-- Museum & Zoos --
Get a membership at your local science museum, aquarium
or zoo and bring the membership card with you. Most
facilities have reciprocal arrangements with other like
facilities at least in North America and some, worldwide.
Then, while travelling you can take the kids to local
facilities and all will be free. (P.S. The Children's
Museum in Houston is fantastic!).
-- Car Seat -- Children
under two years old generally fly free. However, even
if you don't purchase a specific seat for your baby
on the plane, bring your car seat to the boarding gate
with you. If the plane isn't full, the gate/flight attendants
will often honour a request for a spare seat beside
you (if possible) to put the car seat and kid in it.
I have done this many times and never been turned down.
It's safer (that's the reason you use them), and this
way ensures your car seat isn't damaged or dirtied en
route. If the plane is full, aircraft staff will simply
gate-check the seat for you. And, best of all, your
car seat doesn't count as a carry-on. As long as you
plan on using it on the plane, it doesn't eat into your
-- Tiny Shoes --
Make sure shoes are easy to slip on and off. US and
some international security checks are taking off even
the smallest of infants' shoes.
-- Takeoff and Landing
-- Breastfeed (if that's still an option) or give the
child a bottle during take off and landing. Sucking
will help the baby to cope with changes in cabin pressure
(which causes ear pain). If mamma's ears are sore --
she can chew gum or suck on a hard candy.
-- Playground --
Take the kids to the local playground. There are bound
to be lots of local families, other kids to play with,
and local parents to talk to. Safety standards in some
places may be a bit behind, so check it out yourself
before allowing the kids to participate.
-- Food -- Bring
crackers of different sizes and shapes other than the
babies/kids are used to (e.g. coloured goldfish crackers,
rice crackers, mini triskets, etc). Kiddies will be
amused and fed at the same time.
-- Chinese Shoes
-- If you or anybody you know is travelling to China,
ask them to buy some baby shoes for your child (just
trace the outline of your toddler's foot on a sheet
of paper if the child isn't travelling with you). Chinese
shoes are well made, beautifully designed and cost a
fraction of what you'd pay at home. We bought our baby's
shoes for this year and next. Especially fun are the
ones with a built in squeak -- as the child steps down
the shoes make a soft noise. This way you always know
where she or he is.
-- Masking Tape --
A roll or two of masking tape can be a great distraction
for younger kids and even pre-teens. The tape is cheap,
lightweight, relatively small and versatile. It can
be used in cars, planes, buses, etc. aswell as at your
destination. Very young children
will enjoy just sticking it onto whatever surfaces they
can reach. Those slightly older can decorate it with
crayons, markers, stickers, etc. Your kids can make
jewelry, nametags, braided belts or whatever their little
-- Baby-sitter --
The best way to travel with an infant and/or toddler
is to take Grandma along. You pay her way and she eases
yours (submitted by a grandma).
-- Free Hands --
Backpacks are a must. This way you can carry the essentials
such as diapers, wipes, baby food, bottles, activities
for the child, and still have your hands free -- a must
when touring with little ones.