a bit stressed out thinking about how to deal with the time changes and him sleeping on the flight (red eye thankfully). What toys to pack to occupy a toddler? I’m trying to tell myself to just go with the flow as much as we can!
You see that photo of me on the beach? Half an hour after it was taken, there were at least a hundred people there. I managed to explore the ruins of Tulum on my own and without the crowds simply by being there when it opened. Arrive early for everything and you’ll get to experience major attractions at their least busiest. Plus, sunrises are pretty.
Thanks to airplanes, we can now fly from places like New York to China in 21 hours — and from China to Japan in under five hours. The only problem, however, is that people who fly to and from these destinations could spend upwards of 24 hours in the air traveling at cruising altitude. That’s why it’s important to take certain measures against health hazards that come with long-distance traveling, especially ...

You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
I know that some people give their kids medication to relax them for the flight. I personally can’t suggest this one as I had a bad experience with a reaction where not only didn’t it make my child sleepy, but did make her throw up the entire flight. If you do want to give medication, be smart and try it out ahead of time. And definitely make sure to check with your doctor to give the proper amounts as sometimes with flying amounts differ.
“For many babies, including my son, flying earlier in the morning is better because they generally sleep on the early flights but the later it gets the more they stay awake. For young children it helps as they’re often less cranky and better behaved in the morning.” —Ryan S. Already planning your next vacation? Here are the best cruises to take your kids on.
We’re the magic 8-ball of travel. While we can’t see into the future, it’s magical how fast you’ll get an answer. Did you know TSA is available 365 days a year to answer any security-related travel questions? Did you forget your ID or lose something at security? We can help! Want to know what you can bring on a plane? Just send us a photo and we’ll let you know!
“For many babies, including my son, flying earlier in the morning is better because they generally sleep on the early flights but the later it gets the more they stay awake. For young children it helps as they’re often less cranky and better behaved in the morning.” —Ryan S. Already planning your next vacation? Here are the best cruises to take your kids on.
When you are at your wits end with a fussy toddler in a public place, what’s the number one solution to the problem? You take them for a walk. But on an airplane, you have a space that is 90 feet long and 18 inches wide to roam free. Oh — and watch out for the drink cart, which will cut your space in half at the exact moment when you need to take that stroll. As you parade up and down the same walkway repeatedly, you end up executing as many half-turns as a runway model in Paris — except that nobody cares to watch your sad little fashion show.
When she was tiny I was hyper-vigilant, using sanitizing wipes on everything. And I think when they are little and their immune system is developing, it’s not the worst idea to wipe down the tray table, arm rest, and other hard surfaces that nasty stuff could live on. That said, the older and tougher (haha) she gets, the less I stress about it. When she started crawling, I let her crawl on the floor and would wipe her hands off afterwards. But we can’t put our babies in bubbles, and the truth is that if you’re clean but not maniacal about it, it’s going to ultimately build their immune system. So as she got older, I got less neurotic, and that seemed to work fine. My husband, however, would definitely prefer she not crawl on the floor! So we are balanced in that way, he protecting her from germs and me shrugging and being like “Eh! Good for the immune system!”
I always love travel tips. One tip I always have a hard with is trying new food while traveling. I want to know the food is good before I spend the money or else I feel like the money is wasted. So what we started doing is buying one item I know I’ll like and my husband buy’s another item we want to try. That way we can share the food and at least I know I’m getting something I will like.
And, by the way, this included one real memorable trip when my baby’s bottle was left in the taxi and during take off my two year old decided he was bored, slipped from under his seatbelt, and began running down the aisle. Yup, nothing quite like having a plane stop for you on the runway and receiving your own personal message on the loud speaker from the pilot himself.

Disasters happen. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds. I once had a card duplicated and a freeze put on it. I couldn’t use it for the rest of my trip. I was very happy I had an extra and not like my friend, who didn’t and was forced to borrow money from me all the time!
Water, that is. This is one tip nearly all of our experts were quick to mention. "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," says Jerry Bishop, a commercial pilot who's flown mostly trans-Atlantic routes for the past 18 years. "It's really just common sense, but you don't realize how much flying takes out of you." San Diego-based travel writer Cynthia Dial says she tries to drink a quart of water for every four hours she's in the air. Bobby Laurie, a former flight attendant whose nationally syndicated travel talk show "The Jet Set" debuts next year, says he always travels with his own water bottle, whether purchased in the airport or a refillable one from home (most airports have filtered water fountains), to hold him over until beverage service.
Availability of a vast array of airline ticket prices is one that is perplexing to most airline travelers. Only a handful of people who control the complex formulas that go into the science and art of Revenue Management inside the caverns of today's airlines understand it. To both the seasoned and occasional traveler alike, getting the best value in an airfare is the elusive dream that is difficult to consistently achieve.
Don’t judge other travellers, either. Don’t judge people for visiting the most touristy cities in the world, don’t judge them for travelling with a backpack or a suitcase, don’t judge them for being a budget or luxury traveller, don’t judge them for carrying a selfie stick, just accept that everyone’s different, travels for different reasons, and likes different things.
Snacks – For older babies that have started solids. Fruit, yogurt, bars, all good. I never thought I’d be a pouch carrying mom, but the organic food pouches that have nothing in them but actual food and a bit off water are amazing for travel. And if they are over the 100 mL limit, security usually makes an exception for baby food. I love the brand Smowl, but I don’t know if you can get it in the states. You can probably order them online. They make baby smoothies in pouches with coconut milk, quinoa, fruit. She loves them.
