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
3. Inside the bag, also put their ‘entertainment bag’, (I use a cloth shopping bag for this) which should be removed and carried on to the plane separately. In the bag, place their colouring pens, a small notebook, their favourite teddy, a book etc. This can then easily be placed in the pocket or under the seat, without the need to return to the big bag unnecessarily.

Most aircraft seats are made to recline, and passengers have every right to seek a more comfortable position, but do unto others, etc. During meals, it is polite and necessary to return your seat to the upright position. Since a reclined seat might annoy the person behind, before you hit the button ensure you are not about to inflict an injury and offer a smile.


Where Kiwi.com really shines is the way in which it mixes and matches airlines in order to find the cheapest price. For example, maybe you want to go to Rome, Italy from Washington, USA. A typical flight search engine will only suggest routes coming from a single airline and its partners. An example search on Expedia shows the cheapest route as $631.20 USD via TAP Portugal.
23 Breastfeeding in an unfamiliar destination can be a worry, and it is worth doing some research into local attitudes towards feeding in public before you go. If in doubt, try finding some female company, perhaps in a women's clothing shop. Another idea is to head for the ladies' toilets of a posh hotel; these are usually spacious, with seats and pleasant surroundings.
One other scenario: you have plenty of time, but know that your flight is nearly full, and the line is long. Every minute you spend in line is another minute that the window and aisle seats are given away. If you check in with the skycap, then sprint to the gate for your seat assignment, you’ll often find that the line at the gate is much shorter than at check-in, and you’ll actually get your seat assignment more quickly.
Number 2 and 4 rings so true for me. I hate the burnout of travel. I always feel I am going to come back to a place so I try to do less and enjoy a more rich experience, hoping to build on that the next time I come back. Traveling even after having kids is one of my big beliefs. I am not one to want to wait till the kids are out of the house to experience the world. While i am healthy and at my most active self, I want to experience the world – with the kids when possible.
Depending on your airline and duration of the flight, you may be served one or more meals on the plane, as well as drinks (including a limited amount of alcohol) and snacks. You'll already know if these refreshments are included, as you'll have been asked about your dietary requirements when you booked the flight. If you weren't asked, food and drink will normally be served but you will have to pay extra for it. Don't worry if you forgot to bring cash: most planes are now equipped with electronic card readers.
Know the difference between “direct” and “nonstop” flights, and always opt for the latter. Unlike nonstops, direct flights can touch down at other airports on the way to their ultimate destinations, says Macon Dunnagan, a baggage handler with US Airways. And while stops are built in to the total travel time, the potential delays they can cause aren’t. 
27 years ago I flew with a 20 month old child to New Zealand from the US. We flew New Zealand Air and they had a seat belt for a child like the seatbelt they demonstrate with about a foot long with the female and male end on each end of the strap. You looped the seatbelt through your seat belt and then around the child. Never saw this on any other airlines so I made one and took it with us on many long trips we took with our children.
"The reason is simple: We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way. This can cause a problem since planes often don't have enough extra vodka, pillows, earplugs, and toothbrushes, or the time on shorter flights to deviate from the service schedule.
The farther you go, ideally the longer you should stay (if you can) so that you can avoid over-scheduling and build in a few days to get over jet lag. When we took her to Tokyo it took at least 3 days for her to stop waking up, and I mean WIDE “It’s morning!” awake, in the middle of the night. It isn’t something you can fight—someone has to get up with her. Best to take turns. It’s just par for the course. If you’re a total planner you could start trying to change their schedule before you leave, but eh, that’s not our style. We just live through it and bask in the rewards of our suffering: seeing the world and showing it to our baby! Ultimately, I find the baby recovers faster than we do because she’s still in touch with her body. My biggest tip is to try, try to keep the baby awake as long as possible in the evening, ideally until bedtime, and try to prevent naps to close to bedtime.
