Travel Tips

Explore our travel tips from expert and real parents to help you plan your next vacation or family trips. Our travel tips include planning tips, itineraries for families, saving tips and packing tips.

DC Itinerary Planning: 5 Days in Washington DC with Young Kids

DC Itinerary Planning: 5 Days in DC with Kids

One of the aspect of vacation planning for our family is hours I spent reading, researching and agonizing over our itinerary planning. Just because we have a list of things to do in the destination doesn’t mean we can just sit back and relax. It’s even more important to have a good planning for a trip to Washington DC with kids. So I realized that my time that I have spent on our itinerary planning can be given back to you, our readers. I hope it will help you in your own planning for your next family vacation to Washington DC.

DC Itinerary Planning: Five Days in DC with Kids


Children ages at the time of travel: 7 and 5 years old

Time visited: Spring 2009

DC Itinerary:

Day 1: Travel day and DC by Night


DC Itinerary with Kids Tidal Basin


To save on our trip to Washington DC with kids, we loaded up the car and head north on the 10 hours road trip from Georgia. We arrived in DC late afternoon and after we checked-in, grabbed our dinner, we didn’t waste anytime to explore Washington DC. A quick metro ride from our hotel in Chrystal City transported us to the Tidal Basin area just in time to enjoy the night time stroll during the Cherry Blossom festival week.

Day 2: Museums and Clock Tower


DC Itinerary with Kids: Smithsonian Castle


In the morning, we started out early and planned to spend the day in the National mall area. So the first stop was the Smithsonian Castle, where we had some to enjoy coffee, grab a map to plan out the rest of the day and shopped for our souvenir. Most museums open at 10 AM but make sure to check about the admission requirement especially if you plan to visit DC during the peak season like spring break or holidays. Many museums will require tickets. Those tickets will be free but you still need to reserve or wait in line to get your tickets.

The museums we planned for today was the National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History with a lunch break in between. Since the Natural Museum of Natural History is right across the lawn from the Castle, we strolled across the Mall to the museum right when it opened.


DC Itinerary with Kids: National Museum of Natural History


Arriving early allowed us to enjoy the museum before it gets too crowd. We spent a good couple hours in there. The National Museum of Natural History is truly a great place for toddlers and young kids. With so many exhibits for them to touch and explore, we had to literally drag them out of the museum.


DC Itinerary with Kids: National Museum of Natural History


Our next stop was the Old Post Office building. Since we didn’t want to wait in line to go up the Washington Monument, we opted for the other best place to have the view of Washington DC. If I had the crystal ball to see into the future and knew that the Washington Monument will be closed due to earthquake damage, we might suck it up and wait for the chance to go up the Washington monument.

But that’s not to say that our experience at the Old Post Office tower is anything but awesome! We took the elevator up to the top of the tower and enjoyed amazing clear view on the bright blue sky day of Washington DC. It was also fun for kids to see the tower clock up close.

By then, it was lunch time and the Old Post Office food court at the ground floor was perfect place for us to enjoy lunch on a budget. The food was good and the people watching was fun.


Washington DC with Kids American History-3


With energy from lunch and ice cream, we trekked our way to the National Museum of American History. But by now, the kids had been up since 8 AM and been walking around since then. So we knew their limit were near. We checked with the visitor center desk for the family guide and how to maximize our time at this huge museum. The family guide to America on the Move is perfect for family with limited time. The guide provided fun and interactive ways for kids to both enjoy and appreciate the exhibit. It turned out Mr. Z chose National Museum of American History as one of his favorite during our family trip to DC. Go figure! Boy with wheels.

Then it was time to head back to the hotel. I had purchased certificate to Ted Montana Grill for this trip. A little bit of planning will help save on our vacation budget. We knew we will have to eat out so why not save on those dinner. Plus, we have always loved dining at Ted Montana Grill so it was a familiar dinner to end a full first day in DC with kids.

Day 3: The Capitol and DC by Foot Tour


DC with Kids- Capitol Tour-1


After a quick break from the Capitol, we were back at it for a full day of fun. The day started early and we had high hope for a fun tour of the Capitol and DC by Foot tour of the memorial and monument later in the evening for our fourth day in DC.

But thing didn’t go according to plan and there was nothing we could do about it when we missed our Capitol tour by 5 minutes and after waiting in line to get the walk-in tickets, the fire alarm set  off and everyone had to evacuate the building. So there it went out morning of Capitol tour ended up with evacuation. We just took the opportunity to check out the Union Station nearby and had lunch at the food court. There are several food courts within the downtown DC area that are perfect for family on a budget. These budget friendly food options in DC were not only great way to save on our vacation but also great for providing different options for picky eaters.




