Not using a money belt is not great advice. Not showing you have a money belt is. I was express kidnapped in Peru by a fake taxi, robbed at night on a train in India and was pick pocketed in the Philippines. I had an additional incident in Peru with a mugger who slammed into us at tried to snatch and grab one of my two companion’s bag. I carry several extra credit cards, a second cell phone and my passport and hundreds of dollars in backup cash when traveling, which I keep in pockets that are going to require my cooperation for a thief to access. I keep cash and my preferred credit card in separate pockets in my outer garments, and figure that whatever is there has to be of low enough value that it is expendable in the event of criminal action. Amazon has packs of 20 zipper pocket pouches that can be sewn into clothing. In addition to shooting pictures of the serial numbers of my phones and cameras, I email photos of my birth certificate, passport, passport photo, driver’s license, and credit cards (front and back). Plan on being robbed at some point. If you travel long enough, it is going to happen. I live near Khao San Road, and just going to the market is an opportunity for a smash and grab or a sleuthy pick pocketing. I plan accordingly, and use money belts for my passport and Departure Card as well as secondary credit card and emergency cash. Having been to emergency rooms twice in Thailand and Vietnam once, it is necessary to have several hundred dollars worth of cash on hand for emergencies. ATMs and bank balances are nice, but can be pretty worthless if you are not in a major city when fortunes change for the worse.
Flying with an infant of this age means one thing for mom (or dad)… YOU’RE BUSY. But this is also one of the more rewarding and fun times to travel with your baby. They’re alert, you can usually figure out what they need when they need it, and they’re still quite easily distractible. Unlike newborns, babies of this age are at least in the beginning stages of a routine, and while that makes your life easier as a parent, an understandable fear is blowing that routine by hitting the road.  Read More…
When I was in Peru in 2010 with the intention of hiking the Machu Pichu Trail,that year there was massive floods and we were not allowed to do that hike.I had a Goretex jacket,hiking poles and boots ,and also I purchased some things along the way ,I had another 50 days left of my trip in South America and I did not want to carry all this extra stuff in my pack sack,one of the guides told me / us that we should send it home , from Lapaz Bolivia,where postage was cheap ,about $40 USD. Doing this I saved lots of space and weight,if you want to buy something some where sent it home ,mail parsel post.

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.


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.


We have a fun new product that can definitely help with young travelers. Check out MyPlaneSpace at MyPlaneSpace.com – it’s an arm-rest divider! Works wonders to help kids keep their own space while sitting next to each other or other strangers on the plane! Plus it helps as a great germ barrier between your child (or you!) and the person seated next to them.

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.


I would prefer to book aisle seats on international flights, I really use the bathroom and I find it uncomfortable to ask other people to give me space if I´m on the window seat, plus I´m always tempted to go to my hand luggage in international flights to take out the book, or put it back, to take out some slippers or put it back… I´m such a mess hehe… so I really need the aisle seat…
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.

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.


TripAdvisor is fine when you need opening hours or an address, but when it comes to reviews I ignore it completely. People always leave a negative review when something bad happens but rarely leave a positive review when something good happens so the reviews tend to be skewed. On top of that, it’s very easy to create fake reviews and make a place seem better than it is. Many hotels and restaurants hire firms to artificially inflate their reviews on the platform. Additionally, TripAdvisor has been known to take down reviews that are overly negative as well reviews on sexual assualt. Use TripAdvisor with caution. Or better yet, don’t use it at all.
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.
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.

I book all of my flights through Skyscanner, because it consistently finds cheapest deals. The key here is to keep things flexible: I look at flights to an entire country (or search for “everywhere” if I’m not sure where to head next) and look at prices over a whole month. I don’t collect points and miles, but I still rarely spend more than $500 on a long-haul flight.