Now, there are caveats, so don't go booking out an entire planeful of tickets just for shits and giggles. First, with most airlines, you can cancel/change your ticket up to seven days before you’re scheduled to travel and still get a full refund. (The notable exception is American Airlines, which instead allows you to hold a ticket up to 24 hours at the price you see.) Second, you need to book directly with the airline's website, and not through a third-party booking site, although big ones like Expedia or Travelocity offer policies similar to those of airlines. But the big takeaway: You can have buyer's remorse for up to a full day. And some airlines -- like Southwest -- have even more generous refund policies that let you change plans up until right before you take off.
I love that you put try the local food at the top of the list. I have friends who love to travel but will never venture outside of restaurants like McDonald’s and the Hard Rock Cafe. These are also the friends who have gotten sick more times traveling then any person I know. Best advise is to look for the long lines of locals outside a restaurant or food stall and get in the line.
When my wife and I travel with our two girls, one of us handles the kids and the other person gets to sit in a “sanity seat.” Basically, one person is stuck with the kids, while the other person is in a child-free paradise in another part of the plane, eating sandwiches with those other couples. When things get bad, you simply switch seats with the other parent so that everyone shares in the misery. If I’m sitting in the “sanity seat” and I hear my kids wailing and screaming at the back of the plane, I often turn to the person next to me and say, “Geez, some parents just can’t control their children.”
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
14 Getting your children started on a few holiday-related projects before you leave is a great way to prepare them for what's to come. You could explore maps, or the history, geography, animal and plant life of your destination, or read books or watch a film that's set there. If the food is likely to be radically different, research dishes that they might enjoy, and try rustling up something similar before you go.
Find the Best Plane: Not all aircraft are created equal. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner features higher humidity and lower pressure (to minimize jet lag) and smart-glass windows that dim on command. The carriers flying the new aircraft: British Airways, LAN, and Japan Airlines. If cabin design is important, you can also look to SeatGuru and Routehappy, which both have flight-search functions that let you prioritize legroom, Wi-Fi connectivity, and seatback entertainment over, say, price and flight time.
In my experience, toddlers aren't fans of reins, backpacks with a leash, or any infringement on their freedom. Keep tabs on them at airports, train stations and crowded attractions with a child locator. The child wears a small unit (strapped to a belt or shoe) and you keep the transmitter. If you lose your child set off the alarm and follow the sound to find them.
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!
At Rough Guides, we understand that experienced travellers want to get truly off-the-beaten-track. That’s why we’ve partnered with local experts to help you plan and book tailor-made trips that are packed with personality and stimulating adventure - at all levels of comfort. If you love planning, but find arranging the logistics exhausting, you’re in the right place.
Water, that is. This is one tip nearly all of our experts were quick to mention. "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," says Jerry Bishop, a commercial pilot who's flown mostly trans-Atlantic routes for the past 18 years. "It's really just common sense, but you don't realize how much flying takes out of you." San Diego-based travel writer Cynthia Dial says she tries to drink a quart of water for every four hours she's in the air. Bobby Laurie, a former flight attendant whose nationally syndicated travel talk show "The Jet Set" debuts next year, says he always travels with his own water bottle, whether purchased in the airport or a refillable one from home (most airports have filtered water fountains), to hold him over until beverage service.
There have been so many times when I’ve been too shy to ask someone to take my photo in a place and I’ve almost always regretted it. After five years of travel, I probably only have around 200 photos of me around the world. Photos of the beautiful places you visit are great and all, but when you get home, they’re not all that different to the ones everyone else has taken there, too. Photos with you in them are special and they’ll come to mean a lot more.
1. Bring new toys and books. Something that they have never seen before will hold the attention far more than something that has been played with dozens of times already. For our then-ten-month-old, it was a toy phone (not a noisy one) and a set of keys. For the one-year-old it was a new Curious Georgebook and a new car. This time, the baby needed no entertaining but the big brother did. We catered to his current obsession with Go Diego Go, and bought a few books featuring Diego. The key to this, is to not bring them out to soon. We wait until the meltdown begins and then bring out the big guns. If you bring out the secret weapon too soon, then you have no recourse.
Find the Best Plane: Not all aircraft are created equal. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner features higher humidity and lower pressure (to minimize jet lag) and smart-glass windows that dim on command. The carriers flying the new aircraft: British Airways, LAN, and Japan Airlines. If cabin design is important, you can also look to SeatGuru and Routehappy, which both have flight-search functions that let you prioritize legroom, Wi-Fi connectivity, and seatback entertainment over, say, price and flight time.
As I mention above, every minute you pass without a seat assignment is another minute that your aisle or window seat is given to someone else. Your best bet is to check in online, which can typically be done up to 24 hours before your flight. But note that not all flights, airlines or classes of travel permit advance check-in (or seating assignments).
Food is now my absolute favourite way to get to know a place better. I love trying new things, and I’ve found a thousand amazing dishes that I never would have discovered if I’d continue to eat from supermarkets. Trying new food isn’t scary, and you’ll build your confidence up as you fall in love with more and more things. Try everything, even if you have no idea what it is. I promise you won’t regret it.
Also, there are plenty of ways to take photos of yourself without asking strangers to do it. I’ve asked someone to take a photo of me exactly twice over the past five years. Buy a tripod, use a selfie stick, balance your camera on something. Regardless of that, being annoyed by someone who could be on a trip of a lifetime and wanting to capture a special moment, is kind of sad to me. As I said in the post, I really recommend not judging people because they travel in a different way to you. Or in this case, wish to capture their travels in a different way.
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