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.
5 If you are looking to keep costs down, consider a home exchange. If you swap with another family you can end up with a child-proofed home, toys to play with and insider information on things to do and healthcare services. The following websites may be useful: homelink.org (house-swap organisation with over 13,000 homes in 69 countries); matchinghouses.com (house swaps for families with special needs).
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.

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.
With the ever-increasing trend towards airlines charging to check even one bag it is tempting to carry-onboard any and all bags for your flight. But, the airlines are keenly aware of your desire to avoid the fees and are on the lookout for passengers who want to stuff as much into carry-on baggage. Here are some simple steps you can take to packing a bag for carry-on and still stay within the airline rules.

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.

“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.

On a typical flight out of Australia today, seat pitch – the distance between any point on a seat and the same point on the seat in front - is 78-86 centimetres. On a similar flight aboard a Boeing 707 in the late 1960s, it was 86-91cm. Domestic flights today offer as little as 71cm aboard some Jetstar aircraft. Seat backs are narrower on modern aircraft, which helps, but we're bigger than we were in the 1960s, and broader. Seats are no wider than they were in the 1960s.

From a safety perspective, it’s good to have several people back home who know where you’ll be. I forward any flight or accommodation confirmations to my family and Skype with them several times a week to let them know what I’m up to. That way, if ever I disappear for a few days, my family will know immediately and will be able to know where I was staying at that time. It takes just a few minutes but really improves your safety.
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).
Don’t expect the gate agent to scour the interwebs to find you a seat, though. There are likely 100 other people trying to get out as well, so if you make their job fast and easy you’ll get better results. Look up the flights you want, calmly stroll up to the counter with two or three options ready, and see if they can do anything for you. If those options include flights on their airline, all the better.
According to Dr. Alisa Baer of TheCarSeatLady.com, safety is the number one reason to bring an FAA-approved car seat. “First, you can’t safely hold a baby in your arms or in a carrier during strong turbulence or an emergency. Second, families that don’t buy a seat on the plane may be letting children ride unrestrained to and from the airport. While your state may say it’s legal to ride in a taxi without a car seat, the laws of physics still apply. And third, gate checked seats can get broken or lost. Keeping the seat with your child is the only way to ensure you can leave the airport safely.”
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…
Seating advice? Got a couple of long-haul flights with my very active 2.5 year old son this summer, without hubby. Do you recommend that we go for an aisle + middle seat (easier to get up and move around, go to bathroom, etc, but no access to window and potentially more disruptive) or window + middle seat (he can watch the commotion during takeoff and landing and be further away from other passengers, but we will bother the aisle-seated passenger when getting up which we will surely do often). Any thoughts? Am already dreading this! Reply
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!
Staying Healthy on Your Flight There was once a time when flying was cool. You wanted to be a jetsetter. Today? Not so much. Either we’re getting bigger, or the seats are getting smaller (and our money is on the seats). More than ever, you must be prepared, especially for lengthy transcontinental or international flights. Looking for tips on staying healthy on your flight? We'll look into how eating ...
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!
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.
TripAdvisor is fine when you need opening hours or an address, but when it comes to reviews I ignore it completely. People always leave a negative review when something bad happens but rarely leave a positive review when something good happens so the reviews tend to be skewed. On top of that, it’s very easy to create fake reviews and make a place seem better than it is. Many hotels and restaurants hire firms to artificially inflate their reviews on the platform. Additionally, TripAdvisor has been known to take down reviews that are overly negative as well reviews on sexual assualt. Use TripAdvisor with caution. Or better yet, don’t use it at all.
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.

Leave the disciplining at home. I don't mean let your child run wild and beyond their usual constraints, but if you are working on something with your child and it comes up on the plane, well you are probably best to not use this as a learning experience. Just stick a pin in it. Keeping the child calm is much more valuable, to this mom and passenger, than using every teachable moment. Those around you will appreciate it.

Arriving early to the airport is the best tip ever! Recently, I needed to catch my Berlin-Paris flight and halfway to the airport I noticed I’d left my passport at the accommodation. It ended with me running like a mad woman, a 32,5€ taxi, a huge security line and more running. And even like that I didn’t make it on time, luckily the plane was delayed by 30 minutes!

There have been so many times when I’ve been too shy to ask someone to take my photo in a place and I’ve almost always regretted it. After five years of travel, I probably only have around 200 photos of me around the world. Photos of the beautiful places you visit are great and all, but when you get home, they’re not all that different to the ones everyone else has taken there, too. Photos with you in them are special and they’ll come to mean a lot more.
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.
You don’t want to offend anyone while you travel, so make sure you’re aware of any offensive gestures or behaviour before you arrive. As an example, in Thailand, women shouldn’t touch monks or hand them anything, you shouldn’t touch the local’s heads, say anything bad about the royal family, use your right hand for passing people things and paying, or point your feet at someone… Do your research!

Initially this one may seem to add even more stress to your journey, but it does makes sense. Oksana says that for her kids, several transit flights work much better than one long haul. “Kids have time to move (run, jump) in airports, which they can’t onboard.” Probably best not use this tactic if they don’t like the take-offs and landings, or have a habit of getting lost in airports, though.
Great list of tips! I do have to say that I have been very thankful in the past for a nearby McDonald’s. Years ago when I was not a very experienced traveler, I arrived on a train by myself in Munich. I don’t speak German beyond a very few basic phrases. The train station is large with numerous exit doors. I knew where I wanted to go but didn’t know which door to take that would put me in the right direction. After standing there indecisively for some time, I realized that I would simply have to select a door and go out. When I did exit, the sight of golden arches about 2-3 blocks away was most welcome. I knew that I could go there, order some coffee or perhaps something else breakfast-like and study my map to orient myself. It turned out that I had selected the best door to exit, but it was the ability to sit somewhere somewhat familiar that gave me the confidence to carry on with my travel plans. I agree with several other posters, too, that McDonald’s can be depended upon to have clean bathrooms, often the only ones available.
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!
Most aircraft seats are made to recline, and passengers have every right to seek a more comfortable position, but do unto others, etc. During meals, it is polite and necessary to return your seat to the upright position. Since a reclined seat might annoy the person behind, before you hit the button ensure you are not about to inflict an injury and offer a smile.
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.
3. Inside the bag, also put their ‘entertainment bag’, (I use a cloth shopping bag for this) which should be removed and carried on to the plane separately. In the bag, place their colouring pens, a small notebook, their favourite teddy, a book etc. This can then easily be placed in the pocket or under the seat, without the need to return to the big bag unnecessarily.
People laughed at me when I said that I was carrying around a dozen spare passport photos, but they’ve been incredibly useful and saved me a ton of time and hassle. Who wants to wander the streets of some rural town in Cambodia searching for someone who can take your photo? I’ve used them to apply for visas around the world, to get a new passport when mine expired while I was on the other side of the world, and I even needed one to buy a local SIM card in Nepal! Having spares in my bag meant that I didn’t have to waste a day researching and then wandering around a city to try to find someone who could take a passport-sized photo of me.
Most likely about as clean as a seat on a bus or at a café table.  Aircraft are generally cleaned more diligently when they are halted for several hours but not on a quick turnaround. Your tray table probably got a wipe some time in the past 24 hours, this is not the first time your earphones have sat on a head and no, those blankets do not get laundered for every flight. Washing hands before meals is a good idea, and don't even think of padding around the cabin without footwear.
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