“Infants have very small Eustachian tubes which allow the pressure to equalize in their inner ears. This can mean a lot of pain and crying during takeoff and landing because little kids have no other way to tell you their ears hurt. Having something for them to suck on during the ascent and descent, like a lollipop or pacifier, will help lessen the pain—for everyone.” —Mike Gudmundson. Here are 7 more ways to soothe your kids’ ears on your next plane ride.
One of the first lessons I learned on the road was that your plans will nearly always change. You’ll arrive in a place and hate it and want to leave immediately, or you’ll fall in love with a destination and want to spend longer there. You’ll make friends with a group of awesome people and want to change your plans so you can travel with them for longer, or you’ll find out about an amazing town that’s nearby and want to head there instead.
Whether they're out of routine, jet-lagged, or eating less healthily, kids always seem to get ill on holiday. Dampen the impact of broken nights, frayed temperaments and fevers by packing an easy-to-swallow medicine such as Calpol in the UK. Other basic ingredients in your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, and a thermometer.
Is it your first time flying? If you're a plane virgin looking ahead to your maiden flight, you're sure to have a few questions, some of which you may be too embarrassed to ask your jet-setter friends. If your first flight is long-haul, you'll want to read our tips for long haul flights and advice for sleeping on a plane. Read on for our tips for first time flyers, which we hope will help you to breeze through your first flight with confidence and excitement.
Don’t get discouraged over a cancelled flight just yet. The best way to handle an off-schedule flight is to call the airline as you wait on line at the ticket desk. There’s a good chance you’ll reach a phone agent first. Equally as important, you won’t have to negotiate with the same frazzled agent who’s dealt with dozens of similarly disgruntled fliers. These are the things airlines won’t tell you, but every flier should know.
They know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. They even offer discounts on attractions and transportation. It is their job to help you experience the destination better. It’s amazing how many travelers skip this when they are visiting somewhere but, as a savvy traveler, you know to use this resource! This is probably one of the most underused travel tips in the world. Use the tourism board! Save money!
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.
Because carry-on requirements vary by airline (9″x14″x22″ is standard for Delta, United, and American Airlines; Southwest allows 10″x16″x24″) it’s best to confirm space allotments and measure your bag before you pack. And if you stuff it to capacity, measure the suitcase again before you leave. Make sure you’re following these golden rules for stress-free air travel.
That’s exactly how we feel. If we are travelling that day, we’re not doing else. That priority pass is amazing isn’t it? we’ve flashed it everywhere and are amazed with the lounge access we get. Love it! The only compensation they’ve given us is a voucher to redeem points for Air Canada (Star Alliance, same as Thai Air) Both times that I tried to redeem it didn’t work, so I almost think it is a ploy just to make us all feel better on the flight so we don’t complain.
This is the safest mode of public transit. A lot of people in cities like London, Paris, and New York do not use carseats in cabs for short jaunts around town. I say this because I wondered so much what the reality was and few people were willing to just spell it out for me. I don’t encourage this, but I want moms to know the reality because I wanted to know. They take the subway or hop in the back and hold the baby or wear the baby in a baby carrier/sling. This is NOT recommended. That said, if you are going to do so against recommendations, wearing the baby and making sure that the seat belt is NOT over the baby is critical. NEVER put a seat belt over a baby on you. If you are in an accident and the seat belt is over the baby’s back, your body can crush the baby. Again, this is NOT recommended. At the end of the day, it’s up to the laws of wherever you are and you. A car seat or alternative form of transportation is always safest.

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.
As I mention above, every minute you pass without a seat assignment is another minute that your aisle or window seat is given to someone else. Your best bet is to check in online, which can typically be done up to 24 hours before your flight. But note that not all flights, airlines or classes of travel permit advance check-in (or seating assignments).
15 If it looks like you're going to be weighed down with mountains of bags, you may want to send on suitcases and bulky items such as prams via a baggage delivery company. You'll pay around £70 to send up to 30kg of luggage one way between European countries, and £110 between the UK and US, but prices per kilo come down the more you send, and you'll get better rates if you send things a few weeks rather than a few days before you travel. Try firstluggage.com or carrymyluggage.com for a quotation.
