1. Fly, don’t drive when a trip is 200+ miles.
Particularly when your are travelling in Asia, North America, South America or Africa. Flying is faster, easier, safer, and typically not much more expensive. The benefits far outweigh the costs. When travelling in Europe, you may wish to buy a Eurail pass. Eurail has smooth, fast, punctual train transport at reasonable prices. See my post 7 savvy traveler tips – Europe edition for more useful tips. :)
2. You may be required to purchase a ticket for your child who is age 0-2 years.
International Airfare for children ages 0-2 typically costs 10% of a full adult fare to the destination. Of course, the day your child turns 3, you must pay full fare. So strap on the carrier and travel as much as possible with your little bumpkin for those 729 FREE days while it’s cheapest! Typically, you must purchase the ticket in person (sometimes day-of) at an airport or travel agent and show proof of your child’s age.
3. Pack your favorite portable or disposable toys and activities.
Don’t pack too much. One small backpack per child is plenty. Trust me.
Favorite activities for ages 4+:
books/magazines, stickers, coloring books and colored pencils, travel Etch-a-Sketch, travel games, and of course, an iPad. Click on these links for great apps, videos and websites.
4. Pack favorite snacks, drinks and your own sip cups/portable water bottles.
When travelling by air, keep all food and beverage items together in one place, so it’s easier to grab them when you’re bogged down with your fam’s gear. ;) If questioned by TSA, you simply hold out the bag and explain your child has special food needs. This avoids paying the exorbitant prices for airline junk food.
5. Take 2 days’ worth of disposable diapers/wipes/ underpants/outfits/plastic grocery bags.
With travel these days, be prepared to be held up or laid over. Accidents are NBD (No Big Deal) when you’re prepared.
6. Visit my 7 savvy traveler tips post for what to pack to assure the smoothest possible travel experience.
7. Don your child(ren) in easy-to-find clothing or accessories for busy, harried travel times and transitions.
In Cambodia, I purchased these sweet sing-song hippie bells. I clipped them onto a safety pin, which I then fastened to the back of our 18-month-old’s clothes daily. If she tried to wander while I was engaged with others, I’d hear her try to wander and could reach out and catch her. This trick avoids lots of stress! ;)
Helpful Resources to Plan Travel in Europe…
Eurail – you may wish to purchase a Eurail pass if travelling between several countries. Remember: only non-European citizens may purchase/use Eurail passes.
Interrail – European citizens may purchase point-to-point train tickets or use an Interrail Global Pass to travel between countries in Europe.
Other Helpful Resources for Travel With Tots…
Links to our favorite kid’s magazines…
Rand McNally Are We There Yet? activity book
National Geographic Kids (age 6+) and National Geographic Little Kids (age 3-6)
Highlights Hello™ (age 0-2) | High Five™ (age 2-6) | Highlights for Kids™ (age 6-12)
Sports Illustrated for Kids
Time for Kids
Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. (formerly Your Big Backyard)
Links to our suggestions for best leak-proof beverage containers:
leak-proof sippy cups
Credits: BabyGizmo.com, Contigo, CamelBak
Song du Jour: Travelling the World by will.i.am from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa