Excellent advice about talking to locals. When you get to know the people who live there, it really makes for a wonderful experience. And you are so right, they have the best insider tips! We’re guilty of focusing only on photos at one point as well. When we started blogging as a career, we nearly lost ourselves in the work. We now always have to remind ourselves to have balance. It’s amazing to be able to capture a moment at our fingertips, but we feel it’s just as important to stop and take it all in. It’s easy to miss the moment when you’re looking through the lens. Thanks for sharing!
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.

You might want to mention that many (most?) banks with online services allow you to instantly set daily & weekly limits on your ATM and credit card purchases, and many of them let you adjust those limits for a particular period of time, such as when you are traveling. I always set lower limits on my cards when I am traveling, just a bit of insurance.


Matrix Airfare Search, Kayak, Momondo, Hipmunk, Skyscanner and Expedia all have strengths and weaknesses, but they won't necessarily give you the same fare, even when they respond to your query with the same route, on the same day and aboard the same airline. Only by scouring multiple search engines will you find the rock-bottom airfare. Since these search engines earn a commission if you proceed to a booking, they do not usually scan for flights aboard budget airlines.
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.
Pick the Right Carriers: The airline with the best record for luggage handling over the past two years? Virgin America, which averages just 0.88 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Following close behind: JetBlue (1.88) and AirTran (2.02). American Eagle, on the other hand, averaged 6 incidents per 1,000 passengers.
"The best way to ensure your bag gets to you the quickest is to ask the counter agent very nicely if they will let you gate check your bag. The downside of that method is that you will not be able to pack liquids or any other items that cannot go in a carry-on bag as you will need to bring the bag with you through the security checkpoint and to the gate."
First you need to find your seat, and ensure all your cabin luggage is stowed away correctly. Most flights, particularly longer ones have assigned seating, so look for a number followed by a letter on your boarding pass such as '11 D'. The number relates to the row you'll be sitting in, while the letter refers to whether it's an aisle, window or middle seat. The cabin crew - who will be wearing anything from glamorous hats and heels to baggy tees in airline colours - will be happy to help you find your seat and put your luggage in a safe place, which may be in an overhead locker or under your seat.
Tapping into the wisdom of expat parents, who almost always have loved ones situated on other continents and can't always convince those dear folks to pop over to Nairobi, Tokyo, or Helsinki, here are some tips for getting through even the most difficult flight. One American mum living in Beijing says she thinks of her journeys "in stages - like a military operation." Here, then, is a battle plan.
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 won’t lie, when it comes to long haul trips (like Atlanta to Tokyo), I much prefer one and done flights. Yes, it’s 14 hours, but if you time it right the baby will sleep on the flight (do time it right for baby’s “night time”!), and it’s really quite doable. They can get insanely expensive, so book well in advance. And while you’re at it, if you can afford to, fly business or first class! I can’t…but I would if I could! Haha. Either way, try to minimize connections and the length of the journey itself.
Tai Kojro-Badziak is an architect, designer, artist, food hound & unstoppable traveler, sinking in to local culture wherever & whenever she can. She got her first passport at age 2 (Europe!) & has been keeping it active ever since. Interested in the deep culture of a place, she uses her passions for food, art, creativity & the human spirit to connect with people everywhere, learning about local habits & bringing them back to the US. She believes life should be lived richly, using her travels to inform the design process & bringing the textures of travels back to her design work.
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!”

Double-check foreign document requirements. Some countries―like Chile, Kenya, and India―require a visa for entry; others, like South Africa, won’t allow entrance unless a traveler’s passport contains at least two blank, unstamped pages. You need to be aware of such requirements before you make your flight reservations or you could get stuck Stateside, according to a source at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. For a complete list of entrance regulations, visit travel.state.gov/.


"There are very few free or discounted upgrades. The travelers that might get a free upgrade due to rearrangement of capacity or seats are given to those travelers who pay the most or travel the most with our airline. Join the airline's frequent flyer program — it makes a difference when a gate agent might need to move someone into a better cabin."

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).

Making the travel your priority seems to be a really important tip. With my income I can afford 2-3 destinations a year, each about 5-7 days and so many of my friends ask me how do I find money for the trips. Everytime I eplain that after paying the basic bills and stuff I need I try to save all my money and invest them in traveling. It is not so diffucult to travel, it just needs some serious planning if you are going to do it on a budget.
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.
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.
Don’t follow the beaten path that every traveller takes, just because you feel like you should. What interests you? What do you want to see and learn about? One of the first stops on my trip was Chernobyl — not exactly a popular tourist destination. I didn’t know anybody who had been there, but it sounded fascinating to me. This is your trip: go where excites you, not where you feel you should go.
I won’t lie, when it comes to long haul trips (like Atlanta to Tokyo), I much prefer one and done flights. Yes, it’s 14 hours, but if you time it right the baby will sleep on the flight (do time it right for baby’s “night time”!), and it’s really quite doable. They can get insanely expensive, so book well in advance. And while you’re at it, if you can afford to, fly business or first class! I can’t…but I would if I could! Haha. Either way, try to minimize connections and the length of the journey itself.
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.

"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.
In the U.S., gate checking your stroller means it’s there when you deplane. Elsewhere, you might be picking it up at baggage claim— and carrying whatever was in it. Skip the gate check and travel with an ultra compact stroller like the Mountain Buggy Nano, which takes all infant seats (no adapters necessary) and can be stowed in the overhead bin in its carry bag.
Traveling by air these days is rarely fun. Traveling during the holidays can be an outright hassle. But, why not take some tips from the road warriors who travel all the time and have mastered the art of air travel with minimal pain. Here are six tips that will make this holiday season's travel woes a little less complicated and much more enjoyable.
Many of these budget airlines have their own airline rewards credit cards, and most of them offer a major signup points bonus. For example, Southwest has a credit card associated with Chase offering 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first three months. However, a general travel rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best option for most people, as you have the flexibility to redeem your points towards a wide variety of airlines and hotels. You’ll receive 50,000 bonus points worth $625 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of your account opening. Compare this card to other travel cards here.
I cite leaving my comfort zone as the number one way in which travel has helped me. It was leaving my comfort zone that gave me confidence in my abilities as a traveller. It helped me to overcome my anxiety disorder by showing me the things I was panicking about rarely happened — and if they did, they were never as bad as they thought they would be. And it introduced me to new experiences — most of which I unexpectedly loved!
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.
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(!)
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.
Finally! I have been working on this guide for a year. This is all of the knowledge I’ve accumulated from traveling with Eula during the first year of her life. Before her first birthday she’d been on over 40 flights and to at least 10 countries. I lose exact count, to be honest. We’ve dealt with sickness on the road, jet lag, packing, blow outs, missed flights, you name it. And it’s all been fine. After over a year of traveling with a baby I can say with complete honesty that it’s totally worth it and totally doable. Yes, it’s harder. Of course it’s freaking harder. Not having a baby vs. having a baby. You do the math. But it’s not that hard. When it is hard just remember, this too shall pass. Have a relaxed, what happens happens attitude. No flight ever lasted forever, no crying spell either, no cold, no jet lag. If you’re the sort of person that would get totally freaked or exhausted or just generally not enjoy yourself over a crappy night’s sleep or on the road inconvenience, then maybe it isn’t the life for you. But if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you value travel, and in that case, it’s worth it. Totally. Babies love to watch the world go by, and ours was always happiest on the move and meeting new people. Keep reading below for my tips & experiences, packing list, a list of favorite gear, and for photos of Eula’s first year growing up on the road! Keep in mind, what worked for us won’t work for everyone, but this is what we did.
Don’t go lugging an oversized suitcase filled with a whole semester’s worth of clothes (or weird contraband) through TSA, but if you’ve got a small- or medium-sized bag you’re willing to part with for a few hours, taking it to the gate and volunteering to gate check it can save you a bag fee. It also earns you goodwill with the flight crew, as you appear to be sacrificing something for the good of the plane, even though you’re just being cheap. Of course, this doesn’t apply to airlines that charge for carry-ons to begin with, and you’re probably out of luck (meaning, there’d be an administrative fee of around $50) if you’re flying Economy Plus on a legacy carrier, too.
One thing I thnk you’d love which you may not yet know about is PortaPocket. Lets you safely, hands-free carry small essentials ON your body. Much more than any neck safe, money belt or leg wallet. It’s a patented, wearable system that’s modular, so it’s really ALL of those in one, and works almost ANYwhere on your body (& either under/over your outfit). Super confy, detachable/interchangeable, easy to use. Go from a workout to a night out without skipping a beat. I won’t leeave home without ’em, and haven’t relied on a purse to carry my valuables in over 10 years. Freedom = GOOD!!
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!
Most airlines now issue e-tickets that can be shown on your tablet or smartphone. So if you booked online and were expecting a paper ticket to arrive in the post: don't panic - you will usually be issued with all the information you need to show staff at the airport in your confirmation email, which can come from the airline you're flying with or from a third-party.

