Great tips. We took my first flight about 6 months ago and it went pretty well. One tip that isn’t so much flight but airport related is for a parent to enroll in the TSA pre-check. It costs $85 for a 5 year enrollment for adults and children under 12 years old can go through the TSA pre-check line using their parent’s credentials (so they’re basically free). It can literally save you anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes per flight since you don’t have to remove shoes, electronics, liquids, or jackets. The best $85 we ever spent on travel.
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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.
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.
Some of my biggest highlights are things that sound so normal: it was drinking and singing with newfound friends in the Philippines, hiking alone in the mountains surrounding Taipei, trying to guess what everything was at a wet market in Saigon, dropping my travel plans to fly home and surprise my mum for her birthday, and spending six weeks in Madrid because that’s where my friends were spending the summer.
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.
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.

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.
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 can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.

1. Choose your seats in advance. If you want to sit with your family or friends, then plan accordingly. There are too many of you who ask your fellow travelers to give up their seats — the ones we either booked months ago or paid extra for — because you didn't do it in advance or you were too cheap to pay to get the seat you really want. So either pony up for that seat or sit in the one you've been assigned.
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.

Okay, this admittedly might not work for everyone, but we have never had a “nap schedule” for Eula. She sleeps when she is tired wherever we are. That said, this is a guide for babies *under 1 year old*, now that she is older it is more difficult for her to sleep in any old situation, though she’s still pretty adaptable. Under one she largely napped in the carrier on one of us or in a stroller. We never rushed back to the hotel for “nap time”. I found letting her listen to her body and perhaps one of us stepping out to push her around or bounce her around to give her that extra nudge to sleep meant she slept as needed, but we weren’t tethered to her schedule. It was our experience that she did great on ours. You want to make sure baby sleeps during the day (2 hour at least depending on your baby to prevent an over-tired baby— the worst of beasts to be avoided at all costs), but whether it’s a stroller in a café or a pack n’ play at the hotel, it’s all the same to baby so long as she gets that good block of sleep.

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.
10. Bring snacks. Meals on flights will not necessarily time well with your child's needs, and airport food is not always suited to the palate of a toddler. Use snacks they are familiar with, snacks that don't break any customs laws, and snacks that don't need refrigerating and are still edible after a good deal of squishing. Familiarity with the snack you bring means they are less likely to vomit. Trust me, once your child is sick mid-flight once, you will be as obsessed with vomit as I am. Inside the airport, your best bet is a fruit cup, since you cannot bring your own fruit with you unless travelling within the US.
Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches, especially if you need to fly on a certain date. Budget airlines typically offer low rates as a baseline price, and as these tickets sell, the remaining ones increase in cost. This is very typical in Europe and Australia. If you know when and where you’re going, don’t wait on an unknown sale. More often than not, your biggest savings come from booking far ahead when you can.
“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.
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.
If you are an active parent ready to bring your kids on your travel adventures, you have come to the right place. We don't believe parenting means giving up your passions, especially when you travel. Here you will find inspiration to get you out the door while keeping your sanity. We bring you restaurant recommendations, favorite shops, hotel reviews, packing lists, plus activities, cultural events and more that everyone in the family (not just the kids!) will enjoy. Thanks for joining us and don't be a stranger.
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.

Travel insurance is the most important thing you get that you never want to use. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be out thousands of dollars in bills. It will be there if you get robbed, flights get cancelled, you get sick or injured, or have to be sent home. It’s comprehensive and, for just a few dollars a day, one of the best investments you can get for a trip. You may think you’re superman/woman but so did my friend who broke her arm, didn’t have insurance, and had to pay thousands out of pocket. Insurance was there when I had to replace my camera and when I popped an eardrum scuba diving! Get it! Here are some tips on how to find the best travel insurance.


I absolutely love these tips Matt! They are super humorous but so true. I love the money belt one actually. I plan to sew a secret pocket into my pants for my emergency cash – I read that somewhere and thought it was a good point. Although, come to think of it – when I want to use the cash, how do I get it out without everyone else noticing. Hahaha. I’ll figure it out.
In dollars, yes, but not in real terms. In 2015, it takes a worker on the average Australian wage two weeks of after-tax income to earn enough to buy a return economy-class ticket to Europe. In 1935, a manager on an average salary would take 70 weeks to earn the same fare. The real cost has been on a downward slope between those two extremes ever since.
Starting at ten weeks-old, I’ve flown with my children at every age and stage, and now we’re in the midst of tweenhood. In these posts, I share my concerns and the reality of our flights. They weren’t always easy or vomit-free, but I don’t regret any of them. And I speak from experience when I say that flying with infants and toddlers does get easier as they get older.
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 you don’t like a country’s customs, remain open minded, rather than immediately jumping to conclusions that you’re right and it’s wrong. Ask questions, research more, and listen to other peoples’ point of view. And don’t let your bad experiences taint an entire country — if you had a crap time somewhere, it doesn’t mean that the country sucks or it’s not safe. Maybe it was just bad luck.

Usually you will need to take your baby out of the sling or stroller to walk through the metal detector, and usually they will want you to collapse the stroller and put it on the belt. If you’re flying alone, I recommend getting everything out you need to get out *before* you get in the security line. Stash your laptop under the stroller, liquids in a ziplock, and that way you can just throw it in the tray and not be struggling to get it out while wrangling a baby *and* folding a stroller if you have one. See below for my easy-one-hand-collapse stroller recommendation. In other situations they want someone to walk through with the baby, hand the baby off, and then walk back through alone. It helps to have a partner for this otherwise a security officer can hold the baby.


A poorly timed pre-takeoff bathroom break could hold up the entire flight. “There’s a sequence to taxiing and getting in line for takeoff,” Sara Keagle, a veteran flight attendant and blogger at TheFlyingPinto.com, told Woman’s Day. “If somebody gets up to use the restroom, we have to tell the cockpit, and they have to stop the plane and wait until the person is back in his or her seat and buckled up. During that time we could lose our spot in line.” Learn some more secrets flight attendants won’t tell you.
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