All great tips! I’ve learned many of these the hard way. I’d also include carrying some stomach meds in that first aid kit, just in case. They’re usually easy to find in big cities but might be tougher if you’re in more rural areas or traveling on a day stores are closed. Plus that way you might not have to be as paranoid about eating the delicious street food!
Spring for an afternoon in the lounge. For a fee―usually about $50 a day, which you can pay on the spot―you can take advantage of the snacks, uncrowded bathrooms, and comfy chairs at most airline club lounges, plus you can get help from the club's dedicated ticket agents. "Several times when it's looked like I would be stuck somewhere for another day, a club agent has pulled a rabbit out of his hat," says Bill Coffield, an attorney who flies between 50,000 and 100,000 miles a year.
If you have status with an airline -- or even if you don’t -- ask for exit-row seats when you arrive at the gate.  Those seats cost extra, and are most frequently the only ones left empty, even on so-called “extremely full” flights; they’re often filled by traveling flight attendants and pilots (known as Dead Heads or Non-Revs) assigned available seats at the last minute. If you ask nicely and are super polite (which, frequent flyers will tell you, is a big factor in getting free stuff) the gate agent has the power to give them to you.
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13 There are a number of instances where you might need to carry extra documentation when travelling with children. If you have an adopted child, you must take their adoption papers; and if you're the only parent travelling - regardless of your marital status - you might be asked for proof of consent from the other parent for your child to travel. This is more likely in countries where overseas adoption and/or child trafficking is common. If the name on your child's passport is not the same as yours, or if your child bears little resemblance to you, the chances of this being an issue increase.

While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you’re flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.
First, do your research: are there budget airlines unique to the country you’re flying out of and where you’re headed to? Booking with a budget Australian airline (Jetstar) from Sydney to Honolulu, then an American one from Honolulu to Montreal saved us over $400 each when flying back from Australia to Canada earlier this year. This allowed us to create a thrifty five-day stopover in Hawaii on our way back, which was less exhausting and a lot cheaper! Kiwi.com and AirWander are both great search engine for revealing cheaper routes like this that involve multiple airlines.
10. Bring snacks. Meals on flights will not necessarily time well with your child's needs, and airport food is not always suited to the palate of a toddler. Use snacks they are familiar with, snacks that don't break any customs laws, and snacks that don't need refrigerating and are still edible after a good deal of squishing. Familiarity with the snack you bring means they are less likely to vomit. Trust me, once your child is sick mid-flight once, you will be as obsessed with vomit as I am. Inside the airport, your best bet is a fruit cup, since you cannot bring your own fruit with you unless travelling within the US.
Thanks for the welcome. Very happy to be here and glad our tips helped. Enjoying the Chase card and we just got the American Express Hilton Honors card that comes with 50K HH points upon sign up. Yes Hotels.com has a good rewards program, and nice to hear Raleigh has good fares to Europe as that’s a destination we are looking to explore over the coming years. Enjoy your travels.
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.
Assuming the airline even has pre-boarding for families, it’s not necessarily worth it when you’re flying with kids. On one hand, you won’t have to worry about lugging a car seat, carry on, and kid past 27 rows of knees and elbows. On the other, a few more minutes of toddling around the terminal or going crazy in the kids activity zone may prevent an in-plane meltdown.
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.

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. 

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.
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.
I do a lot of these. My big one is arrive early. The day I’m traveling is a travel day. I’m not doing anything else, so I arrive at the airport early and I enjoy the lounge via my Priority Pass Card (a life saver). Interesting that you’ve received compensation when your in-flight entertainment system hasn’t worked. I’ve had this happen numerous times on Thai Air. Definitely no compensation of any sort, and flight attendants can get down right snarky when they have to reboot the system. Like you, I always carry my own entertainment! 🙂
Spring for an afternoon in the lounge. For a fee―usually about $50 a day, which you can pay on the spot―you can take advantage of the snacks, uncrowded bathrooms, and comfy chairs at most airline club lounges, plus you can get help from the club's dedicated ticket agents. "Several times when it's looked like I would be stuck somewhere for another day, a club agent has pulled a rabbit out of his hat," says Bill Coffield, an attorney who flies between 50,000 and 100,000 miles a year.
Hello Lauren, great tips. thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been doing lots of searches as well for travel tips and your tips are very helpful. I’m not new in traveling, but end August I will be taking for the first time a 6 months trip and yes with a bag pack for the first time ha ha. I just lay out all the clothes that I want to bring with me. I still have to sort out what I actually need to avoid overpacking. Considering I’ll be traveling around in S.America where weather varies a lot from one country to another , packing is a little bit tricky I find. But you are right when in doubt do not bring them! I need to check out the solid shampoo and conditioner. i have dry shampoo as well but they only come in 200ml, was looking for something smaller. Will also check out HERE maps and make use of the camera on google translate! As you can see your post is really helpful! thanks a lot and keep sharing ;-)

“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.

When you’re at ticketing for your flight if you are flying with infant in arms (if you haven’t purchased a separate seat for baby, which we don’t intend to do until we have to!), ask if there are any empty seats on the flight and if you can be seated next to them. If there are, chances are they’ll be obliging. The extra space is a lovely little luxury to have, especially as they get older and squirmier.

You’ll also find that these lots are often significantly lower-priced than other lots. As a result, they’re the best place for economy-minded travelers, especially for longer trips where you’re racking up several days’ worth of parking fees. Also, these are the last lots to fill up; if you’re flying during peak travel periods, you may have no choice but to use these distant lots.


According to Flight Radar and Plane Finder websites, a small number of airlines overfly areas that are riven by conflict, and in some cases, where ISIL exercises control on the ground. Most of these carriers are based in Syria and Iraq. Many more of the airlines operating between the Gulf States and Europe fly over the Arabian Peninsula or via an air corridor over western Iran.
Besides being free, these tours will give you a good orientation and background of the city you are visiting. I love, love, love taking walking tours when I travel. You pass the time, you get to pepper the guide with questions, and you get to learn so much about where you are! Take a walking tour when you travel! Here are some lists of my favorite free walking tour companies in the world:
Thank you for this! My husband and I will be travelling with our 16 month old daughter from the Philippines to Singapore. Though it’s relatively a short trip (both the flight duration and the stay in the country), I looked up tips and tricks for travelling with an infant because…well…I’m a dooms day prepper haha. Love your photos, your darling daughter and love that you’re about breastfeeding and natural stuff but are practical and no nonsense. I pray many more safe and wonderful travels for you and your family!
I’m all about travelling on one-way tickets, because they give you the freedom to be spontaneous, change your mind, and extend your trip, if needed. My original itinerary had me heading to Australia after six months, but I ended up going to Thailand instead and stayed for seven months! You can’t get that kind of freedom on a round-the-world ticket. Plus, with so many budget airlines around, one-way tickets don’t have to even be that pricey.
Across Canada, there are Wildlife Warning Signs reminding drivers to be cautious while driving. The country also has a Wildlife Collision Prevention Program, which provides helpful hints to avoid hitting wildlife and what to do if striking an animal is inevitable. Reading up on safety tips could save your life. In the Rockies, there are unique animal overpasses to avoid such accidents.

Re your ipad suggestion. I have the seen a family with three young boys sitting across the aisle from me where each child had an IPod. When they first got them out I thought it was overkill – one each and they were so young! Worth.their.weight.in.gold. This was a long haul flight and there was not one peep out of them – only laughter and no-one in their right mind complains about that. (not that I am a complainer, more of a sympathiser). Talking to their parents, they assured me they were not always so well behaved. 🙂
According to Dr. Alisa Baer of TheCarSeatLady.com, safety is the number one reason to bring an FAA-approved car seat. “First, you can’t safely hold a baby in your arms or in a carrier during strong turbulence or an emergency. Second, families that don’t buy a seat on the plane may be letting children ride unrestrained to and from the airport. While your state may say it’s legal to ride in a taxi without a car seat, the laws of physics still apply. And third, gate checked seats can get broken or lost. Keeping the seat with your child is the only way to ensure you can leave the airport safely.”
"I think it's great we don't have to travel in suits and high heels anymore. You can be comfortable. But you can also be classy and comfortable. Check your air carrier's rules — there are still dress codes sometimes in first class and, who knows, maybe, miracle of the day, you'll get that cheap upgrade to first class. Be comfortable, but if you can avoid wearing your pajamas, that's great."

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.
Manitoba actually has the world’s largest concentration of snakes. In May, around 70,000 snakes, particularly red-sided garter snakes, come out of hibernation. There are even snake dens, where visitors can stand on a viewing platform and see the snakes emerge in springtime. So if you’re afraid of snakes, May might not be the best time for visiting Manitoba.
Hi. We are just entering our 4th year on the road and I think I agree with just about everything above. It’s always changing, we find new, better ways, or what we want from this lifestyle changes, so for a few months we’ll be regular backpackers, then we’ll chill and rest for a while in a city apartment rental. Whatever, we love this life. Your picture of that little stove on the Everest trail brought back happy memories, we took the kids up there a few months ago, great times. Cheers!
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.
It obviously makes it easier because, hey, no extra gear! Be willing to feed anywhere, don’t be shy. I was really worried about this when I was a new mom, like the first month. But trust me, you get over it. I don’t use a cover as it seems like an unnecessary hassle for me and an annoyance to baby. I dress for breast feeding (read: easy access!), and it’s always so discreet I don’t feel uncomfortable. I’ve been everywhere from Morocco to Japan to France breastfeeding and never once encountered any animosity or awkward situations. I’ve breastfed outside Buddhist temple gates on the steps, on the beach, park benches, everywhere. Bonus, I get to set an example for other would-be moms that breast feeding is great, natural, and normal. If for some reason you can’t breastfeed or don’t want to, don’t worry. Air planes have allowances for breastmilk/formula/baby food, and they will warm it for you. If you can’t breastfeed, I would strategically book places to stay that will make warming easy, like AirBnBs or hotel rooms with little kitchens or great staff!
Hits the nail on the head on so many points. This brings back many memories of our travels, like when we packed too much and wanted to kill each other since we were both so miserable with our heavy bags. And the time we had to give up on the hostel in Morocco and paid for a pool day pass at the Sofitel. We felt like we were cheating, but in the end, we needed the rejuvenation. Always love your posts, thanks for the inspiration and congrats on all the years of traveling together!