Flying is fun. In fact, flying is amazing. Remember that your little ones don’t associate budget airlines with baggage restrictions and commuting for business – they’re probably quite excited about going up in the sky. So you should be too. “Don’t forget that flying was once wondrous. To them it still is, so point out the small houses, the clouds, the setting sun…” says Skyscanner Chairman Gareth Williams. And if you’re desperate, get them to count how many passengers are on the flight. We kid you not, this has been known to work a treat!
8. Bring one carry on, and only one carry on. You no longer need a book to read, you no longer need your own snacks. You can no longer use your carry on in place of checking luggage. Once you have filled a bag with the essentials for a long flight, you won't have the strength to carry anything else, and you will appreciate only having one bag to keep track of in a busy airport.
Cathy from mummytravels.com says: “pack some spare clothes for them and for you – even now my daughter is potty trained, I’ve kept some emergency pull-ups. And you can never have too many wet wipes! That way if there are delays or you’re in a plane that’s stuck on the runway for ages, you won’t be panicking…or spending a whole flight smelling less than fresh after an accident or unexpected illness. You almost certainly won’t need it but it makes me feel much more relaxed, and I think my daughter picks up on that too. That way flights are an exciting adventure, not a potential nightmare scenario.”
But there’s no perfect model. “Parents ask me to recommend the lightest possible car seat but that’s irrelevant,” adds Dr. Baer. “Even light convertible seats will weigh 10-12 pounds, and the average seat can weigh 25 pounds. I tell parents to stop thinking about the weight of the seat and think about how well it can be secured in the plane and in the cars available in the country you’re visiting.”
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.
Airlines sell tickets at different price levels, much like tickets are sold for sporting events. If there are two tickets left for $99 and you try to book four tickets -- but the lowest price level with four tickets available is $299 -- ALL four tickets will be $299. Those two cheap ones stay on the market. So book tickets individually: it’ll ultimately save more money for the folks who book first.
“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.
Planes and public transport during the potty training days can be a nightmare. As if you didn't have enough in your hand luggage, now you're expected to add a potty, three changes of clothes and bags of wet, stinky pants. Potty-training gurus may disagree, but if toddlers are still having lots of little accidents then I'm all for putting them back into Pull-Ups on the plane.
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Although most airlines will allow you to fly with an infant on your lap for free, it’s extremely dangerous. “If there’s any impact or deceleration, there’s a good chance you’re going to lose hold of your kid, and he becomes a projectile,” the pilot Patrick Smith told Reader’s Digest. “But the government’s logic is that if we made you buy an expensive seat for your baby, you’d just drive, and you’re more likely to be injured driving than flying.” The safest place for a baby to fly is in an FAA-approved car seat. Watch out for these other things you should never, ever do on an airplane.
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