Ever wonder how some parents make traveling with a baby seem like a walk in the park? Sometimes having that insider knowledge of the industry can make a huge difference when touring the world with your little ones.
Here are the best-kept travel industry secrets that you should be taking advantage of when traveling with a baby:
#1 When reserving seats for a 3-seat row, get the aisle seat and the window seat. In most cases, passenger do not want to be seated in the middle so you end up with the whole row. If there is an assigned passenger to that middle seat, just ask to switch.
#2 Most airlines have activity sets for young passengers, you just need to ask for
those after take-off.
#3 Child meals are available in most airlines, request for it when booking your flights. These are often better than what they serve adult passengers
#4 When it comes to infant travel (below 24 months old), it does not matter if you are paying for the seat or if the fare is classified as child on lap, most flights have baggage allocation for strollers and car seats for all infant passengers. You can also gate-check this for free.
#5 Most airlines will consider family travelers priority passengers. You can board the plane first along with business class passengers.
#6 When it comes to liquid restrictions, expressed breastmilk and formula milk are exempted from the usual rules.
#7 Ask for bassinet seats when you are travelling with kids below 2 years old. It gives your arms a rest by giving you a place to put the baby down when he/she falls asleep. Plus, you have more legroom as bassinet seats are located at the bulkhead.
#8 If you pay for your child’s seat (over 2 years old) they will ask you to have your kid sit down in their own seat and put on their seatbelt during take-off and landing. If your child is not comfortable sitting on their own, you can have him/her sit on your lap, just ask for a seatbelt extension.
#9 Most travelers presume that they can easily negotiate for a room upgrade when they get to the hotel. So they do…but they don’t usually get one. Get more space at the same price without the need for haggling by asking for a corner room or a handicap-accessible one when you are traveling with small children. Hotel staff are usually easier to convince to give you this especially when you have big strollers.
#10 You can ask for a crib or a baby cot for that extra bed space. Most hotels offer this for free.
#11 Understand the hotel’s child policies. These vary per hotel. First off, check if your hotel allows children to stay as there are resorts and resort-casinos that don’t allow children.
Child policies also determine if you will need to pay extra or the next occupancy tier for your child (which will be based on the age). If you want to save on that, say that your child is below the max child policy age restriction and share your bed with your kid.
#12 You can ask for a late check-out by telling the front desk that their young guest needs to take a nap after lunch time.
#13 You can request for additional water bottles for free from hotels when you travel with a baby (but it is best to ask for it in advance).
#14 Babies ride free in trains and buses in most countries, no need to buy them separate tickets. (This rule also applies to local attractions).
#15 If you’re travelling between interconnected countries (ie such as a European tour), you might want to consider using the rail which is free up to 6 yrs old versus taking flights, where you’ll have to pay the child rate for kids above 24 months old. You can save anywhere between $300 to $800, depending on where you are headed.