Airline credit cards generally lure you in with promises of free bags, but other credit cards offer this perk, too -- take five minutes and call your credit card company to see if this applies. Many companies also automatically offer travel insurance, which means you won’t need to buy that from the airline either. Just remember travel insurance isn’t “I decided to sleep in” insurance, and only applies in situations stipulated in the policy. So maybe read up on that.

Cramped seats, dry air, cabins that go from hot to cold in a matter of minutes — we're all acquainted with the discomforts of flying. We asked 10 frequent-flying pros for their best tips on how the 99% (upgrading to first class doesn't count) can keep as comfortable as possible. Yes, we all know we should drink enough water, but will you regret that one glass of wine? Read on to find out what the experts say.


In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority allows airline passengers to use an infant belly belt, which fastens around the infant's waist and attaches to the parent's belt. These are banned in the US for safety reasons. Many infant car seats are certified for air travel and this is a safer option but it involves buying  an airline seat. A compact choice is the CARES Child Aviation Restraint System (caresaustralia.com.au).
32 Regardless of the regulations in your destination, always use children's car seats whenever driving with your kids. If you're going to use the seat in several different cars - taxis, say - go for a universal model which works with all kinds of seatbelts. For general guidelines and information on some of the common errors when fitting child's car and booster seats, go to childcarseats.org.uk.

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 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.
I just recently discovered your blog and I want to thank you! This blog posting is the most helpful one I have read yet. On most of the other blogs that I have read, the tip are all very repetitive and not very descriptive. Many of your tips I have not heard of and are the kind that one would only figure out through pure experience. For someone with not that much experience traveling, but with a desire to do so soon I found all of these travel tips extremely helpful! Thank you!
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.
You can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.
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.
It’s so much easier than a stroller, I think. You can move around easily, navigate stairs, and generally be faster and more nimble. Plus baby loves to be close to you! We found she napped and slept great in the carrier as well, even on the go and at restaurants. To this day, we get her down for naps anywhere in the carrier. One of us just puts her on and walks/bounces when she’s sleepy, and she passes right out. Won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a try because it’s magic in tight spaces like a plane. We list our favorite carriers below in the gear list.
All great tips! I’ve learned many of these the hard way. I’d also include carrying some stomach meds in that first aid kit, just in case. They’re usually easy to find in big cities but might be tougher if you’re in more rural areas or traveling on a day stores are closed. Plus that way you might not have to be as paranoid about eating the delicious street food!
Finally! I have been working on this guide for a year. This is all of the knowledge I’ve accumulated from traveling with Eula during the first year of her life. Before her first birthday she’d been on over 40 flights and to at least 10 countries. I lose exact count, to be honest. We’ve dealt with sickness on the road, jet lag, packing, blow outs, missed flights, you name it. And it’s all been fine. After over a year of traveling with a baby I can say with complete honesty that it’s totally worth it and totally doable. Yes, it’s harder. Of course it’s freaking harder. Not having a baby vs. having a baby. You do the math. But it’s not that hard. When it is hard just remember, this too shall pass. Have a relaxed, what happens happens attitude. No flight ever lasted forever, no crying spell either, no cold, no jet lag. If you’re the sort of person that would get totally freaked or exhausted or just generally not enjoy yourself over a crappy night’s sleep or on the road inconvenience, then maybe it isn’t the life for you. But if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you value travel, and in that case, it’s worth it. Totally. Babies love to watch the world go by, and ours was always happiest on the move and meeting new people. Keep reading below for my tips & experiences, packing list, a list of favorite gear, and for photos of Eula’s first year growing up on the road! Keep in mind, what worked for us won’t work for everyone, but this is what we did.
Traveling in first class with kids can be more stress than it's worth. Mom Joanna recounts the story of traveling with her loud, lively toddler and incurring the very vocal wrath of her first-class seatmates for the entirety of the flight. "It's not fair, but you're just going to get more empathy and support with kids in economy," says a flight attendant.
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.
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