26 Check the latest restrictions on hand luggage before travelling. The more stringent regulations relate to carrying liquids, gels and creams, which includes baby foods, drinks and nappy cream. The standard instructions are not to carry over 100ml of any single item, although exceptions are usually made for essential medicines or supplies for children under two. You can also get away with more (up to 400ml) in the way of milk and drinks so long as these are decanted into bottles and no-spill cups; if you carry the same in the original cartons or bottles, you'll be asked to leave them behind. There are also discretionary limits for baby food - these are generally kept vague, but as long as you don't have more than what security staff deem to be a reasonable amount for the flight, you'll usually be fine.
Katie from mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk says: “pack them a plane bag – We have three young children and my girls have amassed many flights between them at a young age. We always pack a plane bag for them, we don’t let them see if before we get on the flight and in it are cheap pocket money toys to keep them entertained. Things you can buy in supermarkets and that only cost a couple of pounds each, like crayons, colouring books, little sets of Lego they can build and of course sweets in case all else fails! They love it and get excited to open them as soon as we are up in the air.”
It’s good to have a budget to stick to, but most people tend to go over. Start saving as soon as possible (like, now) and aim to bring more money than you think you’ll need. The more money you have, the more you’ll be able to treat yourself to nicer accommodation, splurge on fun tours, and not spend your entire trip worrying that you’ll run out of cash.
Another thing! as good as it is to take earplugs (plus most airlines charge for those) it´s good to take a sleep mask for those who can´t sleep without total darkness, and in planes there´s always subtle lights left during the flight, they are also very helpful at hostels or dorms where there´s always somebody turning on the light while you´re sleeping…
There's not much we can do to assuage that passenger who complains the moment your child sneezes or giggles. Here's what you need to remember: As long as you're trying (and what parent isn't?), you've got almost everyone on your side. "An adult having an issue with a screaming child is acting like a child as well," offers a flight attendant and mother named Patience. "Don't engage. Just worry about your own child." Keep in mind, too, that you don't know who you could be dealing with. As Lynn, a flight service manager told me, he's seen many planes reroute when these arguments got physical. Disengage the crazy so you can disembark as intended.
If there are no bassinets or when traveling with a baby under 2, bring a car seat onto the plane with you. If there is an extra seat (and the car seat is FAA approved) you will be given the extra seat for the baby. If not, then they will take it from you and put it underneath. This is a great option if you need a car seat where you are going. If not, it is probably not worth shlepping.
You think you won’t forget anything, but you will. You won’t remember the name of that lovely girl from Oslo you hung out with for a day in Marrakech, you won’t remember the name of the hostel you loved in Beijing, you won’t remember the conversation you had with that dude in a pub in Sydney. Keep a journal to remember those small details because you’ll treasure them in a few years.
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.
Towards the end of the flight, your child will become irritable and agitated, as the effects of sitting in a stale environment for three to five hours start to catch up. When they ask you how much longer is left in the flight, always lie to the child to make it seem like the landing is imminent. I usually go with, “Just about 25 minutes to go — hang in there.” Be sure to disable the interactive map feature on the headrest TV, as the child may figure out that you are really 2.5 hours away from your destination.
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(!)
You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how to become independent. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Traveling solo taught me how to fend for myself, talk to people, and handle unfamiliar situations with ease. It’s made me comfortable with myself, helped me learn about what I’m capable of, and allowed me to be super selfish and do whatever I want! It can take some getting used to if you’ve never done it before but do it at least once. Make yourself uncomfortable and surprise yourself. You’ll learn valuable life skills when you push yourself!

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.
If you do not have a bassinet row, always try to sit at the very back of the plane. If you are checking through a stroller, you will anyway have to wait before you can depart. You will have more storage room at the back of the plane. You will bother the other passengers less, have more help from the flight attendants, and be right near the bathrooms which is essential when changing diapers or with children who simply can’t wait.

