Hits the nail on the head on so many points. This brings back many memories of our travels, like when we packed too much and wanted to kill each other since we were both so miserable with our heavy bags. And the time we had to give up on the hostel in Morocco and paid for a pool day pass at the Sofitel. We felt like we were cheating, but in the end, we needed the rejuvenation. Always love your posts, thanks for the inspiration and congrats on all the years of traveling together!
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.
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.
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.
Even the most seasoned travellers sometimes get confused by airline rules about baggage allowance but as a flying newbie, the first thing to get your head around is the difference between cabin and hold luggage, then to look into whether or not you need to take both: usually, if you're travelling long-haul (that's a flight that lasts six hours or more), you will want to 'check in' at least one piece of hold luggage which you'll need to leave at the check-in desk before boarding. It'll then be returned to you at the other side, where you'll need to identify it on a luggage carousel.
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.
“Once you’ve sat down, fastened your seat belts and gotten settled in, resist the urge to allow your toddler out of the seat to walk around. If you let them get up to roam the aisles they normally lose it when it’s time to sit back down. Not to mention that it’s dangerous to let them wander, even if there is a parent close by. There are many fall hazards and unexpected turbulence as well. With my own kids, I’ve found they did much better on medium/short haul flights if they were never allowed to get up from their car seats except to go to the bathroom.” —Agnes J., flight attendant for 20 years
The farther you go, ideally the longer you should stay (if you can) so that you can avoid over-scheduling and build in a few days to get over jet lag. When we took her to Tokyo it took at least 3 days for her to stop waking up, and I mean WIDE “It’s morning!” awake, in the middle of the night. It isn’t something you can fight—someone has to get up with her. Best to take turns. It’s just par for the course. If you’re a total planner you could start trying to change their schedule before you leave, but eh, that’s not our style. We just live through it and bask in the rewards of our suffering: seeing the world and showing it to our baby! Ultimately, I find the baby recovers faster than we do because she’s still in touch with her body. My biggest tip is to try, try to keep the baby awake as long as possible in the evening, ideally until bedtime, and try to prevent naps to close to bedtime.
Great tips! I have three kids. Though they are growing at this moment, I still recalled those days when I was packing their stuff and I had to bring three big luggage for only a one-day trip to other city. It was tiring, though I tried hard to enjoy my quality holiday with them. I know how it feels when I was very hungry and I brought nothing to eat, as everything within the luggage are my kids’ belongings. LOL
Thanks for sharing the link, Hayley! I’ll check it out. The flights I buy are usually super-cheap, though, so I don’t feel as though I’m spending a ton of money on them as it is. As an example, this year, I’ve flown Lisbon to Cape Town for $250 return, Copenhagen to Los angeles for $100 one-way, and Rome to Tokyo for $200 return. So I’m not like, oh man, I really wish I wasn’t spending this much money on flights. But as I said, will check it out nonetheless!
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.
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.
Another thing! as good as it is to take earplugs (plus most airlines charge for those) it´s good to take a sleep mask for those who can´t sleep without total darkness, and in planes there´s always subtle lights left during the flight, they are also very helpful at hostels or dorms where there´s always somebody turning on the light while you´re sleeping…
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.
Even if you have a well-traveled infant, all bets are off once they enter the world of young toddlerhood. As things change for your little one, you need to change your expectations, and come up with new tricks for managing sticky situations. Flying with a toddler is no exception. And young, pre-verbal toddlers can definitely give you a run for your money. Read More…
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.
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/.
And instead of a normal wallet I take a tiny leather pouch with a zip with me on travels. It’s probably meant for keys and maybe for some coins (has two sides and it fits into palm of hand) but I use it even for notes and it’s much lighter and smaller than my normal wallet. When I’m back home and switching to it, I’m like “why the hell do I even have a wallet this heavy?” :D
Seriously, f%&^ this. After suffering through a baby that screamed from the US to an hour before landing in Germany I am seriously done with people that travel with kids. I took my child on the first flight at age 9, intentionally. Most kids travel okay, but when they don’t, you literally ruin the flight for like 30 people around you. It’s not cute to give people a baggie with treats saying I’m sorry, this is my first flight – it’s rude and selfish on your part.
"I think it's great we don't have to travel in suits and high heels anymore. You can be comfortable. But you can also be classy and comfortable. Check your air carrier's rules — there are still dress codes sometimes in first class and, who knows, maybe, miracle of the day, you'll get that cheap upgrade to first class. Be comfortable, but if you can avoid wearing your pajamas, that's great."
I always love travel tips. One tip I always have a hard with is trying new food while traveling. I want to know the food is good before I spend the money or else I feel like the money is wasted. So what we started doing is buying one item I know I’ll like and my husband buy’s another item we want to try. That way we can share the food and at least I know I’m getting something I will like.
"My shoes come off once I'm settled into my seat, so I always pack wooly or thick socks and wear easy-to-slip-on shoes or boots for the flight," says Arn. Another item to consider are compression socks, which not only keep toes warm but can help feet and legs from swelling on long flights, and can also help thwart deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots). Dial shares a tip for diminutive passengers such as herself: She travels with a lightweight, collapsible footstool that she can put under the seat in front of her that lets her stretch out and elevate her legs.
“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.
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.
Once you've shown this at the check-in desk, staff will issue you with a physical boarding pass: this shows information like your flight number, the time it's scheduled to take off and your seat number. It's also what will grant you access to the aeroplane, so try not to drop it in the excitement in your first trip 'airside'! Check out our tips for getting through airport security fast and our comprehensive airport tips page for additional advice.
Thank you for this! My husband and I will be travelling with our 16 month old daughter from the Philippines to Singapore. Though it’s relatively a short trip (both the flight duration and the stay in the country), I looked up tips and tricks for travelling with an infant because…well…I’m a dooms day prepper haha. Love your photos, your darling daughter and love that you’re about breastfeeding and natural stuff but are practical and no nonsense. I pray many more safe and wonderful travels for you and your family!