Do any of you travel with young kids?

Old May 21, 15, 6:40 am
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Do any of you travel with young kids?

I am not sure if most of the people here on this forum travel with their families or not, or are just single travelers doing Mileage Runs.

I want to travel and see new cities, but having a baby I feel, it will need so much more Planning and Packing, car seats, strollers etc. plus the fact that I would like non-stop which of course makes the tickets more expensive.

So if some of you do travel with your family, how do you do it, do you look for cities that is kid friendly in term of transportation etc., do you avoid places because of that? Do you buy non-stop flights to make it a little easier.

We have been wanting to go to Hawaii, but the though of 12+ hours from the east coast (PHL) with a 9 month old baby and not finding a non-stop flight is making us not do the trip.

Give me some tips and suggestions as to how one can make travelling with child little easy and relaxing.
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Old May 21, 15, 6:48 am
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There is a whole forum on this topic
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-children-221/
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Old May 21, 15, 7:02 am
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Do any of you travel with kids?

I just booked a trip for the wife and I and our 8 month old to Germany so I feel your worry. We are hoping he sleeps the entire time. We have done shorter trips and the airline has been great about the stroller, car seat, etc but it is a lot to lug around.
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Old May 21, 15, 7:07 am
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As was mentioned up-thread, FlyerTalk has a dedicated forum to assist and discuss this topic, and I'll move this to that forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old May 21, 15, 7:59 am
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We travel tons with our son. Up to the age of two we just went on short beach bum trips to the Carib, but after age two started taking him to more adventurous places like Costa Rica and he remembers it still.

Now we're starting to take him around the world at 4 and 5.

For those people who say that kids won't remember--they're just ignorant. Our five year old's memory is better than ours. At thirty the brain begins to deteriorate and I assume that's the source behind the faulty reasoning of those who suggest that taking young kids traveling because they "won't remember it."

Give your child the gift of a world's education! And part of that education involves some crazy travel experiences.
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Old May 21, 15, 8:15 am
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Our 13 year old does not remember her first big trip to London for a week, she was 4. Her sister, now 16, remembers it well, she was 7.

Doesn't matter, we remember it well as does their grandmother who went with us.

Back to OP. With that age and your location, I think I'd opt for Caribbean over Hawaii.
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Old May 21, 15, 11:09 am
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Who really cares if the child remembers it or not. It's time spent together, that's what's important.

OP, travelling with a child under 1 on a lengthy flight is not bad as long as you time it to coincide with as much of baby's sleep time as possible. Biggest preparation is to change your expecations and be prepared to move at baby's pace. I've travelled a fair bit with my soon-to-be 2 year old and I've loved it. We've had a lot of fun on our trips!
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Old May 21, 15, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by heraclitus View Post
Who really cares if the child remembers it or not. It's time spent together, that's what's important.
This X1000. A child is also unlikely to remember a hug at nine months old, but that doesn't mean we don't hug our children.
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Old May 21, 15, 3:16 pm
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We have traveled extensively with our kids, who are now young adults. We live near Boston, but flew regularly to Toronto and Calgary and Mexico where the kids were little. We took them to London when they were 4 and 7. After that, we took them all over Western Europe as well as to Australia, Indonesia, Japan, China, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Russia, Austria, Slovakia, etc.

Hawaii would be a lot farther than I'd be willing to do with a little kid. I'd pick a place that is easier to get to buy has good water and health care. Florida (Sanibel or Naples)? Costa Rica? Panama? Even Mexico at a resort that has good drinking water (I recall taking our not quite two year old son to the beach in Puerto Vallarta). We haven't done a lot of Caribbean trips (other than the Yucatan and St. Croix) so can't advise you there.

Each year, we now take a family trip someplace new and our kids really want to come with us. We now allow them to take a friend (BF, GF or just friend) and we will pay their ground expenses. The friends just have to pay their airfare.