We had a pretty rough go on our way home from Kauai–with a near 45 minute scream session. I tried to stay calm, and just hone in on taking care of his needs, and did my best to ignore the stares & groans. Our little guy finally passed out for about an hour only to wake up and start again–then I was able to distract him with my old-timey phone with actual buttons (rather than a touch screen) 🙂
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.
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.
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!
Some people may not be comfortable doing this, but we were. In New York, Paris, Tokyo, and London (namely major cities) there are very reputable and well vetted nanny / sitter services. We have personally used them in New York and London. In cities where we know people, we ask friends to connect us with a sitter. For instance I’m headed to Morocco this weekend alone with Eula, and I do have to work while I’m there. To accomplish this, I had a friend help me find a sitter. I’m doing the same while living in Kyoto for 2 weeks. If you don’t have friends where you’re going and it isn’t a major city, consider asking the AirBnB host or the hotel as they often know reputable people or agencies. Again, who you leave your baby with is a matter of your own personal judgment and if you ever feel uncomfortable…don’t do it!
I made a lot of mistakes over the past five years. I’ve been scammed in Russia, China, Laos, the Maldives, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. I managed to lose half the things I was originally travelling with. I’ve got lost more times than I can count. And homesick. I fell in a rice paddy. I sat next to a dead body. I was caught up in a tsunami. You guys know my list of travel disasters is seemingly never-ending!
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.
This is the key to packing light. Obviously if you’re just gone a week, this probably won’t be an issue, but any longer, and I recommend it. A lot of hotels have a laundry service and a lot of AirBnB’s have machines. We have used laundromats when we had to. You can get away with packing a lot, lot less if you do laundry! And I also recommend carrying some sort of spot removal cleaning type of thing. Cause spots, they happen. I don’t travel with a Tide stick or whatever, but I probably should. I often end up buying stain remover at the local shop. You can also spot treat with vinegar and baking soda if you’re chemical free.
So many travellers preach that it’s all about experiences not possessions, but you know what? Sometimes possessions can offer beautiful reminders of the experiences you’ve had. I only started buying souvenirs from every country I visited in the last year, and I wish I’d been doing so from the start of my trip. And if you’re worried about space in your backpack, just mail them off to a friend or family once you’ve bought them and your pack will be none the heavier. My friend Jaime collects magnets from every place he visits and I’m so jealous of his collection!
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.
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.”

Travel isn’t conducive for sleep, whether it’s snorers in dorm rooms, early risers rustling plastic bags, or drunk backpackers stumbling around in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t stay in hostels, you’ll still have to deal with street noise from outside, loud bars nearby, and uncomfortable overnight journeys. Pack some ear plugs and a sleep mask in your bag to help improve your sleep. I’ve been using Sleep Phones to block out light and listen to podcasts and I love them.


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.
And instead of a normal wallet I take a tiny leather pouch with a zip with me on travels. It’s probably meant for keys and maybe for some coins (has two sides and it fits into palm of hand) but I use it even for notes and it’s much lighter and smaller than my normal wallet. When I’m back home and switching to it, I’m like “why the hell do I even have a wallet this heavy?” :D

While pouring all your efforts into project managing your offspring’s on board, in-transit behaviour, don’t forget to look after your own wellbeing and comfort. Take care of yourself and the rest will take care of itself. If you are in good form, you’ll be far more able to cope with the inevitable tests thrown at you by your errant charges. So, pack your passport, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and read our article on how to avoid those common mistakes that can ruin your holiday before you have even taken off.
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.
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).
If it looks like the delay is going to cost you more than the airline is offering -- like if you had a non-refundable hotel reservation, or miss a private helicopter ride (look at you!) -- you’ve got 30 days to try and get as much money out of them as you can. But once you put a check into your bank account, you’ve essentially agreed to accept whatever you were offered.
I’m actually the oldest kid (teenager), but I saw this on Pinterest and thought I’d check it out since I have a younger sibling and flying with him…yikes. If I could say one thing, parents, fly with your kids when they’re young! I have been flying since I was too young to remember, so I’ve never been afraid of it, same with my brother, and it just makes life so much easier. I flew alone for the first time when I was ten, and flew international for the first time (NOT alone) the next week! My first flight that was more than ten hours was last summer, eighteen hours to South Africa, and I was fourteen. Now I’ve gotten to fly with my school several times, and I’m always shocked by the kids who don’t even know how to go through security: or who have never flown at all! Fly with your kids, I know it really helped me out, and I now I plan to move to Europe after college.

