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.
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.
It’ll likely be much heavier than you think. When I first went for a walk with mine, I went straight home and took out a third of the things I had in it. This will really help you narrow down what are essentials and what you don’t need. I even have a rule when I travel that I try to throw out three things from my backpack every time I travel to a new destination. It sounds like a lot, but I include things like the paracetamol tablets I haven’t taken in nine months or my spare pair of tweezers or the pile of receipts I’ve been lugging around.
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?
I had the Barclary Arrival credit card and it was super easy to earn AND redeem rewards. At the time I had to put $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months and then I got 60,000 points, which was about $625 in travel credit. Plus you get 10% of your redeemed points back. So I booked us 2 roundtrip flights from Newark to Orlando and a hotel outside of Newark – earned the points for those purchases and then I was able to go into my account and pay the travel portion of my bill with my points, plus get 10% of them back. Super easy! We also booked an AirBNB in Providence, RI that would have cost us $275, but was free because of rewards. Also, no foreign transaction fee, which is nice if you are leaving the US. I cancelled it after the first year though because I was just churning it for the points and didn’t want to pay the $89 fee after my first year was up. Something to think about though!

Love this post Caz and Craig! On the plane I relax my rules around how much tv and technology the kids have – we all need to be able to amuse ourselves quietly! I also do a fair bit of pre-prep too. Talking about time differences, how long the flight is, the flight route – I give them print out if I can too. I am inspired by how much you guys travel! x


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.
Before your plane takes off, there are some procedures to go through that may be alarming if this is your first time flying, but all of these are completely routine and contribute to safety on board. You'll be shown how to buckle your seat belt, what the different lights on the seat ahead of you mean, and what to do in an emergency. Remember, every flight has to go through this process, partly due to the existence of first-time flyers like yourself!
Starting at ten weeks-old, I’ve flown with my children at every age and stage, and now we’re in the midst of tweenhood. In these posts, I share my concerns and the reality of our flights. They weren’t always easy or vomit-free, but I don’t regret any of them. And I speak from experience when I say that flying with infants and toddlers does get easier as they get older.
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.
Hmmm, it really depends on which countries you’ll be visiting and how you’ll be travelling. During my first year, I stayed mostly in hostels, spent the majority of my time in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe and was on a tight budget and spent around $11,000. Last year, I was travelling on a mid-range budget — lots of Airbnb apartments and a few splurges in luxury hotels — and spent my time in Western Europe and Australia/New Zealand and spent $20,000.
Airlines are able to pay up to $3,400 on lost bags and their contents. In order to receive a full payout, report lost luggage as soon as possible—many airlines have tight deadlines for filing claims. Submit your report before you leave the airport and keep all receipts related to unexpected expenses caused by the loss. You might be able to get a refund on those, too. By the way, these are the airlines that are least likely to lose or damage your bags.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how to become independent. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Traveling solo taught me how to fend for myself, talk to people, and handle unfamiliar situations with ease. It’s made me comfortable with myself, helped me learn about what I’m capable of, and allowed me to be super selfish and do whatever I want! It can take some getting used to if you’ve never done it before but do it at least once. Make yourself uncomfortable and surprise yourself. You’ll learn valuable life skills when you push yourself! 

Many airlines allow you to upgrade at a discount on the full price of a premium economy or business class fare, paying with cash or air mileage points. Qantas has recently introduced "Bid Now Upgrades", which allows passengers on selected flights the chance to upgrade using a mix of Qantas Frequent Flyer points and cash. Eligible passengers will be notified by email if a Bid Now upgrade is available. This is similar to Virgin Australia's UpgradeMe Premium Bid system. Some airlines such as Etihad, Virgin, Thai and Cathay Pacific will upgrade you for cash at the check-in desk if there are unsold seats.
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.
No real reason, Gabbi! I’m just one person and I only have a limited amount of time in which to visit different places — if it wasn’t Latin America, it’d be somewhere else. There’s no real reason why I haven’t made it there yet — I actually planned a trip there a couple of years ago, but got my book deal and had to cancel it to work on that — and I definitely hope to see the region soon! :-)
Sure, you should have a rough plan for your trip, but don’t book everything in advance or you’ll likely feel too restricted and end up regretting it. Book a one-way ticket and your first few nights of accommodation — you’ll figure the rest out along the way. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you’re in a tourist destination there’ll always be someone who’s willing to take your money by giving you a place to stay.

