As you can probably gather from some of my previous posts I have not always been the best traveler so, I love tips and hearing other people’s experiences so I can continue to get better. I eat up anything that will help me be prepared and become a better traveler. Over the years I have become a much better traveler and the more I travel the better I get. Trust me, I always love being wherever our destination is, it’s the getting there that I would struggle with. International trips are still the hardest for me for pretty obvious reasons; longer flights, longer layovers, different languages and so on. In addition, I start thinking of all the horror stories people have shared over the years and I start to worry about things that might happen.
Practice makes perfect. Our last international trip was to Spain for business and pleasure so we took the kids, which usually intensifies any anxiety I might have but, we had a blast and the travel portion was quite bearable for me. I actually enjoyed the entire trip from start to finish. What makes me a better traveler is being prepared, researching, and most importantly, remembering to be present to enjoy the journey! It makes a better trip for everyone.
Here are a just a few basic International Travel Tips I thought I would share. They might seem simple and basic but those are some of the things that are often overlooked but can really make a difference. I like simplicity and try not to over-complicate anything. So, it’s a short list and I know there are so many useful tips out there so all of you veteran travelers out there please share your travel tips and experiences.
- Check your passport’s expiration date; if it will have 6 months or less on it when you will be traveling get a new one, some countries will not accept it. Check it as soon as you know when you will be traveling – just in case. You know how efficient government agencies can be and you don’t want to pay to have the process expedited.
- Make two photocopies of each passport. Leave one at home with a close friend or relative and leave the other in a safe place where you are staying in case you happen to lose the original.
- Along those lines, let a close friend or relative know what your general itinerary is.
- Check the exchange rates so you can get an idea of what your money will be worth AND always exchange some before you depart to have when you arrive
- Do some research with the kids and get them excited. Let them help plan some of the activities.
- Make the journey part of the vacation and plan some fun things to do with the kids on the flight to keep them engaged, involved and entertained.
– Happy Travels!
VP & Dad
I don’t know about you but traveling can be stressful enough for me without kids. I have not been known to be the best traveler in our family; I get anxious, tired, and irritable. Add a couple kids to the mix with all the gear that comes along with them to traveling through a crowded airport and it just compounds the stress. I must admit, however, that I get better each trip. The Travelmate has definitely been a lifesaver and played a major role in easing my travel woes.
That being said, even the greatest and simplest product can cause frustration when using it for the first time with a long line of anxious travelers behind you. The simplest task becomes near impossible. Below are some tips for you to consider BEFORE you travel when you are taking your Travelmate to make your traveling with kids more relaxed and enjoyable.
- Get to know your gogo Kidz® Travelmate; don’t wait until the day you travel. Practice attaching it to your car seat. Once you have done it once or twice you will be a pro and will be able to easily attach or detach it in 30 seconds; even with your child sitting in it.
- Going through security these days can be stressful and enduring, especially with baby in arms. With FAA and Airport regulations constantly changing, the airport security machines are too. As you near the x-ray machine, you will need to take your child out of the car seat, but leave the gogo Kidz® Travelmate attached, if it appears your seat will not fit through the machine, you may simply remove the quick release wheels for added space. If, after removing the wheels, your car seat will still not fit just ask one of the security personnel to hand wand your car seat with the gogo Kidz® Travelmate attached.
- Getting to the gate; if you have purchased a seat on the airline you can wheel your car seat right on to the plane. Wheeling it to your assigned seat is determined by the width of your car seat and the width of the airline aisle. You will probably want to lift your car seat up when you get on the plane anyway to place it in your airline seat. Traveling alone with your little ones? Just ask a flight attendant to carry it to your seat for you. Checking your car seat at the gate, again you can wheel your car seat all the way there.
- Your car seat might not fit down the aisle; If you will be using your car seat on the airplane, take your child out of the seat just prior to boarding. Wheel your car seat onto the plane and put the handle in the lowest position so at the last minute, you can pick up your car seat by the gogo Kidz Travelmate handle to carry down the aisle of the plane.
- Carry On’s; Traveling with a car seat, child, toys, entertainment and other random necessities is difficult. Eliminate the stress by eliminating the number of carry ons! While the gogo Kidz® Travelmate can carry your car seat and your child, your diaper back pack can carry a few “new” toys, along with diapers, a change of clothes, DVD player and of course, a book for yourself. You can do all this and still have a hand free for holding on to your ID and boarding pass.
- It is a great idea to travel with a back pack rather than a shoulder strap bag. The back pack will allow you to have both hands free: one for wheeling your car seat and the other for holding your boarding pass. (Baby Sherpa makes a great diaper back pack)
- If you do not have a separate seat for your child on the airplane, take advantage of the easy ability to use your car seat as your stroller through the airport and gate check. This will allow you to safely and securely have your child ride through the airport and have your car seat for layovers, or simply at your final destination.
Remember, the taxi cab will most likely NOT have a car seat for the ride from the airport to your destination.
Want to find out the aisle width on the plane or info on your seat? Below is a link to a great site, full details of the good seats, width, etc. on your airline by type of plane.
– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad