6 If you're going down the hotel route, always check for special family deals, from discounted rates to free meals for children; many international chains offer these. Most hotels and guesthouses provide breakfast, but unless it's included in the room rate, it's often a waste of money for children, particularly if they only eat a piece of bread or a bowl of cereal. If breakfast isn't included, try asking for 'complimentary' ones for the children. Alternatively, you could take along something to snack on for the first day, and buy in a simple breakfast to eat in your room thereafter.

25 If you're a member of an airline's frequent-flyer club, you may be entitled to use a private departure lounge. Facilities such as a supervised place to leave hand luggage, comfortable chairs, free drinks and snacks, TVs and spacious toilet facilities are especially welcome when travelling with children. If you're not a member, you can often use the lounges if you buy a day pass.


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.
Unfortunately, UK residents (and basically anyone who isn’t in the US) just don’t have access to the crazy amount of points that Americans can get with credit cards and whatnot. It’s not much of a thing in the UK — there are rarely signup bonuses, and if there are, they’re crap. I’m really not loyal to one particular airline, either — I fly with budget airlines 99% of the time, which don’t have rewards programs, and I only take one or two long-haul flights a year. Also! Because I spend a lot of my time in developing countries, I very rarely pay for things with a card, so I probably wouldn’t meet spending requirements.
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.
If there are no bassinets or when traveling with a baby under 2, bring a car seat onto the plane with you. If there is an extra seat (and the car seat is FAA approved) you will be given the extra seat for the baby. If not, then they will take it from you and put it underneath. This is a great option if you need a car seat where you are going. If not, it is probably not worth shlepping.
We’ve flown more with our kids during this stage than any other. And just how many pictures do we have of us on board the aircraft? Zero! In life, never mind on a plane, with a baby of this age YOU’RE BUSY. And if you’ve got an early walker on your hands (lap)? EVEN BUSIER. But this does not mean that flying has to be unpleasant. Unlike newborns, and younger babies, infants of this age are even more interactive than their younger selves, usually well-established into routines (that will NOT be permanently ruined due to travel – promise!) and since you may be starting solids, you can now (or soon!) take advantage of the calming and distracting power of SNACKS. Read More...

We’ve all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here’s some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
"The reason is simple: We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way. This can cause a problem since planes often don't have enough extra vodka, pillows, earplugs, and toothbrushes, or the time on shorter flights to deviate from the service schedule.
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.

“I don’t need to go” can quickly swing to the other end of the scale when it comes to childrens’ bladders – even the older ones. So make sure they go to the toilet immediately before getting on the plane/boat/train. Don’t give them too many fluids either or they’ll be up and down to the toilet all the way to your destination – extremely annoying for the person in the aisle seat! This is sensible advice for adults too. Drinking five pints of lager before getting on the plane is dangerous, especially if you’re held up during taxiing!

