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.
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.
Bring a car seat for your child. "Car seats aren't just safer for children," notes Veda Shook, a flight attendant who has been with Alaska Airlines for 16 years. "They also help kids stay calmer, since they're used to being in them." Shook suggests investing in a car seat-stroller combination. "The seat slides right out of the stroller part, which you can check at the gate," she says.
How to Overcome the Fear of Flying Perhaps the most gut wrenching and unnatural activity that human beings regularly engage in is flying. We as a race have been flying for some 100 years and there is no stopping in sight. While technology, planes, distances and amenities have gotten better over the years; something still remains the same. The fear of flying is apparent in everyone from novices to ...
But alas, summer is approaching and parents around the world are planning their vacations. Well, if your destination requires a flight, and you have young kids, then you better do some advance planning. Trust me, I have learned the hard way. Having traveled on 10 overseas flights and 25 domestic flights in the past few years alone, with anywhere from 1-4 children, and once without my husband, I feel that I have acquired more experience than anyone should ever have for traveling with children on a plane.
Excellent advice about talking to locals. When you get to know the people who live there, it really makes for a wonderful experience. And you are so right, they have the best insider tips! We’re guilty of focusing only on photos at one point as well. When we started blogging as a career, we nearly lost ourselves in the work. We now always have to remind ourselves to have balance. It’s amazing to be able to capture a moment at our fingertips, but we feel it’s just as important to stop and take it all in. It’s easy to miss the moment when you’re looking through the lens. Thanks for sharing!
The result: an endless stream of nearly identical bags on the baggage carousel. The solution: mark your bags by tying a colorful ribbon, stitching a unique patch or putting a large sticker on your bags. You won’t see other passengers pulling your bags off the carousel to check for their tiny name tags, and you’ll be able to see your suitcases come out the door from miles away.
Tapping into the wisdom of expat parents, who almost always have loved ones situated on other continents and can't always convince those dear folks to pop over to Nairobi, Tokyo, or Helsinki, here are some tips for getting through even the most difficult flight. One American mum living in Beijing says she thinks of her journeys "in stages - like a military operation." Here, then, is a battle plan.
Did you find that the Stokke Xplory was easy to handle solo (on the US side of your travels), and did you buy the Stokke Pipa by Nuna or the Pipa by Nuna? I just bought the Stokke Xplory after wheeling it around Buy Buy Baby (hello, one finger steering!), but I’m wondering if I should go with the Stokke Pipa by Nuna (no extra adapters) or the Pipa by Nuna (extra adapters). I obviously want what is safest for bébé. I’m not due until April, so I have time to figure out the carseat portion of the equation, but would love your input. Thanks for putting all of this together — super helpful!
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!
Many first time flyers worry about arriving without the necessary paperwork to board their flight, and this can make for a nervy first trip to the airport. The main point to remember here is that the most important document is your passport: make sure it's up to date and ideally has at least three months to go before its expiry whenever you travel internationally.
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.
When my wife and I travel with our two girls, one of us handles the kids and the other person gets to sit in a “sanity seat.” Basically, one person is stuck with the kids, while the other person is in a child-free paradise in another part of the plane, eating sandwiches with those other couples. When things get bad, you simply switch seats with the other parent so that everyone shares in the misery. If I’m sitting in the “sanity seat” and I hear my kids wailing and screaming at the back of the plane, I often turn to the person next to me and say, “Geez, some parents just can’t control their children.”
Ask about your options. Stuck with your children at Boston's Logan Airport? An airport employee can direct you to terminal C, where a baggage carousel–style slide anchors a play area. Tired of the same old food-court choices? In the Austin, Texas, airport, make a beeline for Salt Lick―it serves up some of the state's best barbecue. You can even get through security faster by seeking out additional lines: "Airports will often open another line during peak times, so it pays to ask," TSA spokesperson Sterling Payne says.
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.
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.”
Airlines sell tickets at different price levels, much like tickets are sold for sporting events. If there are two tickets left for $99 and you try to book four tickets -- but the lowest price level with four tickets available is $299 -- ALL four tickets will be $299. Those two cheap ones stay on the market. So book tickets individually: it’ll ultimately save more money for the folks who book first.
“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.
Towards the end of the flight, your child will become irritable and agitated, as the effects of sitting in a stale environment for three to five hours start to catch up. When they ask you how much longer is left in the flight, always lie to the child to make it seem like the landing is imminent. I usually go with, “Just about 25 minutes to go — hang in there.” Be sure to disable the interactive map feature on the headrest TV, as the child may figure out that you are really 2.5 hours away from your destination.
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.
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…
If travelling for a long time, take your own device that can pick up wifi, like a smartphone or tablet. We didn’t do this because we didn’t want to bring an expensive item backpacking, but it turned out to be incredibly expensive to use the internet, or impossible to find any. Yet there is free wifi in places all around the world, and you quickly realise how often you need to tap in to things like bank accounts or travel bookings. More: 10 ways to cut your smartphone roaming costs
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!
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.