I’ve often get emails, chats, and comments asking me a variety of travel related questions. “Travel Unravel” is a series where I tried to answer these questions in a quick and concise manner with the help of readers in the comments.
Friend and reader Rachel asked me via my Facebook page: I’m going on my first flight with my infant, any tips for traveling with babies?
Start by not buying an extra ticket, kids under 2 almost always fly for free or a small charge provided you carry them in your lap. Call the airline to let them know beforehand but remember that you won’t get an extra (charge-free) piece of luggage for your little one. You will however be able to bring a large diaper bag which won’t count as a carry on. If you’re bringing a stroller ask the airline representative at the gate for a “Gate Check Tag”, so they’ll take your stroller at the gate, stow it, and have it ready for you when you get off the plane.
Once you get on the plane, asking a flight attendant (firmly) for a seat for your baby, especially if the plane isn’t fully booked – it usually works.
Finally, children under the age of two have much more sensitive inner ears that adults. Expect crying during the first and last 30 minutes of a flight and even longer if your plane ends up circling the airport a few times before landing.
Rachel, those are the ‘technical’ answers, but I don’t have the personal experience to give you many insider tips – I’ve never traveled with an infant, but there are plenty of foXnoMad readers who have.
So, I’d like to defer to all of the traveling mommies, daddies, and family members who have flown with infants – what personal tips do you have for Rachel?