Let’s face it, you’re probably going to need allies on this aircraft. So while you’re in the waiting area, be sure to strike up conversations with any other parents who are getting on your flight. Ask the standard questions like, “How old is your little guy?” and “Do you happen to have any children’s Gravol?” You may not become lifelong friends with these people, but at least you’ll have someone to exchange frustrated glances with when your toddler is having a meltdown at 30,000 feet.
Instead of carrying a noise machine (thumbs down to extra gear!), since we both travel with a cell phone and a laptop, we just use the RainyMood.Com or the RainyMood app on one of those four devices. If neither of you feel you can sacrifice one of your devices to play the noise, consider a small iPad as that will help with the next tip too. This saved our freaking lives. Eula turned out to be a light sleeper, and if it weren’t for rain noise we wouldn’t have been able to breathe in the same room she was sleeping in. Definitely download the app on your phone for times when you don’t have an internet connection. That’s critical.
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!
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!)
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.
If your bag is delayed, not lost, airlines will try to placate you with $25 or $50 each day. But the DOT says that’s not enough to salvage a wedding, a ski trip, or an important business trip. These companies can owe you up to $3,500 in liability for a domestic US trip, so long as you've got receipts -- you’ve gotta prove to the airline the relative value of what you had in the bag, and why you needed it before the luggage could be delivered. That’s not to say this isn’t your big chance to upgrade your suit collection. It’s just that if there wasn’t an event you needed the suit for before your bag showed up, you might not get full reimbursement.
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.
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.
Another thing! as well as the earplugs, I would definetely suggest the sleeping mask, for those who can´t sleep unless everything is really dark, and I find it difficult to sleep on planes with the lights they keep on during the flight (I need total darkness) and this is very useful for hostels or dorms where there is always somebody turning on the lights while you are sleeping…
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!
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).

Great list of travel tips Dave and Deb. I would like to recommend to fellow travelers to book in very last minute, ideally on the day when you travel, to get the best rates. Most hotels and hostels are willing to give you half rate or even better price just to not have a free room (which does bring them exactly 0). I booked couple of rooms for just $1 with this method on my trip to Japan!

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.
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.
Scan a copy of your passport, any visas, and any debit/credit cards you’re traveling with. Password protect the documents, and email a copy of them to yourself and to a family member . If everything you own gets stolen, you can access them safely from your email account, take your copies to your embassy as proof that you’re who you say you are. Plus, you’ll be able to buy flights home and pay for accommodation with your debit cards to keep travelling/go home in an emergency.
27 Some airlines let you check in online, which allows you to book preferred seats from home and cuts out queuing. When you get to the airport, you usually join a fast-track queue to hand over your checked luggage. Similarly, train stations which feed airports occasionally have check-in facilities, meaning you're then free to board the train with the children but without the bags. Some airlines allow you to check in luggage in advance, sometimes as much as a day before you fly. Though you have to make an advance trip to the airport to do this, the advantages are that you get to turn up a little later than usual on the day, and will have your hands free to tend to your children.
“Don’t pull out all your tricks at once. Too many times I see parents pull out the snacks and have a movie playing while we’re still boarding. Flying for most kids is exciting. Let them just take it all in for a while. Save the snacks and tablet time for when they’ve actually gotten bored with the experience.” —Keri Kuhlmann, flight attendant five years
THANK YOU so much for this!! I just found out that I’m pregnant, and my husband and I are determined to not give up our love of travel when baby arrives. It’s wonderful that you have been able to share the world with your girl! Thank you so much for sharing all of this incredible knowledge and experience, and for demystifying the concept. This makes me even more excited to become a mom 🙂
48 Apart from taking photographs, there are lots of ways to help your children preserve memories of your trip. You could buy a postcard for each destination and help them to note a single memory on the back, alongside the date or their age. You could also get them started on collections of things that can be found in most places, such as badges, paperweights, model cars and boats or toy animals.
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’re probably not drinking enough, especially if you’re traveling through hot, humid countries. If you can drink the tap water, make the most of it and get your two litres of water a day. If not, help the environment by bringing a Steripen along, rather than buying dozens of plastic bottles of water — a Steripen kills more than 99.9% of harmful microorganisms, including giardia, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, making tap water safe to drink.
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.
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