By taking one of these courses, which are run by airlines such as British Airways and Virgin, you'll no longer be a first time flyer by the time your trip rolls around, and you'll have a thorough grounding in every noise, movement and piece of jargon that you might encounter while airborne. By taking away that element of the unknown, you'll already be well on the way to reaching all those once-inaccessible destinations you've always dreamed of visiting.
As an ex flight attendant and soon to be mom, it’s nice to see a thought out and practical article! Snacks are a must as not many airlines have baby/todler friendly snacks on board. On international flights, breast milk/formula can be heated/chilled if needed. Many airlines have amenity kits for moms and baby. Just ask! Cabin crew are not allowed to WALK with an infant in their arms while on board. It’s a legal thing, but holding for a few minutes is usually ok! International carriers have baby bassinets so try to get a seat at the bulkhead if you can. Hope this helps!
I’m fortunate to have never had to deal with lost luggage, but I did have my backpack ripped open on a flight and I was grateful to have not had anything valuable in it at the time. I’ve also been on dodgy buses in Southeast Asia where we’ve arrived at our destination and people have had valuables stolen from their backpack by someone hiding out in the luggage hold while we were transit.
"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."
41 Constipation can be caused by dehydration or changes in diet. Give babies water to drink, use a light oil to massage their tummies, and bring their knees up to their chests a few times. You can also gently rub a button of Vaseline over their anus. Give older children water and a few teaspoons of a light vegetable oil to drink, as well as trying the Vaseline and abdominal massage.
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!
Even the most seasoned travellers sometimes get confused by airline rules about baggage allowance but as a flying newbie, the first thing to get your head around is the difference between cabin and hold luggage, then to look into whether or not you need to take both: usually, if you're travelling long-haul (that's a flight that lasts six hours or more), you will want to 'check in' at least one piece of hold luggage which you'll need to leave at the check-in desk before boarding. It'll then be returned to you at the other side, where you'll need to identify it on a luggage carousel.
Bring a car seat for your child. "Car seats aren't just safer for children," notes Veda Shook, a flight attendant who has been with Alaska Airlines for 16 years. "They also help kids stay calmer, since they're used to being in them." Shook suggests investing in a car seat-stroller combination. "The seat slides right out of the stroller part, which you can check at the gate," she says.
“Would any passengers travelling with small children or passengers needing extra assistance please proceed to the gate now.” Those are sweet words to hear over the loudspeaker, because quite frankly, the early boarding privilege is the only known benefit to flying with small children. It’s the airline’s way of saying, “We know you’re going to have a hellish five hours. So why don’t you at least make sure you cram your carry-on luggage into our tiny overhead compartments before everyone else?”
Kiwi.com, on the other hand, will mix and match airlines (including budget airlines) in order to find you the very cheapest route. For long-haul flights especially, this can make a huge difference. The same search on Kiwi.com returns a route at $459.80 USD via JetBlue, Norwegian Air, and Vueling. That’s a savings of $171.40 USD, and the travel time is even shorter!
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.
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.”
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!”
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.
Seriously. If you do only one thing before you leave, make it getting travel insurance. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of travellers injuring themselves in remote places and ending up in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you, because you know those travellers they thought that, too. I use World Nomads for my travel insurance provider and I’ve been really happy with them.
All these tips are great, but I truly appreciate the perspective about Sunrise is better than Sunset. I know I am probably in the minority here, but the freshness of morning is a rebirth for me. And a dazzling sunrise does more for lifting my spirits than almost anything else. Whatever problems I had yesterday, now, with this new sunrise, I have a chance at a fresh start. (Don’t get me wrong…I love a romantic sunset too!)
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.
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.
Whether they're out of routine, jet-lagged, or eating less healthily, kids always seem to get ill on holiday. Dampen the impact of broken nights, frayed temperaments and fevers by packing an easy-to-swallow medicine such as Calpol in the UK. Other basic ingredients in your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, and a thermometer.