Checking out is when you’re most likely to lose something. Whenever I check out of a place, I check the bathroom, I check under the beds, I check the desks, and then I make sure I have my passport, laptop, camera, money, phone, and external hard drive. I’ll be fine if I leave anything else behind. Having a routine that you go through every single time will help you keep track of everything. I learned my lesson with this one when I left my passport behind in a guesthouse in Bagan, then left it in an apartment in London two months later.
Thank you so much for this post! I will be traveling to a few countries this summer when my son will be 14 months. Can you provide any insight to traveling with a toddler now that your daughter is older? I’m a bit stressed out thinking about how to deal with the time changes and him sleeping on the flight (red eye thankfully). What toys to pack to occupy a toddler? I’m trying to tell myself to just go with the flow as much as we can!

Spring for an afternoon in the lounge. For a fee―usually about $50 a day, which you can pay on the spot―you can take advantage of the snacks, uncrowded bathrooms, and comfy chairs at most airline club lounges, plus you can get help from the club's dedicated ticket agents. "Several times when it's looked like I would be stuck somewhere for another day, a club agent has pulled a rabbit out of his hat," says Bill Coffield, an attorney who flies between 50,000 and 100,000 miles a year.
Some parents have no choice. As part of our custody agreement, my daughter splits her time with her mother and I who lives clear across the country. Rather than calling people selfish, maybe you should offer an alternative solution to parents who share custody of a child who live thousands of miles apart. I think you’re selfish complaining about a crying child. Get over yourself. Its just a baby.
3 If your children have special needs, it can be helpful talking to parents whose children have similar conditions, and who may have useful travel tips - try disabledfriends.com or youreable.com. Getting an identity bracelet that has details of your child's medical condition, treatment and their doctor's name is useful in case of emergencies (medicalert.org.uk).
Skyscanner Co-founder Bonamy Grimes has a clever solution for that desperate moment when nothing seems to make it all better: “stock up on toys, but make sure you hold back a favourite teddy that you bring out on the plane, and keep one in reserve for the way back.” There is always the risk of losing a cherished companion in transit, which is heart-breaking, so whenever you buy them a soft toy, buy two and if the worst happens, substitute New Peppa for Left-On-Plane Peppa.
Select your seats ASAP. “If you have a disability and need a premium seat in the bulkhead, tell the agent when you make your reservation rather than at the airport,” says David Martin, a Delta passenger-service specialist who creates the airline’s policies for customers with disabilities. Other passengers might be able to nab those seats 24 hours before the flight, when they’re made available to everyone through the airline’s website.
Canada is known for its intense winter weather conditions, so it’s important to keep a constant eye on the country’s rapidly changing weather. The Weather Network is a good website to track conditions. In winter, be prepared for road closures due to avalanches and snowstorms. If driving in winter, ensure your rental vehicle is equipped with snow tires.
This may be a fluke for our particular itineraries and that our starting airport is almost always Tel Aviv, but with the timing and everything else we generally opt to take a layover in Europe (we usually need to get to Miami first when flying to the states and can check bags through if we stop in Europe whereas a long flight to JFK then a flight to Florida means customs, getting bags, rechecking bags, etc etc etc).
This list is incredible and so unbelievably helpful to me – I just wanted to say how happy I am to have discovered your blog and your book! I’ve been battling anxiety my whole life and am five days into my first ever solo-backpacking trip for in SE Asia. Two days ago I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, so I googled how to deal with travel anxiety and stumbled across your work. It made me feel so much better and I’m doing my best every day to follow your example and push myself far beyond the limits of my comfort zone. Thank you for being you and for all of the inspiration you’ve given me in just a few short days – can’t wait to finish your book and catch up on the backlog of posts I’ve missed!

It was wonderful reading your blog. The tips are informative and very helpful. I totally agree with points 2 and 6. During my previous tours, I had to cut visits due to lack of time. Talking to the locals can help you get a better insight into the places. During my last travel, I got good help from the locals to find the best affordable restaurants to try the local food.
All great tips! I’ve learned many of these the hard way. I’d also include carrying some stomach meds in that first aid kit, just in case. They’re usually easy to find in big cities but might be tougher if you’re in more rural areas or traveling on a day stores are closed. Plus that way you might not have to be as paranoid about eating the delicious street food!
