Good news for air travelers

Some good new regulations for us hardworking people that has to pay the flight out of our own pockets. Now, the airlines have to make sure that we know what we pay for. If you see an ad with a price, that’s the price you are going to pay. No extra taxes or fees.

Also – and this one I love – you now have 24 hours to hold or cancel your reservation without any fees. So you can do some more research…

And for us who switches flights: The same baggage allowances and fees apply for the whole trip. Yes, I have been refused to bring bags with me since the baggage allowances where different on the connecting flight.

And if your flight is more than 30 minutes late, they are now responsible of letting you know that.

As a famous talkshow host would have said: “LO-VE IT!”

Posted in Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Mayflower projectThe Thanksgiving is approaching and all students – and their parents – in America is hooked up on various projects to complete. My first grader was to make a model of the Mayflower. And he would loose points if it did not float. We headed off to HobbyLobby for material and to Lowes for paint. I will add a video here later on with the project, but for now you all have to settle with a little picture. And I am back to crying over Regis last tv show. How will we ever survive?



Posted in Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

New kids on the airplane


Posted in Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

When your teenager fly alone

I found an excellent article in New York Times for those of you who have teenagers that are about to fly by themselves. And, while on the topic, some voices about why to send or not send your teenager abroad by themselves.


Posted in Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

Calling all globetrotters: Keep track of your adventures!

One thing I always regret is that I have not kept a good track on all my journeys. During my youth I traveled around most part of Europe, and in my 20′s I explored Asia and Northern Africa. But exactly when I visited Ukraine, and what month I was in Tadzhikistan I do not know.

Explore the world with the kidsThis weekend my kids will make sure they will not have the same dilemma when they are grown-ups. I found a nice map over USA at Target for 5 dollars, and on it we will pin down notes with dates on for when we visited different places. I also bought a map over the world at Borders going out of business sale.

I know there are really good places to do this digitally, but I like the idea of my kids pinning this map. That will – I hope – keep up the excitement for future travels with mom and dad.

Posted in Blog | 1 Comment

Direct from the airplane – with fresh ideas for your next flight

I just got back from Europe with my two kids. You learn something new every flight, and this time I would like to start sharing the following :

- Continental has great entertainment for kids (and I am NOT being payed to say so). I loved the screen that included kids movies, short programs and even games. I could sleep twice, something I have never been able to do while traveling alone with the kids!

- To sit in the back in a 777 is not bad. Not bad at all, that is. We had no one behind us, could flip the chairs and had only three steps to the rest room. That will be my favorite place from now on.

- Switching flights in London was a hassle, to say the least. We had not received boarding passes for our connecting flight, the custom procedure took for ever, and though I had two hours to get from one gate to the next, we almost missed the plane. Sic!

- We left early in the morning, so I had made some sandwiches for the kids to eat on the airplane. Was prepared to have to leave them at the custom, but that was no problem whatsoever to bring them on board. Since I also had bought some juice at the gate, the kids had a great breakfast on the airplane without emptying my wallet. By the way, remember that there are strict regulations regarding bringing food from one country to another, so if your kids does not finish the picnic you might as well leave the leftovers on board.



Posted in During the flight, Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

Things that helps when flying with infants and kids

Gatechecking a stroller makes flying with kids easier.

Gatechecking a stroller makes flying with kids easier.

1. Gate check a stroller. Most companies allow you to gate check a stroller, depending on their regulations. This was a must for me when I traveled by myself with toddlers. I used a Mountain Buggy (Urban Jungle) and I cannot tell you enough how much I love this stroller. It works wonders when getting to my destination as well. I often travel to Europe, and I need something sturdy that can handle anything from beach strolling to forest hiking. I also used a smaller stroller from Gracco, which was also great when the kids where smaller.


2. Even though I had gate checked a stroller, I brought a Baby Bjorn carrier on board. It helped me to put my son to sleep in no-time, and it saved my back during the flight.

3. A good diaper bag, with lots of smart solutions in it. I have a crush on Skip Hops bigger version and I have used them a lot during flights.

4. Anti-bacterial wipes. Do not think twice, just go get them.

5. Spill free cups. How I wish I had brought one of these that flight when my kid poured all the juice over me…

Posted in Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

9 Things You Need to Check With Your Airline Before Flying With Kids

Regulations when flying changes all the time. These are my top nine questions that I always make sure to ask before booking our tickets.

- When are you suppose to show up at the airport and check in?

- How much are you allowed to carry with you on board? (Check how much extra weight/luggage each child can bring)

- What food choices for the kids are available, and do you need to book those ahead?

- Is there a bassinet for your infant? What are the age limit/weight limit on that one?

