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.
Thanks for the welcome. Very happy to be here and glad our tips helped. Enjoying the Chase card and we just got the American Express Hilton Honors card that comes with 50K HH points upon sign up. Yes Hotels.com has a good rewards program, and nice to hear Raleigh has good fares to Europe as that’s a destination we are looking to explore over the coming years. Enjoy your travels.
If your flight is canceled because of something the airline did (as opposed to the weather), they are required by law to feed you and put you up in a hotel. You also receive a full refund for a canceled flight within seven days. The EU has its own set of delay compensation guidelines as well, ranging from 250 euros for short flights delayed under three hours up to 600 euros for flights between EU and non-EU airports that originate in Europe. That means if your flight home to the US is delayed, you’re still entitled to compensation. These rules still apply for many European-held islands in the Caribbean, like Martinique and Guadeloupe.
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.

Cruikshank is fond of crossword puzzles when she can't concentrate on reading, because they're easy to put down and pick up again. And though it might not be the lightest option, Schutlz likes to bring "a year's worth of magazines — from People to all the glossy travel mags — and generally a guidebook about the destination I'll be visiting." She also brings her own earbuds for watching movies, because they're better quality than what planes typically provide.
Let’s face it, you’re probably going to need allies on this aircraft. So while you’re in the waiting area, be sure to strike up conversations with any other parents who are getting on your flight. Ask the standard questions like, “How old is your little guy?” and “Do you happen to have any children’s Gravol?” You may not become lifelong friends with these people, but at least you’ll have someone to exchange frustrated glances with when your toddler is having a meltdown at 30,000 feet.
Money belts are dumb. They’re uncomfortable to wear under your clothes, every time you need to pay for something, it looks like you’re rummaging around in your underwear, and thieves are well aware of their existence. When someone robbed a friend of mine in Brazil, the first thing they did was lift up their top to check for a money belt. Just do whatever you normally do with money at home: put it in your pocket or your purse/wallet.
Baby milk is something that always throws up questions. What can you take? Will you have to taste it at security? How much are you allowed and will it be enough? To avoid these questions did you know you could pre-order your milk from Boots and collect from a store in the airports departures? Find out here which airports are available. Alternatively check out Skyscanner’s guide to hand luggage restrictions do you don’t get caught out.

“Don’t pull out all your tricks at once. Too many times I see parents pull out the snacks and have a movie playing while we’re still boarding. Flying for most kids is exciting. Let them just take it all in for a while. Save the snacks and tablet time for when they’ve actually gotten bored with the experience.” —Keri Kuhlmann, flight attendant five years
Larger crowds lead to more chaotic parking and drop-off situations and longer wait times at security checkpoints. Plan accordingly. In general, airports are most crowded on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, as these days bear the brunt of business travel. Expect Fridays to get even busier in the summer months as recreational travel peaks. You’ll find the biggest crowds of the year on Thanksgiving Eve as well as the Sunday after it. And unsurprisingly, the busiest week to fly is the one that falls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day; the Department of Transportation found that the number of long-distance travelers during this period rises by 23 percent.
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.
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.
This was a great read. I enjoyed all of your tips, but number 3. Don’t Expect Things to Be Like They Are at Home has really stood out for me. This is one of the primary reasons most of us travel, because we are tired of seeing and doing the same ol’things. If we can afford it, we may want to journey out for a change and see new things, and we’d hope this new scene is not like our home residence. Lol! We want to see something new. The world is entirely too big for us to just stay in one place. I bet you’ve learned lots on your travel. 🙂 

Food is now my absolute favourite way to get to know a place better. I love trying new things, and I’ve found a thousand amazing dishes that I never would have discovered if I’d continue to eat from supermarkets. Trying new food isn’t scary, and you’ll build your confidence up as you fall in love with more and more things. Try everything, even if you have no idea what it is. I promise you won’t regret it.
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.

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.
Here’s a confession: I gained around 20 pounds over my first few years of travel, mostly thanks to eating out for every single meal. While it can be tempting to treat yourself to junk food, and Pringles and Oreos will fuel your every travel day, resolve to have at least a few days every now and then when you go for the healthier option. Your body and mind will thank you for it. Aim to cut out the rice, bread, and beer to keep your calorie intake low if you’re feeling as though you’re gaining too much weight on the road.
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