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.
Our family recently made our first trans-Atlantic trip as a family of four. Two parents, a two-and-a-half-year-old, and a two-month-old. My husband and I have visited family in England with our eldest son on two separate occasions. This was our first time being equally matched in number by our children. We knew that the days where we could sleep on the overnight flight, or catch a movie or two on the afternoon return home, were long gone, but there was so much more. Trying to keep track of a runner in Heathrow airport, trying to use the bathroom with no free hands, suddenly finding that the "wake up" game is not fun for strangers. Traveling with children on long flights presents a unique set of challenges.
It is almost May. I’m slightly alarmed by this. Not just because the year is zipping by, and I’m wondering how I squandered away all that time with so little to show for it (Whither the sample chapter of the great American travel memoir, Everywhereist? Whither the clean laundry you were going to do?), but because I am coming up on another anniversary.
“Make sure they have taken care of all bathroom needs prior to the plane ride and be mindful of liquid intake afterward and its impact on bathroom frequency. It may sound harsh but know that we cannot always accommodate an emergency bathroom trip. This last weekend I had a dad come up to the front just as we were taxiing, telling me his son ‘really needs to go poop and can’t wait.’ I had to tell him no! If we’d let him in the bathroom, we would have had to take a delay, which is a cardinal sin in the airline world!” —Christie Poulton.
Flying Appreciate your advice I will be travelling with my 4yr old hyper active son & 10mth old daughter in June15. I know my main challenge will be to keep my son entertained. Last time I travelled with him he was 18mths & was a nightmare as we took 2 7hr flights travelling nearly 24hrs, other passengers were not impressed with is screaming. I did find it difficult to deal with the stares & comments under their breath when I was trying my hardest to sooth him. I myself could not act in the manor these passengers did, no compassion, I myself would've offered to help. My daughter is a lot younger & the flight is not as long, I intend to keep her carm & hold off her nap How can I stop my children being inquisitive. I have started the in flight game with my son which involves him taking care of his sister, using the fact I limit his help at home. I know he will love the present game, his rewards at home are harder to achieve. I am so excited for this holiday & more relaxed reading your tips.Thanks Reply
3 If your children have special needs, it can be helpful talking to parents whose children have similar conditions, and who may have useful travel tips - try disabledfriends.com or youreable.com. Getting an identity bracelet that has details of your child's medical condition, treatment and their doctor's name is useful in case of emergencies (medicalert.org.uk).
Our detailed how-to guide spells out how to find mistake fares easily on your own. Basically, AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying are great resources to stalk for finding mistake and sale pricing as they conglomerate slashed ticket rates all in one spot. Another great approach is to search for flights for an entire month using Skyscanner (Tip #3 in this article). This will allow you to easily spot a significantly reduced fare against what’s displayed that month, and has twice helped us stumble on error fares ourselves.
You can take these all the way to the gate and they will check them for you for free at said gate. Sometimes you do need to get a tag for them when you drop your luggage, so make sure the agent gives you one. So if you’re a stroller person, stroll right up. And if you’re bringing a carseat, I highly recommend that be attached to that stroller! A two-in-one is the only way you won’t end up miserably lugging it all over. We didn’t travel with a stroller for most of the first year, preferring to just use a carrier.
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!
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.
“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.
This may be a fluke for our particular itineraries and that our starting airport is almost always Tel Aviv, but with the timing and everything else we generally opt to take a layover in Europe (we usually need to get to Miami first when flying to the states and can check bags through if we stop in Europe whereas a long flight to JFK then a flight to Florida means customs, getting bags, rechecking bags, etc etc etc).
1 If this is your first trip with your children, plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt. If you want to see more than one place, be realistic about what you can cover with little ones in tow. The less you feel you have to pack in, the more enjoyable and stress-free the holiday - and you'll be better able to take the odd day indoors in your stride if the weather is bad or the kids need to rest.