Your tips are great, and I definitely agree with #1. Like you, we started off traveling as a couple. In fact, we met when we were both backpacking through Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam. Now that we have a toddler, we tend to pick family-friendly vacation destinations. This year, we traveled to Barbados for two weeks. The beaches are amazing, the food is awesome, and most importantly, the locals are very friendly.
I’d always been all about the packing cubes, until I discovered vacuum-sealed versions of them! You throw your clothes in, seal the bag, then roll it up to push out all the air. I can literally fit twice as many clothes in my backpack when I use these! Even if you don’t want to carry more things in your bag, it frees up so much space that if you need to pack in a hurry, you can just chuck everything in.
Grizzly and black bears are found in Canadian parks in the summertime and can be potentially dangerous. When visiting national parks, always ensure no food products are visible to bears. Dispose of garbage, use airtight containers for storage, and cook away from campsites. Get knowledgeable on bear safety too. If visiting Churchill and its polar bears, be extra vigilant as polar bears are the only animals to actively stalk humans.
Find an Independent Lounge: Airspace has a small network of lounges in domestic airports, which American Express Platinum card members can access for free. In Asia and Canada, look for spaces from Plaza Premium ($49 per visit); No. 1 Traveller ($45 per visit) and Servisair ($28 per visit) have lounges throughout the U.K. Services such as Lounge Pass (from $35 per visit) and Priority Pass ($27 per visit, plus $99 annually) partner with airlines and independent companies to offer access to locations worldwide.
48 Apart from taking photographs, there are lots of ways to help your children preserve memories of your trip. You could buy a postcard for each destination and help them to note a single memory on the back, alongside the date or their age. You could also get them started on collections of things that can be found in most places, such as badges, paperweights, model cars and boats or toy animals.
29 When booking tickets, make a point of asking for deals for families and young people. In many instances, a family travelcard reduces the cost of ordinary tickets by so much that it's worth buying one even for a single trip. Such deals are usually restricted to travel outside rush hours. To buy a railcard, you usually need to show identification for one or both parents, and have photographs with you.

1. Choose your seats in advance. If you want to sit with your family or friends, then plan accordingly. There are too many of you who ask your fellow travelers to give up their seats — the ones we either booked months ago or paid extra for — because you didn't do it in advance or you were too cheap to pay to get the seat you really want. So either pony up for that seat or sit in the one you've been assigned.


13 There are a number of instances where you might need to carry extra documentation when travelling with children. If you have an adopted child, you must take their adoption papers; and if you're the only parent travelling - regardless of your marital status - you might be asked for proof of consent from the other parent for your child to travel. This is more likely in countries where overseas adoption and/or child trafficking is common. If the name on your child's passport is not the same as yours, or if your child bears little resemblance to you, the chances of this being an issue increase.
Love this post Caz and Craig! On the plane I relax my rules around how much tv and technology the kids have – we all need to be able to amuse ourselves quietly! I also do a fair bit of pre-prep too. Talking about time differences, how long the flight is, the flight route – I give them print out if I can too. I am inspired by how much you guys travel! x
Flying with an infant of this age means one thing for mom (or dad)… YOU’RE BUSY. But this is also one of the more rewarding and fun times to travel with your baby. They’re alert, you can usually figure out what they need when they need it, and they’re still quite easily distractible. Unlike newborns, babies of this age are at least in the beginning stages of a routine, and while that makes your life easier as a parent, an understandable fear is blowing that routine by hitting the road.  Read More…