- Re-booking rules for your specific ticket? What happens if you need to reschedule due to sick child?

- What are the regulations for car seats on board?

- Are you allowed to gate check a stroller? Also, check if there are any size limits for that stroller.

- Can you bring baby formula on board?

- Are you supposed to change planes? If so, how much time is schedule in between?

If you do not have full custody of your child, or if you are accompanying another child than your own, there might be different regulations concerning paperwork you need to bring. This is something you need to check when you book the ticket, since this is nothing I can advice on.

Posted in Things to do on an airplane | Leave a comment

Do Not Get Robbed While Flying

There has been reports in the media that people tweet and tell their facebook friends about their traveling plans, and by doing so get robbed.

It is understandable that you would like to share what is happening, especially when it is something bigger than just refilling your coffee, or driving the kids to school. But don’t.  Putting the information about you leaving your house is like sending an open invitation to burglars, and the last thing you want to deal with when arriving back home is a home someone broke into.

Make sure that your mail is taken cared of, either by cancelling delivery or by letting a friend empty the mail box.

And before you leave, take a stroll around your home, look inside the windows and see if there is anything that can tempt burglars.

Better safe than sorry.


Posted in During the flight, Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

5 Things NOT to Do When Flying

5 things to avoid when flying1. Be late. This is a huge one, since your stress will affect not only your blood pressure, but also your child. Kids feel if you are stressed, and you are more likely to prone them into not liking flying. When I am in a stress, I tend to get tunnel memory. My expression for the phase where I tend to be able to only keep a few things in my mind, and forget about details. That is when I leave my new bought sunglasses at the restroom, and when I not notice that the son’s pacifier gets left behind.

2. Forget your travel itinerary and tickets. You think it cannot happen? Neither did I. Until that time when I and my infant where traveling from USA to Germany. I had an electronic ticket, but I had forgotten I needed a paper ticker for the infant. Ended up costing me a lot since I had to buy him a new one for 299 dollars. So no matter how smart you are, make sure you check for everybody’s passport and ticket when you sit in the car (before you start driving, preferably).

3. Do not book any special kid friendly meal. Do your kid love spicy chicken or that other indescribably meal they serve on the flight? Mine actually does like to try new things, but that is not always the case for kids. So to be sure, check what kind of food alternatives you could get when booking the ticket. If you would like a more kid friendly alternative, you have to book one.

4. Forget to mention that you would like a bassinet for your infant. Yes, I have been flying for 7 straight hours, holding my very heavy son in my arms due to the fact that the bassinets where already booked. They have a limited number of bassinets on board, so make sure you book one. If nothing has changed, they are free, and will let your kid sleep nice and safe on the airplane in front of your guarding eyes.

5. Do not bother bringing anything to drink for the kid. Actually, this is a big one. There is a lot for the crew to do before and during take off, so they will not likely be able to run for something your kid would like to drink. And you will need to give her or him something a couple of minutes after take off, to ease the pain from the air pressure. Older kids can yawn or regulate air pressure better than smaller, so it can be useful to have something for them to drink.


Posted in During the flight, Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

Unaccompanied Minor Flying

I know there are plenty of fellow parents that have to send their kids alone on an airplane, traveling as what is called unaccompanied minor flying. I recently read an article about it, which I would like to recommend to those of you who have to plan for such a thing.

One very good aspect that Jeff Mills highlights in this article is the importance of explaining for the kids what they can expect from the flight. Which is something that all kids flying will benefit from, flying alone or with their parents (or siblings).

You can read more in this article from The Wall Street Journal, called Nanny Services Make flying Solo a Breeze for kids.

Posted in Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

Simple Packing?

Today was a good day! I got time to hands on dig into the different things I would like to bring with me on our next trip.

This is the proof – I start early sorting out which clothes I bring with me on our 9 weeks of journey, this time to Scandinavia. Since I am going to four-five-perhaps six different destinations, I already now sort everything into different piles. Those things I will definitely need to bring with me to my sister and the celebration of Midsummer goes in one bag, and the things I need when we go to the summer house in Finland – mostly toys for rainy days – goes in another bag. To mention two of those destinations…

Since I will be a single parent for some weeks now, I know I need to plan ahead. I will be staying at other people’s houses, which means I will have limited time to plan and pack while at the locations (Someone has to watch those kids so they do not brake all the porcelain).

I have a base camp, to where I will bring all the six different bags. But the goal is to limit myself and the kids to two “active” bags while visiting around Scandinavia. Will I make it? I guess it is in the future to tell.


Posted in Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

No More Black Bags

“Honey, is that black over there our bag?”