"As much as I want to dress nicely and look glamorous when traveling, my focus is being comfortable on the plane," says Vancouver-based travel writer Arnette Arn. "I never wear jeans or anything constricting. I usually will wear leggings or even fashionable sweatpants and dress them up with a nice top or sweater." Shultz's No. 1 must-have item is a lightweight pashmina shawl to use when the air conditioner spikes, or to roll up and use as a pillow.
The one thing I really have to disagree on though, and think you’re mad for not doing, is collecting points and airmiles. I cottoned on to this a few years back and every single trip I’ve taken since then has been by using airmiles and reward flights. I’ve travelled to Thailand, Finland, Croatia, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Germany, Norway and more – all with points and just paying the taxes in cash. It saves a tonne of money and even if you use budget airlines most of the time, if you pay with a points-earning credit card then you can still collect points to use on airlines where you may want a better quality experience, for a longer flight for example. I would seriously recommend American Express – I’ve had the Amex Gold, BA Basic and BA Premium Plus cards. I’ve also just applied for the Lloyds Avios rewards visa and mastercard combo for when we spend a year abroad, which also comes with 0 fees on foreign spend and earns you points. If you want more info, I find this really useful:
You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines. As a beginner card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The annual fee is waived for the first year, and you can earn up to 50,000 in bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account opening. That’s worth $625 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and more than enough for a domestic flight. You can compare this card with other top credit cards.
While many theories exist around booking specifically on a Tuesday to save money, the reality is there is no consistent truth to exactly which days are cheapest to fly. Most of the time it is cheaper to leave on a weekday, though this isn’t always the case. Your best strategy is to get a quick visual of prices for a whole month to see what days are cheapest for your specific route. Here’s how:
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.
Ask about your options. Stuck with your children at Boston's Logan Airport? An airport employee can direct you to terminal C, where a baggage carousel–style slide anchors a play area. Tired of the same old food-court choices? In the Austin, Texas, airport, make a beeline for Salt Lick―it serves up some of the state's best barbecue. You can even get through security faster by seeking out additional lines: "Airports will often open another line during peak times, so it pays to ask," TSA spokesperson Sterling Payne says.
3. Inside the bag, also put their ‘entertainment bag’, (I use a cloth shopping bag for this) which should be removed and carried on to the plane separately. In the bag, place their colouring pens, a small notebook, their favourite teddy, a book etc. This can then easily be placed in the pocket or under the seat, without the need to return to the big bag unnecessarily.
This is number one for a reason, mostly the bassinet part. You’ll survive in any seat on a short flight, though an aisle is super preferable for getting up to walk or change the baby. On most international flights there are baby bassinets that fasten to the bulkheads. You often can’t actually reserve or book them. However, I always call in advance and put in a request for one—they can note that you requested it on your ticket. It doesn’t hurt. The key is to show up early and beat the other babies! I’m only kind of joking. They are often (depending on the airline) doled out on a first come, first serve basis at the gate, so it’s essential to be early for your flight so you can be there to nab it. I also research the layout of whatever plane I’m flying and book the seats closest to the bassinet. You usually can’t book the actual seats because they are set aside for people with babies, such as yourself! We have managed to get the bassinet on every long haul international flight (and there have been many). Show up early, for real. And always call before to see if you can reserve it or at least put in a request. And note, the maximum weight allowance is usually between 20-30 lbs. This is a great comprehensive resource that covers policy by airline. 
“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.
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!

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!

Thanks to airplanes, we can now fly from places like New York to China in 21 hours — and from China to Japan in under five hours. The only problem, however, is that people who fly to and from these destinations could spend upwards of 24 hours in the air traveling at cruising altitude. That’s why it’s important to take certain measures against health hazards that come with long-distance traveling, especially ...
It’s good to have a budget to stick to, but most people tend to go over. Start saving as soon as possible (like, now) and aim to bring more money than you think you’ll need. The more money you have, the more you’ll be able to treat yourself to nicer accommodation, splurge on fun tours, and not spend your entire trip worrying that you’ll run out of cash.
Flight attendants urge parents to pack enough essentials for the flight. "Unfortunately, you can expect there to be zero food on a plane that would interest a kid," says Lynn. "And we are so limited in what we can offer in terms of comfort items as well." On the flip side, parents will struggle if they zealously overpack. "Usually, when it's one parent traveling with one or more kids, they'll bring way too much stuff in an attempt to keep their kids happy," Wendy says. "They forget they have to carry all that stuff off the plane with them, along with their kids."

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!
We’ve flown more with our kids during this stage than any other. And just how many pictures do we have of us on board the aircraft? Zero! In life, never mind on a plane, with a baby of this age YOU’RE BUSY. And if you’ve got an early walker on your hands (lap)? EVEN BUSIER. But this does not mean that flying has to be unpleasant. Unlike newborns, and younger babies, infants of this age are even more interactive than their younger selves, usually well-established into routines (that will NOT be permanently ruined due to travel – promise!) and since you may be starting solids, you can now (or soon!) take advantage of the calming and distracting power of SNACKS. Read More...

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"As much as I want to dress nicely and look glamorous when traveling, my focus is being comfortable on the plane," says Vancouver-based travel writer Arnette Arn. "I never wear jeans or anything constricting. I usually will wear leggings or even fashionable sweatpants and dress them up with a nice top or sweater." Shultz's No. 1 must-have item is a lightweight pashmina shawl to use when the air conditioner spikes, or to roll up and use as a pillow.
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.

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.