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.
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!
Another thing! as well as the earplugs, I would definetely suggest the sleeping mask, for those who can´t sleep unless everything is really dark, and I find it difficult to sleep on planes with the lights they keep on during the flight (I need total darkness) and this is very useful for hostels or dorms where there is always somebody turning on the lights while you are sleeping…
What can I say that hasn’t already been said. Travel is a life changing experience which draws people together and educates. Even if you don’t have plans to sell everything and travel continuously, the best tip I could give is to travel to a different country at least once in your life. See how other people live their lives. Witness the day to day things like going to the market, or how something simple like lunch is done in Spain, France or Italy. Having this perspective is a good thing and helps understand the world a little bit better.
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!
You can take these all the way to the gate and they will check them for you for free at said gate. Sometimes you do need to get a tag for them when you drop your luggage, so make sure the agent gives you one. So if you’re a stroller person, stroll right up. And if you’re bringing a carseat, I highly recommend that be attached to that stroller! A two-in-one is the only way you won’t end up miserably lugging it all over. We didn’t travel with a stroller for most of the first year, preferring to just use a carrier.
BabyZen YoYo 0+ Stroller – This is my absolute favorite stroller for travel. It folds up compact enough to fit in an overhead bin (though you can gate check it if you like), has a sizeable undercarriage, and is so easy to fold up and pop out (for a stroller anyway). Can’t recommend highly enough. You can use it from infancy with the bassinet attachment and switch to the seat once they’re big enough). It also can adapt to many carseats, and has wonderful accessories for different weather conditions like rain, cold, and sun. You may notice she’s in a Stokke Xplory in the photos, and that’s because we use it around town sometimes. But the BabyZen YoYo is it for travel.
We have a fun new product that can definitely help with young travelers. Check out MyPlaneSpace at MyPlaneSpace.com – it’s an arm-rest divider! Works wonders to help kids keep their own space while sitting next to each other or other strangers on the plane! Plus it helps as a great germ barrier between your child (or you!) and the person seated next to them.
We’re the magic 8-ball of travel. While we can’t see into the future, it’s magical how fast you’ll get an answer. Did you know TSA is available 365 days a year to answer any security-related travel questions? Did you forget your ID or lose something at security? We can help! Want to know what you can bring on a plane? Just send us a photo and we’ll let you know!
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!
Airlines are able to pay up to $3,400 on lost bags and their contents. In order to receive a full payout, report lost luggage as soon as possible—many airlines have tight deadlines for filing claims. Submit your report before you leave the airport and keep all receipts related to unexpected expenses caused by the loss. You might be able to get a refund on those, too. By the way, these are the airlines that are least likely to lose or damage your bags.
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).

Let’s face it, you’re probably going to need allies on this aircraft. So while you’re in the waiting area, be sure to strike up conversations with any other parents who are getting on your flight. Ask the standard questions like, “How old is your little guy?” and “Do you happen to have any children’s Gravol?” You may not become lifelong friends with these people, but at least you’ll have someone to exchange frustrated glances with when your toddler is having a meltdown at 30,000 feet.
I would definetely prefer an aisle seat on International flights, I frequently use the bathroom and it could be a little bit uncomfortable to bother other people while I´m on the window seat, plus on long flights I go to my hand luggage very frequently, to take out a book, to put it back, to take some slippers, to take them out, etc… I´m such a mess hehe…
My best tip is, if possible, take the child’s car seat on the plane. We’re frequent fliers, and also frequently take long drives (8-12 hours). My kids know that if they’re in the car seats they’re expected to stay there and be quiet. They’re comfortable enough to sleep, they’re somewhere familiar and they’re safe. It’s kind of a pain to lug them around the airport, but the behavior on the plane makes it well worth it. I don’t know if I’d bother if we were going someplace we wouldn’t have a car, but as we usually do we’re taking them anyhow!
THANK YOU so much for this!! I just found out that I’m pregnant, and my husband and I are determined to not give up our love of travel when baby arrives. It’s wonderful that you have been able to share the world with your girl! Thank you so much for sharing all of this incredible knowledge and experience, and for demystifying the concept. This makes me even more excited to become a mom 🙂
Adding to the agony of the long-haul flight to Europe, many flights arrive in the morning, too early to get into your hotel room. If you take a morning flight out of Australia, stop for 8-10 hours in an airport hotel in Dubai, Singapore or Hong Kong and catch another morning flight on to Europe you'll arrive fresher and in late afternoon, and sail straight to your hotel room.