For me, sleep is the biggest one. That’s the one that drives me nuts. When a child is tired but doesn’t know how to go to sleep? I can’t handle that. Screw the patience and compassion. It goes against everything I am because it just isn’t logical. It still drives me nuts even at home. I refused to do the flying thing any more until kids no longer need a nap. Now that’s over, I will fly again with them.
Sure, you should have a rough plan for your trip, but don’t book everything in advance or you’ll likely feel too restricted and end up regretting it. Book a one-way ticket and your first few nights of accommodation — you’ll figure the rest out along the way. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you’re in a tourist destination there’ll always be someone who’s willing to take your money by giving you a place to stay.

When Stephen Marino — an East Coast-based VP of sales who has logged more than 2 million miles (for lifetime platinum status) — travels with his girlfriend, he books a window and an aisle seat. "With higher level status, airlines try to keep the seat next to you open. If not, we ask the person in the middle seat if they want a window. They will never turn it down."
I used to be disastrous with my tech, but now that I have cases for everything, I’m doing much better. It’s worth getting a shell for your laptop, a keyboard cover for accidental spills, a sturdy case for your Kindle, and a waterproof case for your phone. Replacing tech is expensive and spending a day trying to figure out which island you need to fly to in the Philippines in order to get your laptop repaired is frustrating.
I have never been anywhere without easy access to potable water. In Morocco you can pick up a bottle of water a the shops every few feet so it’s very easy. I have friends whose children drink the water simply filtered and are fane. And yes, we take her everywhere the local children go. Tuk tuks and public buses included. We decided that the chances of something happening are very small and that if you try to live a completely risk averse life we’d all just have to stay at home! But that was what we were comfortable with, and I think that’s going to be different for every family.
Skyscanner Co-founder Bonamy Grimes has a clever solution for that desperate moment when nothing seems to make it all better: “stock up on toys, but make sure you hold back a favourite teddy that you bring out on the plane, and keep one in reserve for the way back.” There is always the risk of losing a cherished companion in transit, which is heart-breaking, so whenever you buy them a soft toy, buy two and if the worst happens, substitute New Peppa for Left-On-Plane Peppa.
Make security checkpoints a breeze by packing liquids (which are all 3.4 ounces or smaller and zipped into a 1-quart Ziploc bag, of course!) into an outside pocket of your carry-on. Laptops and tablets fall into the same category. Check out the TSA’s website for a full list of items on the no-fly list, as well as tips for getting through security quickly. Learn some more secrets TSA gate agents aren’t telling you.
So many tips here that I live by. After 5 years on the road I came to #4 (kids). Recently had a month in USA and happily did #12 (blow budget) but we have come back and said to ourselves that it’s not really worth those massive big budget blowing trips with our little one only being 2 yo (almost 3) as she can get great fun out of almost anything. We took her to Disneyland and her best time was a bench seat that had old tractor seats on it!
Same! Dave and I regularly talk about how, if we wanted to get me a spouse visa for New Zealand and had to prove our relationship was genuine, we’d only have around a dozen photos of us from five years of being together! I’m also wishing we had more so that we could have a big memory wall in our apartment — it’s not quite the same when it’s just a load of landscape shots.
10 If you're travelling to a country in which malaria is endemic (check the list of affected countries at who.int/ith/en), you need specialist advice on the appropriate antimalarial medication. You'll also need to make sure you take ample supplies of insect repellent, clothes to cover everyone up in the evenings and, if the place you're staying in doesn't have them, bed-nets impregnated with insecticide.
BabyZen YoYo 0+ Stroller – This is my absolute favorite stroller for travel. It folds up compact enough to fit in an overhead bin (though you can gate check it if you like), has a sizeable undercarriage, and is so easy to fold up and pop out (for a stroller anyway). Can’t recommend highly enough. You can use it from infancy with the bassinet attachment and switch to the seat once they’re big enough). It also can adapt to many carseats, and has wonderful accessories for different weather conditions like rain, cold, and sun. You may notice she’s in a Stokke Xplory in the photos, and that’s because we use it around town sometimes. But the BabyZen YoYo is it for travel.