It’s summer, and time for the big annual summer holiday! If you're flying with kids you might be worried about arriving in one piece. What if they act up, or spend the whole flight screaming? What if you land more frazzled than ready for fun? We could say "stuff 'em" and tell you not to worry about people who tut and sigh, but we know it's not that easy.
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.
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.
Flying with babies and small children is an activity most of us wouldn't wish on our worst enemies. Yet sometimes, it has to be done - especially if you consider the alternatives - the car ride from hell? A slow boat to China? Horse and buggy? One dad admitted that on one plane trip, he let his kids drop items on the floor and then kick him in the head when he went to retrieve them. They got a big chuckle out of it, and they were too little to do much harm. He thinks, anyway.
"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."
Do you usually toss your boarding pass as soon as you step off the plane? You might want to reconsider. Your boarding pass can serve as proof of travel if your airline fails to give you the proper credit for frequent flier miles; this type of problem is particularly common if you’re flying on a codeshare partner of the airline in question. Your boarding pass can also be useful as a receipt for tax purposes, particularly if you’re self-employed.
But I’ve learned a ton from my experiences, too. To celebrate seven years since I stumbled my way out of the U.K. and began a life of full-time travel, I’ve compiled an enormous list of my biggest and best travel tips. These are all things that I wish someone had told me before I started traveling, so I hope you’ll find them useful, inspiring, educational, and entertaining.
They know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. They even offer discounts on attractions and transportation. It is their job to help you experience the destination better. It’s amazing how many travelers skip this when they are visiting somewhere but, as a savvy traveler, you know to use this resource! This is probably one of the most underused travel tips in the world. Use the tourism board! Save money!
"It's not exactly in the middle of nowhere." That's what I find myself saying whenever someone says to me, "I'd never go on a transatlantic cruise." I have to admit, while not exactly in the middle of nowhere, there isn't a whole lot of activity going on around you, except maybe for an occasional whale or dolphin sighting. You do feel like you are out there all alone. Kind of.
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…
Are you traveling on vacation to Europe, the United States, or another country of your choosing throughout the world? Perhaps you are staying at a five-star resort or want to stay at a five-star resort but don’t know where to look for information about the best types of places to stay. Whatever the case, chances are that you’ve stumbled upon TheTravelBoss in an attempt to find great travel information.
If your flight is canceled because of something the airline did (as opposed to the weather), they are required by law to feed you and put you up in a hotel. You also receive a full refund for a canceled flight within seven days. The EU has its own set of delay compensation guidelines as well, ranging from 250 euros for short flights delayed under three hours up to 600 euros for flights between EU and non-EU airports that originate in Europe. That means if your flight home to the US is delayed, you’re still entitled to compensation. These rules still apply for many European-held islands in the Caribbean, like Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Your tips are great, and I definitely agree with #1. Like you, we started off traveling as a couple. In fact, we met when we were both backpacking through Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam. Now that we have a toddler, we tend to pick family-friendly vacation destinations. This year, we traveled to Barbados for two weeks. The beaches are amazing, the food is awesome, and most importantly, the locals are very friendly.
Because carry-on requirements vary by airline (9″x14″x22″ is standard for Delta, United, and American Airlines; Southwest allows 10″x16″x24″) it’s best to confirm space allotments and measure your bag before you pack. And if you stuff it to capacity, measure the suitcase again before you leave. Make sure you’re following these golden rules for stress-free air travel.
A poorly timed pre-takeoff bathroom break could hold up the entire flight. “There’s a sequence to taxiing and getting in line for takeoff,” Sara Keagle, a veteran flight attendant and blogger at TheFlyingPinto.com, told Woman’s Day. “If somebody gets up to use the restroom, we have to tell the cockpit, and they have to stop the plane and wait until the person is back in his or her seat and buckled up. During that time we could lose our spot in line.” Learn some more secrets flight attendants won’t tell you.