You can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.
Know your airport's code. It's easy for luggage-destination tags to get mixed up at a curbside check-in. Learn the three-letter airport code for your destination and make sure your skycap labels the bag properly. The codes aren't always intuitive (for example, New Orleans's Louis Armstrong Airport is MSY), so check the list at airport-technology.com, especially if your destination has more than one airport. "Cities with multiple airports can cause problems if passengers don't know which they're flying into," says Tim Wagner, a spokesperson for American Airlines.
I signed up for an American Airlines AAdvantage account before I left (with a signup bonus of, I think, 1000 points), and I type in my account number every time I book a flight with a OneWorld airline. After five years of travel, I recently racked up enough points to take an economy one-way flight from Nashville to Miami with them. It was worth $100, lol.
I had the Barclary Arrival credit card and it was super easy to earn AND redeem rewards. At the time I had to put $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months and then I got 60,000 points, which was about $625 in travel credit. Plus you get 10% of your redeemed points back. So I booked us 2 roundtrip flights from Newark to Orlando and a hotel outside of Newark – earned the points for those purchases and then I was able to go into my account and pay the travel portion of my bill with my points, plus get 10% of them back. Super easy! We also booked an AirBNB in Providence, RI that would have cost us $275, but was free because of rewards. Also, no foreign transaction fee, which is nice if you are leaving the US. I cancelled it after the first year though because I was just churning it for the points and didn’t want to pay the $89 fee after my first year was up. Something to think about though!
To each their own! I would rather have photos that differ to the million identical photos that other people have taken of a place. It’s a souvenir; it’s something to send my family and friends, so they can see I’m safe and happy (my mum definitely wishes I’d take my photos of myself to send her when she misses me!); it’s something I can one day show my grandkids, so I can teach them the importance of travel and show them what I spent my twenties doing.
You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
Better to pick up a coffee, tea, or water bottle at the terminal—the stuff on board can be downright dirty. For one Wall Street Journal piece, reporters packed samples of water from the galley and lavatory taps of 14 different flights and tested them for quality. “The results of our water-quality snapshot: A long list of microscopic life you don’t want to drink, from salmonella and staphylococcus to tiny insect eggs. Worse, contamination was the rule, not the exception: Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens, sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government limits,” they wrote. Eek.
"The reason is simple: We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way. This can cause a problem since planes often don't have enough extra vodka, pillows, earplugs, and toothbrushes, or the time on shorter flights to deviate from the service schedule.
Love this post Caz and Craig! On the plane I relax my rules around how much tv and technology the kids have – we all need to be able to amuse ourselves quietly! I also do a fair bit of pre-prep too. Talking about time differences, how long the flight is, the flight route – I give them print out if I can too. I am inspired by how much you guys travel! x
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.
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.
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!
Find an Independent Lounge: Airspace has a small network of lounges in domestic airports, which American Express Platinum card members can access for free. In Asia and Canada, look for spaces from Plaza Premium ($49 per visit); No. 1 Traveller ($45 per visit) and Servisair ($28 per visit) have lounges throughout the U.K. Services such as Lounge Pass (from $35 per visit) and Priority Pass ($27 per visit, plus $99 annually) partner with airlines and independent companies to offer access to locations worldwide.

"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."

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