After a couple of flights with kids you realize how smart people are that buys bag with unique prints on them. But you can still use that black, red or grey bag and still be able to find it amongst all other luggage. Just pimp it a little. I found some smart address markers on Target, which I put on my black bags. So they are not all black any more.

You can also do a cheap one: use some colored tape (you can buy it almost anywhere these days, Target and Hobby Lobby has good ones).

In that way, neither you nor any other passenger will get a surprise when opening the bag…

Posted in Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

The Gift of Not Worrying

Un-worried flying sonI have learned that there is one thing that can ruin everything. The worrying before the flight. As a parent, it is so easy to get into the mood where you think about everything that can go wrong on the trip. I used to. But I have realized, that even though my kids get sick or if I spill coffee all over me (or my neighbor), I will still get to the destination.
As long as I let go of how my hair will look when I arrive, it will all work out.

I am not gonna lie and say that it will be a piece of cake to fly with the kids. If there are two parents of you; congrats. If you, like me, do it on your own: you will survive! My kids have done excellent on flights. They have also behaved very, shall we say, bad. Too bad that the airplanes do not have a special place for the kids on board, but what can we do?

One time when I flew to Europe, I happened to end up next to two scientist. Being married to one myself, I have full respect for what they are doing. However, the first thing this very smart researcher said to me was: “I hope the kids will sleep.” Well, sir, I hope to. Unlikely, but good for you if they will. My point is: my kids did not come with a remote control. I will do everything I can if they behave badly or cries, but I am not gonna stress myself about it.

While we are on the subject of stress: be on time. I normally check in as soon as  they open. I just cannot be late, since that is one thing that adds stress for me. I chose to be early so that we all will have plenty of time to go through the security, eat something light and use the restrooms.

Posted in During the flight, Flying with infants, Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

Keep That Tummy Moving

Let’s be honest: long distance flights can slow down any stomach. All those pretzels combined with sitting still for hours – no wonder things get jammed. I always bring a bag of small carrots, and I make sure my boys eat one now and then.

Just make sure that you do not try to bring any veggies off the airplane when you have landed. You are not allowed to bring certain food across the borders. And I do not want to pay a high ticket just because I forgot to eat that apple…

Posted in Flying with infants | Leave a comment

Social Butterfly in the Sky?

Almost every flight I have been to, there has been other moms with kids. I once got stuck at Newark for a couple of hours, and it was a blessing to be able to share toys with another mom – both her and my kid got distracted by playing with someone else toys.

It is not hard to make new friends. Pay someone a compliment on their diaper bag, or even better, on their cute kid. Works every time. Start at the gate – often they let all families with smaller children board earlier, which means you already have something in common! And while we are at it, make sure to ask at the check-in if they will let you on earlier with the kids. I love not having to stand in that waiting line, it takes one stress moment away from the day.

Posted in During the flight | Leave a comment

Before You Buy the Ticket

I always try to fly on one of those least traveled days. Morning flights are the best when it comes to departing on time, while evening flights tend to get pretty full. Also, if you travel long-distance and international, it can be good to go midweek. Friday tends to be quite popular day to travel.

Posted in Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

Flying with infants, part 3

Bring a small mirror when you pack your hand luggage. If there was something my boys loved doing, it was to look at themselves in the mirror. Could kill one hour or two.

Posted in Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

When the parent is the scared one

Let’s face it – even though the chances are like 1 in 11 million that something would happen, there are still those among us who are extremely scared of flying.

I started flying before I was even able to hesitate, so it has never been a problem for me. However, I know people who have had real panic attacks while flying. Not fun if you are the parent.

A friend of mine got good help from googling the topic. One of the web pages that might interest you, is Fear of flying. Unfortunately, some of the information is not for free, but click on the link to read some of the free stuff.

Posted in During the flight, Preparing for the flight | Leave a comment

Flying With Infants

There are a few tricks that can make your flight easier.
1. Teething? Make sure to bring something you think he can out in his or her mouth to ease the pain.
2. Change the diaper before you enter the airplane. The bathroom on board does not deserve to be called rooms, so you would like to limit diapers changed in there. Also, I actually gave my kids a supp the morning of the flight, so we did not have to work with that during the flight.
3. Stroller. I hardly recommend that you check with your aircraft carrier so that you are allowed to gate check a stroller. It makes your flight so much easier.
4. The air pressure can be challenging when lifting and landing. Have something your infant likes to drink in a bottle, and give it to her or him just when the airplane has taken off. Not before. It takes a couple of minutes to get up in the air, so you do not want your treasure to finish his or her drink too early.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment