43 Most tourist accommodation isn't particularly child-friendly, so once you've checked in you'll probably need to make some adaptations yourself. Start off by checking locks on doors and windows to make sure the room is secure. Check the sturdiness of the fittings - wobbly balconies and railings are unsafe and mean you should change your accommodation straight away. Point out things such as loose towel-rails or curtain rails to the staff and either agree that you can't be responsible should they fall down, or ask for them to be fixed or removed. Use insulating tape to cover exposed wires or sockets or block them off with furniture that's too heavy for your children to move. It's also a good idea to check the temperature of the hot water; it's often scalding, so you may need to warn your children.
In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority allows airline passengers to use an infant belly belt, which fastens around the infant's waist and attaches to the parent's belt. These are banned in the US for safety reasons. Many infant car seats are certified for air travel and this is a safer option but it involves buying an airline seat. A compact choice is the CARES Child Aviation Restraint System (caresaustralia.com.au).
You see that photo of me on the beach? Half an hour after it was taken, there were at least a hundred people there. I managed to explore the ruins of Tulum on my own and without the crowds simply by being there when it opened. Arrive early for everything and you’ll get to experience major attractions at their least busiest. Plus, sunrises are pretty.
You can take these all the way to the gate and they will check them for you for free at said gate. Sometimes you do need to get a tag for them when you drop your luggage, so make sure the agent gives you one. So if you’re a stroller person, stroll right up. And if you’re bringing a carseat, I highly recommend that be attached to that stroller! A two-in-one is the only way you won’t end up miserably lugging it all over. We didn’t travel with a stroller for most of the first year, preferring to just use a carrier.
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.
What happens if you arrive in a city, go to grab your email confirmation for your accommodation, and your phone and laptop are out of battery? I always make sure I have a hard copy of my guesthouse name and their address, as well as directions if I won’t be taking a taxi. Once I arrive, I’ll grab one of the hotel’s business cards, so I’ll always know where I’m staying, and can show it to locals to ask for help with finding my way back.
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.
"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.
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.
We tend to book AirBnB’s because it often gives us access to a washer/dryer (clutch) and a kitchen (clutch if your baby is on solids or if you’re not breastfeeding or if you’re pumping). At the same time, most hotels can provide a baby bed (and housekeeping, hooray!) and many have little fridges for milk storage and will happily heat bottles. There are also plenty of handy travel warmers you could try, though I won’t recommend any because I haven’t tested them myself.
If travelling for a long time, take your own device that can pick up wifi, like a smartphone or tablet. We didn’t do this because we didn’t want to bring an expensive item backpacking, but it turned out to be incredibly expensive to use the internet, or impossible to find any. Yet there is free wifi in places all around the world, and you quickly realise how often you need to tap in to things like bank accounts or travel bookings. More: 10 ways to cut your smartphone roaming costs
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.
If you’ve ever looked into flying with babies you’ll know that there are so many variations in the charges and regulations involved with taking your baby on a flight. Different airlines have different rules. Some charge for one thing; while with another it’s free. Check out the table below which explains all of the variations parents need to be aware of when flying with babies.
This is the best way to build your travel confidence and is especially easy in Southeast Asia. There are many benefits to it, too: you’ll get to discover cool places that aren’t listed online or in the guidebooks, you’ll be able to look at the rooms before you commit to staying, you can negotiate on price, and you’re not tied to a specific schedule where you need to be somewhere because you’ve booked your accommodation already.
First, do your research: are there budget airlines unique to the country you’re flying out of and where you’re headed to? Booking with a budget Australian airline (Jetstar) from Sydney to Honolulu, then an American one from Honolulu to Montreal saved us over $400 each when flying back from Australia to Canada earlier this year. This allowed us to create a thrifty five-day stopover in Hawaii on our way back, which was less exhausting and a lot cheaper! Kiwi.com and AirWander are both great search engine for revealing cheaper routes like this that involve multiple airlines.
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.
Great article. You had me at towels for galactic hitchhiking. “Don’t panic, in large friendly letters.” A fav in regular quote rotation in our house. I’m proud to say I live and do most of the tips! Will need to remember the incognito browsing. Who knew? And I’m definitely on #teamnomoneybelt. But I still can’t bring myself to step into a Starbucks. Can barely even do it in the states! Happy travels and thanks.
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.
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.
What about comfort Thank you for the tips...love to read about how to better be prepared especially flying. One of the things that my wife and I struggled with was making sure our kids were comfortable. Traveling is never comfy whether by car, plane, or any other modes of transportation so how do you ensure comfort? Then there's hotels and those too hard or too soft. What we found really worked for all of the above especially traveling is Amiba Monsters...so practical and best travel pillows ever. Just thought I would share. Reply
1. Bring new toys and books. Something that they have never seen before will hold the attention far more than something that has been played with dozens of times already. For our then-ten-month-old, it was a toy phone (not a noisy one) and a set of keys. For the one-year-old it was a new Curious Georgebook and a new car. This time, the baby needed no entertaining but the big brother did. We catered to his current obsession with Go Diego Go, and bought a few books featuring Diego. The key to this, is to not bring them out to soon. We wait until the meltdown begins and then bring out the big guns. If you bring out the secret weapon too soon, then you have no recourse.