Ok so I am not going to apologies to you or anyone for being a parent. Parents have enough on their plates to go catering to your likes and dislikes!! No parent would want to purposely travel with a toddler /baby unless they absolutely have to .. You think they put themselves through the stress and the agony for fun?! Shame on you for shaming parents who are just trying to do the best they can. My family will always come first…i dont owe anything to you and people like you. why dont YOU get yourself noise cancelling phones…or cancel your flight if the babies bother you that much..just grow up! “selfish and anti social” …miss queen bee here doesnt want babies around when she is travelling coz her precious sleep will get disturbed. Even when I was not a parent i did not hate on parents travelling with babies. it was just something i accepted as part of life …i would just deal with it.
Spring for an afternoon in the lounge. For a fee―usually about $50 a day, which you can pay on the spot―you can take advantage of the snacks, uncrowded bathrooms, and comfy chairs at most airline club lounges, plus you can get help from the club's dedicated ticket agents. "Several times when it's looked like I would be stuck somewhere for another day, a club agent has pulled a rabbit out of his hat," says Bill Coffield, an attorney who flies between 50,000 and 100,000 miles a year.
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I wanted to add this to your comments to encourage your followers to do it- travel with your babies/toddlers/preschoolers/kids/teens and if possible, your adult children. It can be troublesome as you have pointed out, and is as much work as it is play sometimes. But it’s so worth it! At 24 and 26 our daughters are still enthusiastic about traveling with us (next trip Amsterdam/Tunisia/Morocco/Paris) and now they take over much of the planning. It’s also a thrill to be connected to your kids through the memories of your shared experiences. Soon they will marry and have families, and maybe we won’t be ale to travel together as much. So seize the opportunities when they are young!
Really awesome photos as always. Dave and Deb, my girlfriend and i we love your life style. You guys really inspire us. Thanks to you we have been traveling asia for 6 months. To be honest i was thinking its really bad idea to travel with your GF but after all experiences, this is the best way for traveling. Thanks for the whole site and this valuable tips.
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7 Supervised childcare such as a kids' club sounds good, but can mean little more than a bunch of children lumped together in front of a TV while an attendant keeps an eye on them. Ask how many children are cared for, whether groups are split according to age, and what specific activities might be - and be prepared to check it out yourself when you arrive. If anything seems amiss, be prepared to cancel your plans and start looking for alternatives.


Wittenstein’s experience taught him to take a more relaxed approach to itineraries when flying with kids. “If a layover is unavoidable, try to make it a long-ish one,” he said. “There’s plenty of time to get to the next flight, and kids have time to run around. Keeping the airport experience stress free helps make the flight a lot easier.” There’s also the chance you can get a real meal into kids before re-boarding.
Depending on your airline and duration of the flight, you may be served one or more meals on the plane, as well as drinks (including a limited amount of alcohol) and snacks. You'll already know if these refreshments are included, as you'll have been asked about your dietary requirements when you booked the flight. If you weren't asked, food and drink will normally be served but you will have to pay extra for it. Don't worry if you forgot to bring cash: most planes are now equipped with electronic card readers.
Airline credit cards generally lure you in with promises of free bags, but other credit cards offer this perk, too -- take five minutes and call your credit card company to see if this applies. Many companies also automatically offer travel insurance, which means you won’t need to buy that from the airline either. Just remember travel insurance isn’t “I decided to sleep in” insurance, and only applies in situations stipulated in the policy. So maybe read up on that.
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.
This works if you have a child that’s content to be in their car seat. Our son hated his car seat and would scream through 10 minute car rides to the grocery store. Part of the problem was his refusal to sleep in it. We often flew to avoid the car seat for any significant length of time. He was and still is wonderful on an airplane. There’s just something about being able to wiggle around and snuggle close to mom.
If you’re suffering from food poisoning, it’s best to let it run its course rather than clogging yourself up with Imodium, but there are some situations where it just isn’t possible to do so. I’m talking flights, long bus journeys, booked tours, and anything that requires you to leave the bathroom. A large supply of Imodium is something I always have in my backpack for these emergencies.
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!
Love this. Everything about it. Our friends thought we were insane taking our little lady everywhere with us. She’ll be two next month and we’re squeezing in one more international trip before then (infant in arms saves so much!) I think her flight count will be 50+ at two years. Only thing I’d add in is specific remedies I bring for colds, headaches, restlessness etc. Bach’s Rescue Remedy has been a lifesaver for us!
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