I love the tips! Thanks for sharing. With our first, we flew with him for the first time when he was 6 months old. We flew from Toronto to Hawaii which was def. a haul. He’s probably flown over 20 times since then (he’s 2 and a half now). With our second, we started early – 7 weeks early. I even flew a 4 hour flight with the two of them SOLO! And survived to tell people about it… lol


When you can, minimize. Getting through an airport without a stroller is unthinkable for some parents, so consider switching out your regular-size stroller for an umbrella stroller. If you've got more than one little traveler with you, consider a kid harness (leash), Wendy suggests. "I was so against them until I saw a woman with three young boys using them in baggage claim. It made so much sense," she says, "with the exit doors to outside right there. Look, flying is stressful enough. Do what you need to do to protect your kids and your sanity."
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 🙂

While a last-minute upgrade might seem like a good idea—especially if you often find yourself falling ill on flights—the seats in the middle of the plane are best for those with motion sickness. “A plane is like a seesaw. If you’re in the middle, you don’t move as much,” Patrick Smith, pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential told Reader’s Digest. Here are some more secrets your airplane pilot won’t tell you.
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!
What great tips! I’ve been traveling for years and there is a learning curve for sure. I had a sharp learning curve when the kids arrived because boy are traveling things different when you take the littles! One tip that never changes no matter the group or your changing situation is your #25 “Tell your traveling partner how much you appreciate them. That is SO true. Being appreciative of your family makes all things better – good times, bad times and everything in between.
Great list of tips! I do have to say that I have been very thankful in the past for a nearby McDonald’s. Years ago when I was not a very experienced traveler, I arrived on a train by myself in Munich. I don’t speak German beyond a very few basic phrases. The train station is large with numerous exit doors. I knew where I wanted to go but didn’t know which door to take that would put me in the right direction. After standing there indecisively for some time, I realized that I would simply have to select a door and go out. When I did exit, the sight of golden arches about 2-3 blocks away was most welcome. I knew that I could go there, order some coffee or perhaps something else breakfast-like and study my map to orient myself. It turned out that I had selected the best door to exit, but it was the ability to sit somewhere somewhat familiar that gave me the confidence to carry on with my travel plans. I agree with several other posters, too, that McDonald’s can be depended upon to have clean bathrooms, often the only ones available.
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."

I do it this way: I walk inside the terminal and take a look at both the length of the line for check-in, and the clock. If the line isn’t too long, and I have enough time, I head for the check-in; I get your seat assignments, can make any special requests, get credit for frequent flier miles, and can best address any problems with the flight such as delays or cancellations.
4. No temper tantrums. There's that passenger who's upset anytime their flight doesn't go perfectly. They didn't get an upgrade, their special meal didn't show up or their flight was delayed or canceled. So they decide to release their wrath on gate agents, flight attendants or whoever else they feel wronged them. Calm down and realize that things don't always go your way during travel (or in life).
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.
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.
The farther you go, ideally the longer you should stay (if you can) so that you can avoid over-scheduling and build in a few days to get over jet lag. When we took her to Tokyo it took at least 3 days for her to stop waking up, and I mean WIDE “It’s morning!” awake, in the middle of the night. It isn’t something you can fight—someone has to get up with her. Best to take turns. It’s just par for the course. If you’re a total planner you could start trying to change their schedule before you leave, but eh, that’s not our style. We just live through it and bask in the rewards of our suffering: seeing the world and showing it to our baby! Ultimately, I find the baby recovers faster than we do because she’s still in touch with her body. My biggest tip is to try, try to keep the baby awake as long as possible in the evening, ideally until bedtime, and try to prevent naps to close to bedtime.
My biggest parenting struggle is waitressing for two demanding, often rude customers (who, by the way, always neglect to tip). The same job challenge holds true for flight attendants, who love to receive a certain gratuity that most toddlers also appreciate. "Any kind of chocolate found in an airport, handed over at boarding, does wonders," says Patrick. Of course, it will have zero effect on the random bad-tempered, unprofessional cabin crew member. But it's a nice gesture nonetheless, particularly when flying around the holidays, when most flight attendants will be working and away from their families. "It will be so appreciated," he says. "And we will remember you and look out for you. And not only that, you'll probably score a free drink out of it."
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