When I decided to see if it was possible to visit the Maldives on a budget, information was so sparse that I couldn’t even find a photo of the islands I’d decided to visit. Well, that trip was one of my highlights of the past seven years and I’m so glad I went, despite not being able to find any information online. And the advantage to that lack of information was getting to be the only tourist on an entire island — I had the whole beach to myself!
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.
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.
19 Child monitors can be a real help to keep an eye on young children in crowded places such as airports and shopping malls. The parent carries a tracking device - about the size of a TV remote control - while the child wears a watch-like contraption. Should the distance between the child and the tracker exceed the user-defined range, or if the bracelet is removed, an alarm sounds. Furthermore, once the tracker sounds the alarm, you can push a button to set off a bleeper on your child's bracelet to help you track them down.
“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.
Definitely one of the best travel lists/posts I ever read and I read a LOT! :) Thank you so much for the work you put in this. I travel, too, and have my own tips but for example I never realized my pills take up a lot of space in the blister packs (plus I’m not English so I just learned new words “blister pack” :D) and that I could take them out to save the space. I love tips like these :)
Arriving early to the airport is the best tip ever! Recently, I needed to catch my Berlin-Paris flight and halfway to the airport I noticed I’d left my passport at the accommodation. It ended with me running like a mad woman, a 32,5€ taxi, a huge security line and more running. And even like that I didn’t make it on time, luckily the plane was delayed by 30 minutes!
Some people are anti-screen entirely. I get that, and if you are, try those wonderful cardboard books that baby can’t tear up. We certainly don’t shove her in front of a TV or computer as a babysitter or as a recreational activity for her, but when you are stuck on an airplane or in a car with a screaming baby, I personally have no problem playing her favorite nursery rhyme show on YouTube, “Dave and Ava”. We call it “the big guns”. Bonus there’s an app so we have it even when we have no internet like on flights or far flung destinations. She’s loved “Dave and Ava” since she was a tiny baby, which surprised me, and she loves it still, even after a year old. When things are urgent and we’re desperate, it always works to calm her down and keep her occupied, well 98% of the time. Excellent for the above scenarios or say a mad dash we’re-going-to-miss-our-flight-if-we-don’t-hurry packing scenario where a screaming baby isn’t tenable. Make sure to download the app on your phone for when there’s no cell service/wifi (i.e. on a plane). It’s expensive—like literally the most expensive app I’ve ever purchased at $24.99—but it’s been worth every mind saving penny.
"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."
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.
oh buy… my little guy (7 years old) is a walking disaster… especially when it comes to traveling and even more if we fly… he’s like a tornado, demolishes everything on his way. Talking some sense into him is no use, when in rage mode he’s absolutely non-responsive. there’s one game called Run 3 that might calm him down for about 30 minutes but that’s about it, but it doesn’t always work. he’s not interested in treats, forget about quite activities and a concept of sleeping is unknown to him, (passing out doesn’t count I suppose). I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that I need a professional help. Because you see i’m 100% positive nothing of this list is going to help. I’m kind of desperate. if anyone had/having similar issues, i’d really appreciate any advice. thanks.
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
Choose the Right Card: For an annual fee, some credit cards—including American Express Platinum ($450) and Chase’s United MileagePlus Club Card ($395)—offer complimentary access to both airline and independent lounges. American Express also recently opened the Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas McCarran and at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Access is free for travelers with Centurion and Platinum Cards, and $50 for all other American Express cardholders.
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.
“Bring as many new toys and activities as you can fit in a carry-on and can afford. New toys are always better than old when you’re a kid! You just spent a gazillion dollars on tickets, $50 or so dollars on entertainment that will keep them riveted for a seven-hour flight is a good investment.” —Mike Gudmundson Mom bloggers shared things that are lifesavers whenever they travel with children.
Blogger Vicki from online parenting magazine Honest Mum‘s top tip for flying with kids is be prepared-over-prepared. Vicki says: “you can never have too many wet wipes and snacks! Fill your bag with snacks, games, playing cards, a portable DVD player in case the aircraft doesn’t have one and make sure you buy water once you’re through check in. I always take extra clothes and medicine, you never know when your kids might get a temperature or feel unwell.”
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).
“Bring baby wipes for quick clean ups and extra plastic bags to dispose of any trash that you create. I can’t tell you how many times parents and kids leave crumbs and trash strewn across their row despite us having walked by to collect trash multiple times over the course of the flight! Think of it like a national park—you pack it in and you pack it out.” —Christie Poulton
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
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.
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.
At Rough Guides, we understand that experienced travellers want to get truly off-the-beaten-track. That’s why we’ve partnered with local experts to help you plan and book tailor-made trips that are packed with personality and stimulating adventure - at all levels of comfort. If you love planning, but find arranging the logistics exhausting, you’re in the right place.
“As a pilot, I can say that most of us don’t mind when you bring the little kids up to the cockpit. As long as it’s not a busy day, a delayed flight or storms, we will let them come in and look around and see things. Avoid before takeoff but after landing is usually a good time.” —Ryan S., pilot for four years. Here are even more secrets about flying pilots wish you knew.
To each their own! I would rather have photos that differ to the million identical photos that other people have taken of a place. It’s a souvenir; it’s something to send my family and friends, so they can see I’m safe and happy (my mum definitely wishes I’d take my photos of myself to send her when she misses me!); it’s something I can one day show my grandkids, so I can teach them the importance of travel and show them what I spent my twenties doing.
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.
Find the Best Plane: Not all aircraft are created equal. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner features higher humidity and lower pressure (to minimize jet lag) and smart-glass windows that dim on command. The carriers flying the new aircraft: British Airways, LAN, and Japan Airlines. If cabin design is important, you can also look to SeatGuru and Routehappy, which both have flight-search functions that let you prioritize legroom, Wi-Fi connectivity, and seatback entertainment over, say, price and flight time.
Knowing that you have the facility to travel so widely and so often makes me feel that you have a limited perspective into most peoples holiday regimes. Not everyone can afford to get themselves so comfortably into as many destinations as you have, your advice is very much of interest to a niche market of youngsters that do not work in factories or building sites. 100 tips just spread it out too thinly.
Better to pick up a coffee, tea, or water bottle at the terminal—the stuff on board can be downright dirty. For one Wall Street Journal piece, reporters packed samples of water from the galley and lavatory taps of 14 different flights and tested them for quality. “The results of our water-quality snapshot: A long list of microscopic life you don’t want to drink, from salmonella and staphylococcus to tiny insect eggs. Worse, contamination was the rule, not the exception: Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens, sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government limits,” they wrote. Eek.
That unused ticket for the delayed or canceled flight? It’s still good to use another time; think of it like an airline credit you got for your aggravation. If you’ve had it with that (expletive) airline and vowed never to fly them again, even for free -- you have principles, dammit! -- you can also request an “involuntary refund” for the flight from which you were bumped.
36 If the tap water isn't safe to drink, you'll need to boil, filter or sterilise your own, or buy bottled water. If you plan to use bottled water to make up formula feeds, aim to get the lowest mineral content you can. Make sure the children don't drink from taps, including when brushing teeth. Keeping a bottle of drinking water by the sink is a helpful reminder.
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…
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) 🙂
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