While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you’re flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.
Since being named a Forbes Top 20 "Social Media Power Influencer" two years in a row, attorney Glen Gilmore has become a sought-after international speaker and thus frequent international traveler. But when you stand 6'5", an aisle seat is a must, especially on long-haul flights — but not every aisle seat offers the same value. One of the most unanimous tips our pros offered was using SeatGuru http://www.seatguru.com/ to get a map and description of the seats on your flight, so you won't get stuck at the back of the plane with no room to recline, or next to the heavy-traffic bathroom area.
But I’ve learned a ton from my experiences, too. To celebrate seven years since I stumbled my way out of the U.K. and began a life of full-time travel, I’ve compiled an enormous list of my biggest and best travel tips. These are all things that I wish someone had told me before I started traveling, so I hope you’ll find them useful, inspiring, educational, and entertaining.
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).
It is almost May. I’m slightly alarmed by this. Not just because the year is zipping by, and I’m wondering how I squandered away all that time with so little to show for it (Whither the sample chapter of the great American travel memoir, Everywhereist? Whither the clean laundry you were going to do?), but because I am coming up on another anniversary.
Thanks Matthew, I’m a 65 Year old new Zealander and been travelling south America last 6 months aiming for world! I got sick in hospital Bolivia and just had accident falling down steps in Quito Ecuador Hostel, but been enjoying myself nevertheless! Insurance far too expensive someone my age, so have to risk travelling without it. I’m traveling on my fortnightly pension! Thanks for tips.
36 If the tap water isn't safe to drink, you'll need to boil, filter or sterilise your own, or buy bottled water. If you plan to use bottled water to make up formula feeds, aim to get the lowest mineral content you can. Make sure the children don't drink from taps, including when brushing teeth. Keeping a bottle of drinking water by the sink is a helpful reminder.
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Kiwi.com, on the other hand, will mix and match airlines (including budget airlines) in order to find you the very cheapest route. For long-haul flights especially, this can make a huge difference. The same search on Kiwi.com returns a route at $459.80 USD via JetBlue, Norwegian Air, and Vueling. That’s a savings of $171.40 USD, and the travel time is even shorter!
4. Pack for individual diaper scenarios. Rather than needing access to the overhead compartment every time a diaper change is needed, prepare for one-by-one situations. When packing your carry on, place a plastic bag inside each diaper. Before the plane takes off, move all your in-flight magazines into one of the seat pockets, then put two diapers of each size, your changing mat and your wipes of choice in the other. If you like disposable travel mats, then put a mat and a diaper inside each bag. When the seatbelt sign turns off, you can get to the bathroom before anyone else and without too much fuss.
We don’t have family near us, so we knew we a would be flying quite a bit with an infant. We opted for the Doona car seat/stroller – it’s incredibly easy for travel since the wheels are built into the carseat itself. It also buckles into any car without needing a base, so it’s great for cab rides. It will probably only with for us until he’s 1yr, but it’s totally worth it to us.
These tips may or may not work for your family. Pick and choose based on the needs of your child and the length of your journey. We traveled with a two and a half year old who is wonderful, but can't sit still, and a two-month-old who is an absolute angel. We traveled two hours to Logan airport, spent two hours in the airport, one hour on a stationary plane followed by a six hour flight, another forty minutes to get off the plane, an hour to get through customs and baggage claim, and then we had a three hour drive to my family home in England. We are fortunate to have very well behaved children, for the most part, but here are our top 13 tips for long distance trips.
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.
Flying with babies and small children is an activity most of us wouldn't wish on our worst enemies. Yet sometimes, it has to be done - especially if you consider the alternatives - the car ride from hell? A slow boat to China? Horse and buggy? One dad admitted that on one plane trip, he let his kids drop items on the floor and then kick him in the head when he went to retrieve them. They got a big chuckle out of it, and they were too little to do much harm. He thinks, anyway.
Make security checkpoints a breeze by packing liquids (which are all 3.4 ounces or smaller and zipped into a 1-quart Ziploc bag, of course!) into an outside pocket of your carry-on. Laptops and tablets fall into the same category. Check out the TSA’s website for a full list of items on the no-fly list, as well as tips for getting through security quickly. Learn some more secrets TSA gate agents aren’t telling you.
Is there any website where you can meet up travelers and make plans. I don’t know if that’s a bad idea lol but I have a friend I travel with but he can’t make it all the time and even thought I have travel alone, i do prefer traveling with someone else for help with picture, life talk, and just being a little safer tbh even though I do agree with you that most places are safer than media makes them up to be. Any suggestions?
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.
oh buy… my little guy (7 years old) is a walking disaster… especially when it comes to traveling and even more if we fly… he’s like a tornado, demolishes everything on his way. Talking some sense into him is no use, when in rage mode he’s absolutely non-responsive. there’s one game called Run 3 that might calm him down for about 30 minutes but that’s about it, but it doesn’t always work. he’s not interested in treats, forget about quite activities and a concept of sleeping is unknown to him, (passing out doesn’t count I suppose). I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that I need a professional help. Because you see i’m 100% positive nothing of this list is going to help. I’m kind of desperate. if anyone had/having similar issues, i’d really appreciate any advice. thanks.
"As much as I want to dress nicely and look glamorous when traveling, my focus is being comfortable on the plane," says Vancouver-based travel writer Arnette Arn. "I never wear jeans or anything constricting. I usually will wear leggings or even fashionable sweatpants and dress them up with a nice top or sweater." Shultz's No. 1 must-have item is a lightweight pashmina shawl to use when the air conditioner spikes, or to roll up and use as a pillow.
