12 If you're going to need visas for your destination, don't be surprised if they're a requirement for children as well as adults, and that their fee is the same as for yours. As many countries require visas to be collected in person by applicants (including children), you may have to make a trip to the main embassy in your country, although it's often possible to apply in writing first to avoid two trips.
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.
But alas, summer is approaching and parents around the world are planning their vacations. Well, if your destination requires a flight, and you have young kids, then you better do some advance planning. Trust me, I have learned the hard way. Having traveled on 10 overseas flights and 25 domestic flights in the past few years alone, with anywhere from 1-4 children, and once without my husband, I feel that I have acquired more experience than anyone should ever have for traveling with children on a plane.
Brilliant tips. We’re off for six months with our baby who’ll be 12 weeks old by then. Good to know that packing light is possible! We’re trying out a few travel cots at the moment to try and figure out the best one. Did you use the cot for outdoor as well? We were thinking it might be handy for the beach. Any advice in terms of clothing? Obviously she’ll grow a lot while we’re there but we don’t want to take a load! Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Loved this blog post! Makes me feel a bit better about traveling to Europe with my 6-month old in 4 weeks. Been doing a lot of research, but I feel like you can never been too prepared to travel so far from home with an infant. Luckily, we’ll be with family most of the 6 weeks we’ll be away. I was glad to see that you’ve been using the Kidco Peapod since Eula was 4 months old. Curious to know if it’s the old version or the redesigned one with the pad clipped underneath the outside of the tent? I’m sure you’re aware that they had a huge recall of the old version (about 5 years ago) due to an infant death. So now even the redesigned one has a warning to not use for babies under 1 year old. Long story short, one of my husband’s Facebook acquaintances decided to criticize us for buying this tent for our 6-month old. I honestly don’t see where the danger is anymore- feeling that the warning on there is merely there for liability. There is nothing in the tent they could potentially suffocate on. In any case, wanted to see what your thoughts were on this. Obviously, you felt it was safe enough for your (at the time) 4-month old to use.
Is it your first time flying? If you're a plane virgin looking ahead to your maiden flight, you're sure to have a few questions, some of which you may be too embarrassed to ask your jet-setter friends. If your first flight is long-haul, you'll want to read our tips for long haul flights and advice for sleeping on a plane. Read on for our tips for first time flyers, which we hope will help you to breeze through your first flight with confidence and excitement.
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!
“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?”
If you’re flying somewhere that involves a transfer, say from Canada to Australia which typically involves Canada to LA, then LA to Australia, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two legs separately on your own by adding another destination to your trip. It should go without saying that in doing this, you should not book tight layovers. I repeat: do not book layovers that are hours apart! This approach is for those who want to create an additional destination of a few days or more, before catching their next flight. The one exception is when booking with Kiwi.com, who offer their own guarantee on making connecting flights even when not with the same partner airlines.
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
Airlines are required to regularly update the public on the status of delays of 30 minutes or more. But keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult for airlines to estimate the total duration of a delay during its early stages. Weather that had been forecast to improve can instead deteriorate, or a mechanical problem can turn out to be more complex than initially evaluated.
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!
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!
This was our third trans-Atlantic flight with kids. When we made our first trip as parents, our son was nine months old. I did my dutiful research online and found a few handy tips for traveling that I still find useful today. Being prepared is the biggest key to traveling with kids. On the last flight we took prior to having our second child, Toby vomited several times. We had spare clothes for him, but nothing for us. A clean, fresh smelling T-shirt in the bag will do wonders for a sleep-deprived parent and sick child.
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.
Love this. Everything about it. Our friends thought we were insane taking our little lady everywhere with us. She’ll be two next month and we’re squeezing in one more international trip before then (infant in arms saves so much!) I think her flight count will be 50+ at two years. Only thing I’d add in is specific remedies I bring for colds, headaches, restlessness etc. Bach’s Rescue Remedy has been a lifesaver for us!
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.
Let’s say you’re flying straight to Bangkok, where you’ve given yourself three days to see the main attractions. You can plan it all out, but you’ll most likely end up jetlagged and sleeping away a chunk of that time in the city. When you’re planning how long to stay in a place, take jetlag into account, as well as general travel fatigue. Remember you won’t want to be outside exploring for 12 hours a day every single day.
Canada’s major cities have different public transport options. In Vancouver, the SkyTrain is the world’s longest fully automated driverless system, whereas Toronto uses a subway, bus, and streetcar public transport network. When traveling in rural areas, it’s safest to rent a car, as it may be difficult to get from point A to point B otherwise. Taxis and Ubers are also available in urban areas.
It's cramped, noisy, dries the skin and frizzes your hair, but flying is the magic carpet that makes our holiday dreams a reality. Leave home in the morning and by evening you can be sipping a cocktail at Ozone, 118 floors above Hong Kong, or by the pool of your Balinese villa, becoming one of world's slightly more than 3 billion passengers flown by airlines, based on 2014 numbers.
“Kids are all about the snacks. Small snacks, like cereal, will keep them entertained longer. You can try to feed them healthy snacks if you want but often treats make better bribes. Don’t worry, they can go back on their regular diets after they get off the 14 hour flight to Japan! This works especially well on grumpy teenagers.” —Mike Gudmundson. Traveling without your kids might seem easier, but here are the lamest excuses for leaving the kids at home.
One other scenario: you have plenty of time, but know that your flight is nearly full, and the line is long. Every minute you spend in line is another minute that the window and aisle seats are given away. If you check in with the skycap, then sprint to the gate for your seat assignment, you’ll often find that the line at the gate is much shorter than at check-in, and you’ll actually get your seat assignment more quickly.
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.
Starting July 1, 2018, certain goods originating from the U.S. are subject to a surtax that will apply to commercial shipments as well as goods being imported by travellers above their personal exemptions. The list of goods is available on the Department of Finance website. For more information, please refer to Customs Notice 18-08, Memorandum D16-1-1 and Frequently Asked Questions.
It’ll likely be much heavier than you think. When I first went for a walk with mine, I went straight home and took out a third of the things I had in it. This will really help you narrow down what are essentials and what you don’t need. I even have a rule when I travel that I try to throw out three things from my backpack every time I travel to a new destination. It sounds like a lot, but I include things like the paracetamol tablets I haven’t taken in nine months or my spare pair of tweezers or the pile of receipts I’ve been lugging around.
Like most savvy travelers, Cocchi dresses in layers — like a T-shirt under a warmer shirt or jacket. Carol Cruikshank of Palo Alto, Calif., who has traveled worldwide with her husband for decades, says she usually wears three layers of tops: a shell or tank under a long-sleeve tee, and a jacket or sweater so she'll be comfortable for a range of temperatures. "I stick to dark colors because, well, I've been known to spill my food down my front."