By the way, it is a lot easier with one kid than two. We had a hiatus from trips (other than Canada and Florida for family) when the second kid was 1 until she was close to 5.
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Old May 21, 15, 7:24 pm
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Traveling with a 1 treat old was quite easy for us. We bought him a seat and put him in his car seat. He did great. Everyone was comfortable.

Bungee the car seat to a lightweight stroller (ours is a Graco Breaze), stick the diaper bag in the underbasket, and a backpack in the car seat. Wear the baby through the airport. If you don't already have a carrier, I highly recommend the Lillebaby carriers. They have lumbar support.

We actually opted for a layover so everyone could stretch and relax a little. We gate checked a pack n play that we could put my son in to safely play with his toys. It worked out really well.
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Old May 21, 15, 7:26 pm
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Old May 21, 15, 10:14 pm
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Don't let a young kid stop you from traveling! They are especially easy to travel with before 1 year. Our eldest had set foot on every (inhabited) continent by his second birthday!

As previous posters have said, buy them a seat, strap them into a car seat, and book overnight flights so they'll sleep. Frankly, it gets much more difficult for the few years after that, once they can walk and are no longer so easy to sleep.

Last edited by Erasmus; May 22, 15 at 8:32 am Reason: For the avoidance of doubt.
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Old May 22, 15, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by Erasmus View Post
Don't let a young kid stop you from traveling! They are especially easy to travel with before 1 year. Our eldest had set foot on every continent by his second birthday.
Wow Antarctica before 2 years old? Quite an accomplishment.
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Old May 22, 15, 6:36 am
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Agreed. I didn't get married until I was 35. I'd lived in 5 countries and visited about 50. Procreating wasn't going to stop me!

Traveling with a baby is different but equally rewarding. Flights won't be relaxing but if you're organized, you can do it.

I found the most difficult ages were the toddlers, approx. 14 months to 2 1/2 or 3 years. Basically, when the child is very mobile and opinionated but can't really converse yet. Many are very verbal but to explain and negotiate ("You can get up when the seat belt sign goes off" or "If you're good...") take a little longer to understand.

Potty training is not a deal-breaker. It's when you can interact with your child to get him or her to cooperate and this varies with each.

Small tips can make your trip a lot easier. The days of compact packing and taking everything on board are over. You need a good quality baby carrier (must go to 1-2 years or it's not a good one!) A good backpack is your friend now, better than an awkward diaper bag. Toys wisely selected, having everything you need and remembering that you'll probably never see those people again, can make this work.

The other hiccup is, unless you plan to homeschool, is traveling on school vacations. Big, big subject that sounds too early for you but just a heads-up on that in the future.

You might want to cater to the stages of your child(ren) as far as selecting vacations go. I took a one year-old to New York. I didn't go back until he was 14 (and his sisters 12 & 10). Totally different experience!

I have negotiated big cities with toddlers (London, San Francisco, Paris, Rome, etc.) It can be done but you won't be able to see and do as much. There's a lot of stopping in parks and eating can take ages... If there's a new city you haven't seen before, waiting until the kids are the right ages could be a wise decision.

It can also depend on the city. Venice was a hit with kids. Florence a flop. I loved it. Luckily, the husband had to do work over the phone/computer. I put a movie on the television and hit a few museums on my own! Sometimes you have to get creative. Divide and conquer!

We also did all-inclusives with small tots. Nice to have the kids' clubs and let mom put up her feet! Didn't care for those kinds of vacations before or after... but at that point, it was perfect!

Hawaii is a kid-favorite for all ages!

Small kids will go anywhere their parent go but older kids do need to be occupied and it has to be interesting for them too. So basically, as your child grows, the "disadvantages" to travel shift from one category to another.

I love that "remember it" comment. Now that my kids are older, it's been fun to go over the photos of trips they can't recall. Make sure you take cool pictures of them in famous and/or fantastic places for them to enjoy later on. I think this can encourage travel even if the child doesn't have a "direct" memory of the trip.
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Old May 22, 15, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Wow Antarctica before 2 years old? Quite an accomplishment.
Every permanently inhabited continent with regularly scheduled commercial air service.
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