15 If it looks like you're going to be weighed down with mountains of bags, you may want to send on suitcases and bulky items such as prams via a baggage delivery company. You'll pay around £70 to send up to 30kg of luggage one way between European countries, and £110 between the UK and US, but prices per kilo come down the more you send, and you'll get better rates if you send things a few weeks rather than a few days before you travel. Try firstluggage.com or carrymyluggage.com for a quotation.
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.
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.
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!
I have a funny story that your peeing story reminded me of as the same happened to me. Even though I was begging the driver to stop I wasn’t successful so… I guess my bladder made some Universe magic happen as 2 minutes later the bus broke down in the middle of a bridge in the highway so I ended up peeing behind the bus, facing the cars, my partner covering me with a jacket. I’m a woman so… it was pretty funny and yes, people quite laughed at me but whatever… I was about to burst so who cares jajajajaja
"There are very few free or discounted upgrades. The travelers that might get a free upgrade due to rearrangement of capacity or seats are given to those travelers who pay the most or travel the most with our airline. Join the airline's frequent flyer program — it makes a difference when a gate agent might need to move someone into a better cabin."
For treats, buy small sucking or individual chewing candies that you can distribute and never end up in hands but go directly to the mouth. I have found that the necklace or bracelet candies are the best. The kids feel like they got a present, and it keeps them endlessly entertained, especially because it takes them forever to bite off the candies.
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.
Seriously, f%&^ this. After suffering through a baby that screamed from the US to an hour before landing in Germany I am seriously done with people that travel with kids. I took my child on the first flight at age 9, intentionally. Most kids travel okay, but when they don’t, you literally ruin the flight for like 30 people around you. It’s not cute to give people a baggie with treats saying I’m sorry, this is my first flight – it’s rude and selfish on your part.
In general, good advice and info but I sure disagree with #7. Why you need a photo of yourself in all your pix, I don’t know, but I was tired of all your portraits of yourself rather than the places and the people in the places before I was 1/4 thru the list. Not to mention how annoying people who ask strangers to take their photo can be. Take photos of the people and places you see. That’s what I want after my trips and what I’d prefer to see on your blog posts.
If your lack of experience in the aviation department is due to a serious fear of flying, you'll already be familiar with the various methods of overcoming your anxiety that are available to help you become a confident flyer. There's no one size fits all approach, and what helps one fearful flyer may do nothing for the next. But one element common to most flying phobias is a fear of the unknown, which is why flying courses have such high success rates.
"If you know you're not going to be able to attend whatever complimentary meal they're offering because you're leaving before it starts or you know you're not going to be up until after it's over, check with the hotel to see if there's some kind of snack or sack lunch they can provide before or ahead of time. Usually it's just a piece of fruit, a bottle of water, and a thing of string cheese, but that's saved my growling stomach on several occasions."
After about 25 seconds you will feel the plane start to lift, and if it's daytime, you'll see the ground getting further away - you may find it fascinating to see your town from the air for the first time! It's normal to feel some bumps while the plane is still climbing, so don't worry - see our article on airplane turbulence to find out more about the facts behind those common bumps.
You may be worried about the sensation of taking off, as the thought of a heavy metal object suddenly taking to the sky can seem unnatural. While you may rationally understand the laws of physics behind the event, it's worth preparing yourself for the feeling, which is a bit like being in a car when someone accelerates very quickly, pushing you into the back of your seat.
Such an interesting post. I haven’t traveled much since having kids. (Not for lack of wanting to, more for financial reasons. I would love to show my kids the world.) I would love to hear more about how you handle traveling in countries without easy access to potable water and with safety standards that are more lax. Did you worry about her drinking the bath water, did you take her in tuk-tuks or rickety public buses, that sort of thing? I lived breifly in India and dream about taking my kids there someday but it also seems like such a potential minefield.
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.
3. If you have your own technology, bring it. If your tablet or phone is off limits to your children, get a sturdy case and load up a few apps that they can use, along with digital copies of their favorite movies. Just suck it up and let them play. They won't do permanent damage with just a day's travel. In fact, knowing that they are being allowed to use something ordinarily off limits is one of the biggest draws of this.
Whether you know exactly where you’re going or you just want to find to the cheapest possible country to fly into, Kiwi.com is a great tool to get the wanderlust going and save some big bucks. Hop on their site and enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly.
28 The low humidity of cabin air can cause mild dehydration as well as dry and irritated nostrils, so it's important to get kids to drink regularly. If anyone gets a streaming nose (also a factor of low humidity), wet the insides of their nostrils with a finger dipped in water - this often works like magic. Flying can also prompt air expansion in the middle ear and sinuses, which can be painful for babies and infants because of their smaller ear passages. To prevent discomfort, massage your child's ears from behind and give the earlobes a few gentle tugs from time to time. Toddlers also find it helpful to suck on something or have a drink during take-off and landing.
If you have a child who is under the age of two—and therefore flying for free—get ready for your special one-on-one conversation with the flight attendant. They usually are less enthusiastic about this chat than they are about talking to passengers seated in the emergency exit row. The flight attendant will instruct you with super-obvious tips on how hold your baby for take-off and landing — just in case you were thinking about stuffing the little bundle of joy in the seat pocket in front of you.