Choose the Right Card: For an annual fee, some credit cards—including American Express Platinum ($450) and Chase’s United MileagePlus Club Card ($395)—offer complimentary access to both airline and independent lounges. American Express also recently opened the Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas McCarran and at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Access is free for travelers with Centurion and Platinum Cards, and $50 for all other American Express cardholders.
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.
As promised I am sharing the last few things I found on #pintrest !! I'll call this the #toddler flight survival kit. SNACKLE BOX: this is of course way more snacks then he needs but we have a lengthy layover so he will not be hungry. That is for sure. Sippy cup with Keepeez strap: after we pass the security checkpoint I plan on filling it with water. We have Snapple peach tea mix ins that are in the snackle box. Surprise ball: this contains dum dums & chunky wood puzzle pieces. I have the puzzle board & will fit that in my bag for the plane, so that he can play with the puzzle. Last but not least the iPad with headphones which has tv shows downloaded for him 👊🏼 I saw people using a ziplock bag for their phones. They were hanging it on the back of the seats for their child to watch so I thought I'd try it with the iPad. I'd love to hear thoughts!!! What do you think?
When you are at your wits end with a fussy toddler in a public place, what’s the number one solution to the problem? You take them for a walk. But on an airplane, you have a space that is 90 feet long and 18 inches wide to roam free. Oh — and watch out for the drink cart, which will cut your space in half at the exact moment when you need to take that stroll. As you parade up and down the same walkway repeatedly, you end up executing as many half-turns as a runway model in Paris — except that nobody cares to watch your sad little fashion show.
Some people are anti-screen entirely. I get that, and if you are, try those wonderful cardboard books that baby can’t tear up. We certainly don’t shove her in front of a TV or computer as a babysitter or as a recreational activity for her, but when you are stuck on an airplane or in a car with a screaming baby, I personally have no problem playing her favorite nursery rhyme show on YouTube, “Dave and Ava”. We call it “the big guns”. Bonus there’s an app so we have it even when we have no internet like on flights or far flung destinations. She’s loved “Dave and Ava” since she was a tiny baby, which surprised me, and she loves it still, even after a year old. When things are urgent and we’re desperate, it always works to calm her down and keep her occupied, well 98% of the time. Excellent for the above scenarios or say a mad dash we’re-going-to-miss-our-flight-if-we-don’t-hurry packing scenario where a screaming baby isn’t tenable. Make sure to download the app on your phone for when there’s no cell service/wifi (i.e. on a plane). It’s expensive—like literally the most expensive app I’ve ever purchased at $24.99—but it’s been worth every mind saving penny.
7. Forget the pacifier wipes, but bring a hand cleanser. I like individual packets of Wet Ones with anti bacterial goodness. Your child will be touching something gross before you have chance to call out their name, so make sure you have your hand cleanser of choice with you. The bathrooms may be questionable and inaccessible, especially once on board.
Flying Appreciate your advice I will be travelling with my 4yr old hyper active son & 10mth old daughter in June15. I know my main challenge will be to keep my son entertained. Last time I travelled with him he was 18mths & was a nightmare as we took 2 7hr flights travelling nearly 24hrs, other passengers were not impressed with is screaming. I did find it difficult to deal with the stares & comments under their breath when I was trying my hardest to sooth him. I myself could not act in the manor these passengers did, no compassion, I myself would've offered to help. My daughter is a lot younger & the flight is not as long, I intend to keep her carm & hold off her nap How can I stop my children being inquisitive. I have started the in flight game with my son which involves him taking care of his sister, using the fact I limit his help at home. I know he will love the present game, his rewards at home are harder to achieve. I am so excited for this holiday & more relaxed reading your tips.Thanks Reply
I have a funny story that your peeing story reminded me of as the same happened to me. Even though I was begging the driver to stop I wasn’t successful so… I guess my bladder made some Universe magic happen as 2 minutes later the bus broke down in the middle of a bridge in the highway so I ended up peeing behind the bus, facing the cars, my partner covering me with a jacket. I’m a woman so… it was pretty funny and yes, people quite laughed at me but whatever… I was about to burst so who cares jajajajaja
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.
9 If you're going overseas, see your doctor at least two months before you leave to discuss your plans. When making the appointment, mention the ages of your children and ask if they need to come to the appointment; when you go, bring everyone's vaccination records, and ask the doctor to note down their blood groups for you. If any of your children has a pre-existing medical condition, ask for help in identifying a doctor in your destination who specialises in the same condition. Children under 18 months won't be given any travel-related jabs.
49 If your children are keeping a journal, encourage them to draw and list things they see and eat; they could also collect autographs and doodles from people they meet as well as ticket stubs and labels to stick in. If free mini-maps of places you visit are available, get extras for the children to stick into their books, and help them circle the places you've seen. If you're encountering different languages, put in lists of new words and add more as they learn one set.
In general, good advice and info but I sure disagree with #7. Why you need a photo of yourself in all your pix, I don’t know, but I was tired of all your portraits of yourself rather than the places and the people in the places before I was 1/4 thru the list. Not to mention how annoying people who ask strangers to take their photo can be. Take photos of the people and places you see. That’s what I want after my trips and what I’d prefer to see on your blog posts.
This is slightly redundant, as I say above to not bring a lot of baby gear. But this is for the parents. The less the better. Always. I’ll publish a separate post on packing light. But the key, for me, is making sure every single clothing item pairs with every other single one. I travel with one pair of shoes, two max. No outliers! And don’t pack for “what if’s”. You can buy most incidentals at your destination.
“As a pilot, I can say that most of us don’t mind when you bring the little kids up to the cockpit. As long as it’s not a busy day, a delayed flight or storms, we will let them come in and look around and see things. Avoid before takeoff but after landing is usually a good time.” —Ryan S., pilot for four years. Here are even more secrets about flying pilots wish you knew.
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).