In some respects, I’m amazed at how staggeringly little I’ve grown as a traveler: I still roam cities with nary a clue as to what I’m doing, I’m still motivated largely by my quest to stuff as many baked goods into my mouth as possible, I still weep a little when forced to read a map. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t learn anything. I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I’ve gleaned from my many copious mistakes. Here are the best of of them – my my top travel tips and lessons learned from the last few years.
Make security checkpoints a breeze by packing liquids (which are all 3.4 ounces or smaller and zipped into a 1-quart Ziploc bag, of course!) into an outside pocket of your carry-on. Laptops and tablets fall into the same category. Check out the TSA’s website for a full list of items on the no-fly list, as well as tips for getting through security quickly. Learn some more secrets TSA gate agents aren’t telling you.
In the U.S., gate checking your stroller means it’s there when you deplane. Elsewhere, you might be picking it up at baggage claim— and carrying whatever was in it. Skip the gate check and travel with an ultra compact stroller like the Mountain Buggy Nano, which takes all infant seats (no adapters necessary) and can be stowed in the overhead bin in its carry bag. 

Passengers on long-haul flights are at a risk of developing DVT because lack of mobility can cause blood clots, which pose a risk if the clot travels through the heart and into the lungs, where the result is potentially fatal. The most effective prevention is to move around the cabin at regular intervals and drink plenty of water, and sit in an aisle seat, where it's easier to move around.

Flying is fun. In fact, flying is amazing. Remember that your little ones don’t associate budget airlines with baggage restrictions and commuting for business – they’re probably quite excited about going up in the sky. So you should be too. “Don’t forget that flying was once wondrous. To them it still is, so point out the small houses, the clouds, the setting sun…” says Skyscanner Chairman Gareth Williams. And if you’re desperate, get them to count how many passengers are on the flight. We kid you not, this has been known to work a treat!


Love this. Everything about it. Our friends thought we were insane taking our little lady everywhere with us. She’ll be two next month and we’re squeezing in one more international trip before then (infant in arms saves so much!) I think her flight count will be 50+ at two years. Only thing I’d add in is specific remedies I bring for colds, headaches, restlessness etc. Bach’s Rescue Remedy has been a lifesaver for us!
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.
You might want to mention that many (most?) banks with online services allow you to instantly set daily & weekly limits on your ATM and credit card purchases, and many of them let you adjust those limits for a particular period of time, such as when you are traveling. I always set lower limits on my cards when I am traveling, just a bit of insurance.

I signed up for an American Airlines AAdvantage account before I left (with a signup bonus of, I think, 1000 points), and I type in my account number every time I book a flight with a OneWorld airline. After five years of travel, I recently racked up enough points to take an economy one-way flight from Nashville to Miami with them. It was worth $100, lol.
Towards the end of the flight, your child will become irritable and agitated, as the effects of sitting in a stale environment for three to five hours start to catch up. When they ask you how much longer is left in the flight, always lie to the child to make it seem like the landing is imminent. I usually go with, “Just about 25 minutes to go — hang in there.” Be sure to disable the interactive map feature on the headrest TV, as the child may figure out that you are really 2.5 hours away from your destination.

One of the first lessons I learned on the road was that your plans will nearly always change. You’ll arrive in a place and hate it and want to leave immediately, or you’ll fall in love with a destination and want to spend longer there. You’ll make friends with a group of awesome people and want to change your plans so you can travel with them for longer, or you’ll find out about an amazing town that’s nearby and want to head there instead.
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.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the co-director of Interinclusion, a nonprofit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org, and wrote the popular weekly blog Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.


But there’s no perfect model. “Parents ask me to recommend the lightest possible car seat but that’s irrelevant,” adds Dr. Baer. “Even light convertible seats will weigh 10-12 pounds, and the average seat can weigh 25 pounds. I tell parents to stop thinking about the weight of the seat and think about how well it can be secured in the plane and in the cars available in the country you’re visiting.”

Use a packing checklist: One new toy or book for every hour; an empty baby bottle for water; a change of clothes; plastic zipper bags; baby wipes; extra jackets and blankets; headphones; iPad; cups with lids; clothespins to fashion a tent over a baby's bassinet; snacks; pacifiers; Dramamine for kids who suffer from motion sickness. Don't load up on too many diapers, because you can buy them at your destination. A diaper bag doesn't count as a carry-on, so pack it with a few diapers and fill the rest with other stuff.


Know your airport's code. It's easy for luggage-destination tags to get mixed up at a curbside check-in. Learn the three-letter airport code for your destination and make sure your skycap labels the bag properly. The codes aren't always intuitive (for example, New Orleans's Louis Armstrong Airport is MSY), so check the list at airport-technology.com, especially if your destination has more than one airport. "Cities with multiple airports can cause problems if passengers don't know which they're flying into," says Tim Wagner, a spokesperson for American Airlines.
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…
1. Choose your seats in advance. If you want to sit with your family or friends, then plan accordingly. There are too many of you who ask your fellow travelers to give up their seats — the ones we either booked months ago or paid extra for — because you didn't do it in advance or you were too cheap to pay to get the seat you really want. So either pony up for that seat or sit in the one you've been assigned.
Here’s a confession: I gained around 20 pounds over my first few years of travel, mostly thanks to eating out for every single meal. While it can be tempting to treat yourself to junk food, and Pringles and Oreos will fuel your every travel day, resolve to have at least a few days every now and then when you go for the healthier option. Your body and mind will thank you for it. Aim to cut out the rice, bread, and beer to keep your calorie intake low if you’re feeling as though you’re gaining too much weight on the road.

Larger crowds lead to more chaotic parking and drop-off situations and longer wait times at security checkpoints. Plan accordingly. In general, airports are most crowded on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, as these days bear the brunt of business travel. Expect Fridays to get even busier in the summer months as recreational travel peaks. You’ll find the biggest crowds of the year on Thanksgiving Eve as well as the Sunday after it. And unsurprisingly, the busiest week to fly is the one that falls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day; the Department of Transportation found that the number of long-distance travelers during this period rises by 23 percent.
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No child wants to eat the hand-carved roast beef sandwich that is featured in the airline’s menu. And by the time the snack cart gets to you in the back of the plane — where they banish all of the children — there are no more sandwiches available because all the childless couples have devoured them up front. You are likely stuck with the option of either Cool Ranch-flavoured Bugles or something called Vegan Crisps. So make sure you bring ample snacks on board. A bag of surprise gummy bears when things are really melting down can be a more effective lifesaver than those oxygen masks.
And remember: Your child’s behavior may not even be the issue. Matt Wittenstein, an American living in Paris who travels extensively with his eight-year-old daughter, got a crash course in family travel mishaps: “Her first flight was an international one—my wife and I took her to Portugal—and we were traveling with pre-bottled formula. The bottles were fine everywhere except London, where they made me open half of them to prove… well, I don’t know what. But it did mean that most of the formula we brought was wasted.”
I am a mother. I have needs, and I take care of them. I also recognize that I live in a society with other people. When my child was an infant, she was a big screamer for a long time. So here’s what I did: I recognized that there would be many years in which I could sit for hours in coffeeshops, and fly places with my child, but that this was not that time.
I used to be disastrous with my tech, but now that I have cases for everything, I’m doing much better. It’s worth getting a shell for your laptop, a keyboard cover for accidental spills, a sturdy case for your Kindle, and a waterproof case for your phone. Replacing tech is expensive and spending a day trying to figure out which island you need to fly to in the Philippines in order to get your laptop repaired is frustrating.
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.
I have never been anywhere without easy access to potable water. In Morocco you can pick up a bottle of water a the shops every few feet so it’s very easy. I have friends whose children drink the water simply filtered and are fane. And yes, we take her everywhere the local children go. Tuk tuks and public buses included. We decided that the chances of something happening are very small and that if you try to live a completely risk averse life we’d all just have to stay at home! But that was what we were comfortable with, and I think that’s going to be different for every family.
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