As a follow up to Tuesday’s "Flight Fright" post, I wanted to broach the subject of breastfeeding while traveling. If you’re a mom who breastfeeds or has breastfed your babies, you know that breastfeeding in public can be a tricky subject. When the "public" is a crowded plane, it can be even trickier.
In my opinion breastfeeding can be done elegantly and easily, without exposing your body to strangers. And if you aren’t in puritanical America (we often treat women who breastfeed as though they’re hookers on the street), you have even less to worry about.
Not to mention that when traveling with a baby you breastfeed rather than bottle feed, you’re actually traveling with a lighter load in your baby’s diaper bag. And what mother isn’t looking to lighten the load?
My daughter-in-law has a routine that allows her to travel anywhere. She has a scarf or shawl that she carries with her. It’s a very light and porous material, so it allows air to circulate freely, making it a perfect drape for the baby while she’s nursing.
She wears the correct nursing bra, and always, while nursing, a top that has easy access, like a button or zipper, so that she only has to open up her top as much as is absolutely necessary. She holds the baby in her arms, drapes the shawl or scarf over herself and the baby, and the cover allows her to nurse the baby in privacy. Plus, the very same scarf or shawl you use to cover up while breastfeeding can serve duel purpose as an accessory for your wardrobe.
Viola! Breastfeeding on the go is a snap.
David Wilson of ninemsn recently published an article in the travel section about planning a luxurious vacation for less. David called on me for some expert travel advice about finding the best deals online, so have a peek!
Jen Leo of the LA Times recently wrote about her excitement for her baby’s first plane flight in the LAT’s Daily Travel and Deal Blog. If any of you have ever experienced the joys of a fussy baby in a public place, you might be scratching your head right now. Yes, she said excitement.
Jen suggested some tips for flying with a baby and keeping your seat neighbors happy. But not only am I a travel agent and constant traveler, I’m a mom too. So I’ve had my own experiences flying with a baby, and I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s not that bad. For the full scoop, take a look at the comment I left on Jen Leo’s post.
A group of Friendly Planeteers recently returned from our Treasure of Thailand trip. The Thailand vacation includes 12 days of beautiful beaches and islands, exotic architecture, fascinating culture, and ancient ruins.
And it looks like the author of this customer testimonial found the Friendly Planet Travel Thailand adventure as marvelous as we do. Here’s the e-mail, completely unedited:
"Dear Friendly Planet, I just returned from your Treasures of Thailand tour. I wanted to let you know that I was so impressed with every aspect of this trip! When I booked this tour I was honestly apprehensive. The price was so good it seemed too good to be true. I really expected to have problems along the way, but there were none! Our tour guide, Ms. Atchara, was outstanding! She took a personal interest in everyone on the tour. There were many times she stopped and bought small presents for our group, like local food to sample or tiger balm for sore feet. The one thing that I really felt was over and above was the fact that she personally picked me up from the airport on my return from Phuket! I expected a private car for a transfer, but she came along just to see me again and to make sure I had a good time in Phuket! I feel like I’ve left a friend behind in Thailand, and I wanted to make sure you know what outstanding people you have working for you there! I can definitely say after this wonderful experience that I would highly recommend Friendly Planet Travel to anyone looking to see the world at a great price. I will absolutely be traveling with you in the future! Thank you again!
– Jenny Gontz, Chambersburg, PA"
Just can’t get enough of Friendly Planet Travel? Follow me on Twitter @FriendlyPlanet. I tweet Friendly Planet Travel deals, share links to interesting news stories about travel, and other interesting stuff for anyone who has a passion for seeing the world. Tweet you later!
A recent Friendly Planeteer was interviewed by The New York Times’ Michelle Higgins for her weekly Practical Traveler column.
Denis Weber, who traveled with us to China in February, pointed out that with our deals, he was able to take advantage of a 10-day tour of Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai for less than what he would have paid for airfare alone had be been trying to book a trip himself. Thanks for pointing us out, Denis!
Working in the travel business, I naturally get a lot of travel questions from people. And a question that comes up fairly often is when is a good time of day to schedule a flight to ensure on-time arrival and lower fares?
Flights that take off in the morning and originate at your departure airport are going to depart and arrive as timely as possible. As the day goes on, flights tend to back up, and you run the risk of arriving later.
Morning, however, is not the least expensive time to travel. Typically, if you’re flying to places that are business destinations (New York City, Boston, L.A., etc.), the Monday through Friday early morning and early evening flights are going to be the most expensive.
The best way to get the very best fare is to call the airline and ask about the lowest rate between Point A and Point B, and what you have to do to get this price. If you’re flexible, make sure you tell them so, and you should only offer up the approximate time you need to travel.
For example, "I’m flexible. I want to go from Philadelphia to Miami sometime in March." The agent will tell you the best fare available, and if you call several airlines operating that service, you’ll soon discover what the best rates are and how to get them.
The same works for online booking sites. By clicking the "I’m flexible" button, you can compare the various fares available at the cheapest times. If you’re willing to do your homework, chances are you’ll be able to find a great deal no matter where you’re headed.