I enjoy traveling with my son who is almost four-year old now. We started our family vacations to Europe and China when he was eight-month old. My son has been exciting to see the world. He is not afraid to meet people because of our extensive travel experience. I would like share some great tips and guide for traveling with kids.
1. Flight Fare: Kids Under Two Years is Free or Almost Free.
Domestic Flights (North America): All airlines (except budget airlines) charge nothing (not even taxes) for kids under two-years old if kids sitting on your lap. We took advantage of this offer to travel Western and Eastern Canada. Most flights have lots of vacant seats, kids can occupy two seats if one parent sitting somewhere else on the plane.
International Flights (Within North America not Overseas): Zero kid fare for children under two-year old. You are only required to pay taxes to travel to USA. We traveled from Canada to Mexico City by WestJet just before my son turned to two-year old. We paid nothing for my son, not even taxes.
International Flights (Overseas): Most airlines charged 0 - 10% for kids under two-years old if siting my parent's lap. Again, lots of vacant seats on international flights. We flew with KLM from Canada to Amsterdam and we paid $57 return trip for my son and $55 from Canada to China with Sichuan Airline for a return trip for my son. Subsequently, we travelled two trips with my son to Europe by British Airways and Air Canada. I have never paid more than $100 for my son who was under two-year old at those two times. Please note: WestJet charges zero fare for kids under two year-old regardless where you fly to. Tip: phone the airlines to request a bassinet (first come first serve basis) which is free. The airline will automatically move your seats to the first row which has most legroom without extra charge.
2. Train Travel: Kids Free Under 4 to 6 Years Old
The age limit for kids varies by country from under 4 to under 6 years old. For infant under two year ago, you don't need to reserve a ticket. For kids under 4 – 6 years old. you can reserve a child ticket, but pay nothing for them. When we traveled to Europe for the last few times, we paid nothing for my son who is under 4 years old.
3. What Are Allowed to Bring On the Plane?
All infant foods are allowed to bring on the plane for infants under two-year old regardless they are liquid or solid food. Airport security will quickly analyze the composition of jars, cans or bottles of infant foods. Prepackaged infant foods will be exempt by the custom entry requirements. It is always good to bring more infant foods and toys to keep your infant entertained on the plane. Some airline may offer infant foods in jars. Car seats and strollers can be checked in without charge. Tip: when you check in your stroller, please make sure to remove all the attachments and accessories. We lost a cup holder and stroller organizer by European and Canadian airlines on two occasions.
4. Almost Free: All Inclusive Trips to Mexico and Caribbean Countries
All infants under two years are almost free for all-inclusive trips to Mexico and Caribbean Countries. The airlines only charge very small amount of taxes just for the flight. For example, we only paid $16 for my son on an all-inclusive trip from Canada to Cuba. I checked if my son over two-year old, his fare is $100 cheaper than adult price. I really enjoy with my son to resort. No hassles with young kid considering all foods and transportation are free.
5. Disneyland and LEGOLAND Free for Kids Under Three-Year Old
Yes, we took advantage of free admission for kids under three-year old visiting Disneyland and LEGOLAND. The regular admission is over $100 per day. My son enjoyed both two theme parks. We flew from Canada to Los Angele for $340 return trip and $261 from Canada to San Diego return trip.
Disneyland Tip: every year, Disneyland Official website has a ticket sale for Canadian residents for traveling before June.
Legoland Tip: Buy San Diego Pass which includes LEGOLAND entry.
6. Attraction Tickets Free For Kids Under Two-Year Old
Most attractions in Europe and North American have free kids admission. You may take advantage of this offer when traveling with younger kids. Most tour operators offer kids' fares, but kids are free under three-year old if not occupy a seat. Most airport lounge does not charge for kids under three-year old and some airport lounge is free for kids under six-year old.
7. Good Selection Items and Free Diapers at European Pharmacy Stores
Some European pharmacy store provides free baby diapers for customers who visit their stores. I found European pharmacy stores have very good selections of infant products and better price than that of North America. Lots of items are made in Europe with good design and quality. Save some time to shop for your children when you visit Europe.
8. Airbnb Apartment
I strongly recommend tourists to stay at Airbnb properties when you travel with infants and young children. The properties gives a feeling similar staying at a home with living rooms, laundry room, kitchen, more than one-bedroom for better resting for parents. When we travelled to Europe when my son was an infant, we chose two-bedroom apartment or house, so one parent could have better sleep.
Book Airbnb from the link below will save you $62 CAD/$43 USD/41 Euros instantly for your first stay anywhere around the world: