Few things in life will challenge you to the same degree as traveling with a baby, especially internationally. But taking flight (a long one at that) with your little one doesn't have to live up to the nightmare it's made out to be—that is, if you know how to prepare. To help you plan ahead, we're revealing some of our favorite helpful hacks from a recent Vogue article that uncovers the top secrets to traveling around the world with a baby. Take note of the expert tips below before you and your tyke take flight.
Book flights that coincide with the baby's nap time. In an ideal world, your baby would sleep soundly throughout the duration of the flight. This is not likely, so give yourself the best possible chance at a peaceful plane ride by scheduling flights that overlap with your child's normal nap schedule. That way, your baby will expect to sleep and their nap time won't be disrupted. Win-win.
Select your plane seats carefully. Take the time to do some research as far as the guidelines your chosen airline follows when it comes to traveling with children. If your baby weighs less than 20 pounds, look into booking a bulkhead seat, which may allow you to attach the bassinet to the wall. If you're flying with your partner, try booking a window and aisle seat since lone middle seats often go unbooked on less-full flights. This might afford you the luxury of (free!) extra space and reduce the likelihood of your baby slobbering on your seat neighbor.
Overprepare. Imagine the worst-case scenario, and plan for it. By doing this, you'll be prepared for anything and everything that's thrown your way during your travels. Bring more than enough diapers, an extra set of clothing, and a surplus of food and formula for your little love. It's also wise to pack a pharmaceutical supply (for both you and baby), since filling prescriptions overseas can be a headache in itself.
Be stroller-savvy. Leave your bulky day-to-day buggy at home, but bring a lightweight umbrella stroller with you for your travels. If you can check the small stroller at the gate, it will help you navigate your way through the airport and almost the entire way to your seat without the extra heavy-lifting, not to mention that it'll free up your hands to haul other luggage.
Take advantage of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Avoid long lines at the airport and the extra steps of removing your shoes (and who knows what else) when going through security by applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry ahead of time. The easier traveling is for you, the easier it will be for the baby, too.
What is your favorite travel tip for flying a baby? Ensure you and your baby are comfortable during your travels by investing in an infant airplane seat.