But the day was saved by the evening of fun and educational tour from DC by Foot a free, tip based walking tour in DC. The tour lasted about 2 hours and we started from the Washington monument all the way to the Lincoln Memorial.

It was a long day for us but the kids did extremely well. We walked back to the metro station and headed back to our hotel for a great night of sleep.

Day 4: The National Zoo


DC with Kids Itinerary Planning: The National Zoo


Another break from the National Mall and all the museums in DC but still part of the Smithsonian. The National Zoo is a great destination for family with kids of all ages. Who doesn’t love to see animal especially the Panda, the star attraction in the National Zoo. We originally planned for 2 stops today – the National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum. However, after a longer than planned day at the Zoo, we pushed a visit to the National Air and Space museum to the next day.

It was a great decision to relax and take it easy the rest of the day after a fun filled at the National Zoo with kids.

Day 5: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and White House


DC with Kids- Air and Space Museum-1


On our last full day in Washington DC with kids, we saved the best for last. With young kids, the National Air and Space museum is a world of fascination for them. The museum is huge and can be crowd especially during the peak season. However, things were moving along and there were so many staffs on site to help answer any questions.

If you haven’t check out their website before heading there, you can still check the visitor information center to find out about family friendly guide to help navigate the Air and Space museum for kids. Read more on our day at National Air and Space museum with kids.


Washington DC with Kids - The White House


Then after we had enough of the air crafts, space objects and various science exhibit, our brain was so full that we needed a break. So we decided to walk to the White House visitor center. Even though we didn’t secure the passes from your congressmen or representative, a visit to the White House visitor center was still fun and worthwhile. Plus we couldn’t leave Washington DC without taking the obligatory picture in front of gate of the White House.


Bonus Day: Day Trip to Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore


Baltimore with Kids_Port Discovery-3


We took a day trip out of DC to Baltimore for a fun day of Children’s museum at the Port Discovery Children’s museum. It might seem weird to decide to take a trip to Baltimore with kids when we still have so many things to do in DC with kids. First reason was we didn’t want the kids to get museum overloaded and wanted to break the trip to add a different flavor to the trip.

Secondly, we had an annual membership to our local children’s museum that had the reciprocal membership with the Port Discovery Children’s museum for free admission so there was no additional cost except the gas to go to Baltimore.

Lastly, Port Discovery Children’s Museum is considered one of the best children’s museum and is deserving so. Kids truly enjoyed every minute of our time in Baltimore.

Resources for family vacation planning to DC with kids



Have you been to DC with kids? Share with us your family itinerary or tips.


Fun Things to Do in DC for School-age Kids

Things to do in DC with kids

Finding family friendly things to do in DC with kids is easy. But choosing what your family can fit into your schedule and limited vacation time is extremely hard. We have been to Washington DC with kids a few years ago and we knew that we want to go back there again. Even with a proper planning on finding things to do with kids on our last trip, we still have a long list of things we haven’t done in DC.

So now, I’m back at it again, searching, reading, listing and planning our next family vacation to Washington DC. This time, the kids are older. They are in elementary school and they have learned a lot more about US history and all other things kids learn in school. So our list has changed from things that will entertain toddler and young kids to things that will interest tweens and school-age children. Here are our list of top things to do in DC for school-age kids.

The Library of Congress

Not that Library of Congress is not worthy of a visit if it doesn’t have the title of the world’s largest library. But with a parent of kid who obsesses with anything that holds the world title, we couldn’t miss out on visiting the world’s largest collection of knowledge. With various activities suitable for families and kids like a free guided tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building or an interactive self-guided Passport of Knowledge, who said visiting library has to be boring.

Tour of the Capitol

Kids will love to see how their government works if we are lucky and the Congress is in session. Last visit to DC, we missed our tour by 5 minutes because we miscalculated on how long it would take to go through the security check. And to make matter worse, we couldn’t get the stand by tickets because there was a false fire alarm that day. But this time, we hope we could finally get to tour the Capitol.

Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air & Space Museum

We have been to the National Air and Space Museum at the National Mall location. It was huge and kids enjoyed every minute of it. We spent almost a couple hours there touring and checking out almost every exhibits. So this visting to DC with kids, we would love to change it up and check out the biggest aircrafts and space object especially the Discovery Space Shuttle. With the location in Chantilly, the visit to Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air & Space Museum will be a bit drive so we will probably plan to explore things outside DC that day.

International Spy Museum

With so any free museums to visit in Washington DC, it might seem odd that we will want to shell out admission fee to another museum. But as we mention, the kids are older and their interests have changed. The Spy Museum will be a big hit not only for them but for us as well. Luckily, we found a deal online from GoldStar so that will help on our budget.

National Building Museum

Ok, we haven’t heard about this museum before until we read the post from local blogger in DC. And after checking out the website for more information, we know this will be another great non-traditional museum that kids will enjoy. There are free tours for historic building tour and family-friendly wonderous pension building tour. We also can’t wait to check out the family tool kit to help us learn and explore the museum in a more fun way.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Now that kids are older and know that value of money, what could be more exciting than seeing the money being printed. To tour BEP, if you go during the peak season like us, you will need to get free ticket at the Visitor Center or via your congressional office. The free 40-minute experience includes an introductory film and gallery tour of the production process.  The visitor center includes exhibits and currency products for sale.

United State Holocaust Memorial Museum

We don’t know what to expect but the kids have been learning about war history and Miss J has been reading Ann Frank book since 4th grade. So she knows that this is one museum she would like to visit. After checking out the museum website, there are several good information on how to visit the museum with kids. Make sure to pick up or download family guide before you go.

National Parks in DC

We bought National Park passport book for our kids a few years ago but after our first trip to Washington DC. So this revisit trip is a great opportunity for us to collect passport cancellation stamp from various national parks in Washington DC. At least we know we will visit The White House, Vietnam Veteran Memorial, Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and many more. We might not be able to get all the stamps but we will try to visit the ones that are close to each other.

So that’s it. Our list of things to do with kids in DC for our 4 days visit. As usual, we will use this as a guide but will also play it by ears and be flexible on the program.

Check out our list of things to do in DC with young kids from our previous visit here.


Tips for Planning Family Ski Trip for First-Timers


As a family who lives in the South where snow is a thing of special treat, planning a ski trip with kids can be very challenging and costly. And like many families who have never skied before the task of preparing all the necessary equipments and gears can be daunting. So I would like to share with you our own experience when we prepared for our first ever ski trip a couple years ago. I still feel like newbie in this ski thing. Planning a successful family ski vacation is easier with these tips for planning family ski trip from various family travel bloggers.

Ski is an expensive activity. You probably know that. Just to get ourselves ready for a day on the slope we have to purchase several clothing to make sure that we won’t freeze to death. However, there are ways to help minimize the cost by shopping smarter and know what to splurge and what to skim. If this is your first time planning a family ski trip and don’t yet know whether your family will like it, you don’t have to go overboard and purchase $300 snow pant. Read on for more tips on planning and saving on family ski vacation.

Things to Prepare for Family Ski Trip


Ski Clothing


Family Ski Trip Planning: Ski Clothing

Base Layer

To help combat the cold and prevent us from loosing the heat, a shirt made from quick-drying fabric like a synthetic blend of wool, which wicks moisture away from skin, is an essential base layer. We picked up a few t-shirt at Target for less than $20 each. For a more popular brand, you can spend a bit more with Under Armour shirt.

Mid Layer

We already have fleece sweater so fortunately we don’t have to shell out on this layer. Keep an eye out for winter clearance sale from Old Navy or sporting store like REI to score deep discount fleece sweater or jacket. During the sale, I was able to score $7 fleece sweater.

Ski Jacket

This is probably the most expensive investment we have to do. It’s highly recommended that we look for waterproof jacket. The waterproof feature drives up the price and selections. Luckily, when I went shopping at REI, we snatched a Burton Jacket for Mr. Z. Be on the look out for end of season sale at the ski store as well. Typically, they will have a sale pre-season around September or October to clear out last season inventory. It’s a great time to shop for great jacket. This is the one item that I think you should invest on.

Snow Pants

For Miss J and Mr. Z, I opted for the bib options for them. We picked one up for each of them last year from Walmart. I know.. I don’t even know if there is a brand on this but for a once a year activity, I think it will work out. We might invest in better pants or bib later if they decide they want to go skiing more often. For now, every penny counts! For me, I was able to check out the used sporting store in our area (similar to Play Again Sport) and picked up a nice snow pants for under $30.

Ski Gloves or Mittens

We need waterproof and breathable gloves. Our normal winter gloves that we use won’t do. Luckily, we found a cheap option from warehouse club for less than $15 a pair. Our gloves have a little pouch that you can store the handwarmer.


This is another key for keeping yourself as comfortable as you can because you will need all your focus on skiing downhill. Good socks will keep your feet warm even on the cold day. Looks for wool socks and preferably ski socks.

Balaclava or Neck gaiters

Balac what??? That’s my first response. But talking to my friend who has been going skiing every year, this is one piece of clothing that he highly recommended. It will help prevent your face from freezing on your way downhill. Typical scarf will only get in a way and get tangled after a run.

Ski Goggles

This is a must in my book because it will not only protect your eyes from the Sun but also the wind. The ski goggle prices are varied based on the manufacturing and feature. But if this is your first time, you can pick up an entry level ski goggle from the Academy Sport store for under $20 per pair. For kids who wear glasses, you can also look for the ski goggle that goes over the glass. Ask for OTG goggle.

Ski Helmet

We didn’t purchase the ski helmet during our first trip but we rent it from the ski shop. It’s a must in my opinion. You don’t know what can happen and you want to protect your head at all cost. Once we realized that our family love to go skiing and it’s something we will do it on an annual basis, we decided to invest in a helmet for each kid. For way to save, check out the clearance section of the sporting store like REI to see last season helmet. We were able to pick up a ski helmet for Miss J for under $30. So worth it!

Helmet Cover (optional)

We didn’t have the helmet cover yet but it’s something we are thinking about buying. It’s not only a fun way to display their helmet but it’s a great way for us to help identify our kids can they ski down the slope.



Family Ski Trip Planning- Accommodations

Choosing where to stay during your ski trip can help ease the hassle in the morning rush to get to the slope. Hotels or condos closer to the ski slope and within ski village allows the morning routine to be less work.

Also look for condo type accommodation will provide more space for the whole family and other features like dining room and kitchen will come in handy to help save the cost of eating out during family ski vacation.

Many ski resorts provide Kids Ski Free when families book accommodation with a resort. This can help save a lot especially if your kids are older than 6 years old (since most ski resorts already have a program for kids under 6 ski free).

Another way to help save on your family ski trip is to plan a vacation with another family and share the accommodation. Many ski resorts also offer cabin style accommodation that can fit a large group. By sharing with another family, you can save on the cost and have instant play pals for your children.

Ski Equipment Rentals


Family Ski Trip Planning- Ski Rental

To rent or to buy, it’s never a question for us during our first ski trip. Ski equipment is ridiculously expensive. So for a first timer, it makes more sense to just rent the ski equipment. Even if you plan to ski for a few times a year, the cost is still cheaper. Unless of course, your kid plans to join the ski team.

Renting ski equipment is something you can plan in advance rather than wait until the day you want to ski. By arriving early to the ski resort or check out information in advance, you can most likely rent the ski equipment the night before to avoid the long line and rush. Most ski resorts will allow late night pick up of your ski rental equipment as well as lift ticket purchase for the next morning.

Another option for ski rental is to check out local ski shop. Most will have cheaper rate than the ski resort and less crowd. However, it will involve having to transport all the ski equipment on your own. So if you don’t have a car, it might be a bit difficult. Check with local shop if they offer the service the deliver your ski rental equipment.

Ski or Snowboard Lessons


Family Ski Trip Planning- Ski Lessons

For a first timer to family ski trip, ski or snowboard lesson is a must for everyone. I know that the price tag is not something we like to see. But think about the investment you have put into planning a family ski trip with all the hotel, flight, lift ticket, ski rental and ski clothes. You wouldn’t want to ruin the whole vacation by not having fun, right? Having a lesson will provide a good foundation for kids and adults to be able to eventually enjoy the slope on their own.

I would recommend for at least a full day lesson for first timer. It will help you truly learn how to put the ski on, walk on the ski, stop and probably turn as well. And if you are a quick learner, you might even get to go on the lift and take on a few run on the green. It’s much better to learn to get on and off the chair lift with an instructor. I can tell you  that!

For a way to save on ski lesson, check out also family private lesson. With the whole family learning together, it might be cheaper than putting everyone on a different group lesson and you will get more personalized lesson.

My friend, Jen @ TwoKidsandAMap, has a great post laying it out for whether you should take ski or snowboard lesson.


On the Mountain Tips


Prepare for Altitude Sickness

Family Ski Trip Planning-5

If you travel to the ski resort, chances are you will be traveling to a much higher altitude than your home base so one of the main thing to be aware of is Altitude sickness is real and important.

What is altitude sickness (also known as acute mountain sickness)? The altitude sickness is the effect of high altitude (mostly occur at 8,000 ft or higher) on human body. Symptoms often manifest themselves six to ten hours after ascent and generally subside in one to two days, but they occasionally develop into the more serious conditions. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and sleep disturbance.

In order to help avoiding altitude sickness, here are some tips to avoid altitude sickness.

  • Drink plenty of water one week before your trip.
  • If possible, arrive at the base city to help acclimate your body. For a ski trip to the Colorado mountain, a night stay in Denver will help adjust your body. Denver is already at 5,000 ft after all.
  • Take it easy on the first day. I know you will want to go up the top of the mountain and make use of your time but it will be wise to just take it easy on the first day. Enjoy other activities available at the ski resort.
  • Limit the alcohol intake.
  • Drink plenty of water during your time at the high altitude.

For more tips, check out expert Colorado blogger, Kara @ TheVacationGals for tips to avoid altitude sickness on the mountains.

Early Bird Gets the Worms

Family Ski Trip Planning-8

I admit that we are a lazy vacationer type. I love to sleep and there are more than one occasion that we forego one of to-do on our list during our vacation for a bit more sleep. But when planning family ski vacation, we typically run into the busy holiday weekend as that is the only time we can have decent amount of vacation days without taking the kids out from school. With that limitation, it also means all other families are there at the same time. So waking up early and get to the slope as soon as you can is the one thing that regardless of how much you want to cuddle under that warm blanket you must get up.

Some ski resorts will let you start earlier than published lift time if you have already purchased a ticket. Even if they don’t, it doesn’t hurt to be one of the first in line to get on the slope. Waiting till late morning can mean a line mimic one from Disney’s theme park on the busy holiday weekend.

Activities beyond Ski & Snowboard

Family Ski Trip Planning-3

There are other winter activities available in most ski resorts that will keep even the most timid skiers happy. When planning a family ski trip, don’t forget to check out other family-friendly activities available at your ski resort like Kidtopia or snowtubing at Keystone resort.

Plan a day to enjoy what the ski resort has to offer and also give your body a chance to rest like an outdoor hot tub to relax your body with a great mountain view.

Planning Tips from Family Travel Bloggers

The beauty of travel community is the vast amount of resources and knowledge we learn and share with each other. These are just some of the tips I found from our family travel experts.


Do you have other tips to share? Please feel free to leave a comment.


This post is also part of Travel Tips Tuesday hosting by Walking on Travel and Suitcases and Sippy Cups. Check out other travel tips from other bloggers.

Travel Tips: How to Pack for Family Ski Vacation

Packing List for Family Ski Trip

Family ski vacation can be both fun and intimidating at the same time especially for family that ski for the first time. If you grew up skiing, lucky you. You probably know the in and out of how to prepare for your family ski trip. But if you, like me, have never gotten up the slope or put on the ski boots before, the idea of preparing, outfitting and packing for your whole family for the next ski vacation seems like a daunting task.

We went skiing for the fist time as a family last season. With countless nights of reading tips on planning family ski vacation and my faithful spreadsheet, we had the best time on the slope and we dare say that it was one of our favorite family vacation.

Outfitting your children for ski clothing and accessories can be expensive but with our tips you will be able to save on things that you can skim on and invest on things that will worth in the long run. So here are our packing list for family ski trip.

Packing List for Family Skip Trip

Packing List for Family Ski Trip Equipments

Ski Clothing & Accessories

These are items you must pack for your next ski trip. It will ensure your enjoyment up on the mountain.

  • Ski jacket – Invest in a good quality jacket that is waterproof.
  • Snow pant/Bib – Snow bib is like an overall of snow pant. It’s great for children so it won’t fall down. We bought a size bigger and adjust it to fit.
  • Ski glove – Cold hand will make skiing miserable. So invest in a glove that is waterproof that also have lining to keep the little fingers warm
  • Goggles – Try it out with your kid to see if it fits properly. It’s best to go to the store to buy goggles.
  • Base layer – long sleeve and thermal pant.
  • Mid layer – Get fleece top and fleece bottom. My kids actually didn’t wear the mid layer bottom as much. Just the base layer and their snow pant already kept them warm.
  • Ski socks – Look for wicked sock so it will not hold the sweat and keep your feet dry.
  • Ski mitten – It will help keep their hand warm when they need to take the ski glove off.
  • Neck gaiter/Balaclavas – Not a scarf but neck/face warmer that keep the wind out of your face.
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Hand/foot warmer

Ski Equipments (you can rent)

Since this article is written for first time skiers, it’s will be crazy to advice you to invest hundreds (no maybe even thousands) on the ski equipment. All ski resorts will have ski equipment (boots, ski, poles, helmets) for rent. So these are the ski equipments that you need but you don’t really have to buy if this is your first time on the slope.

  • Ski boots
  • Poles
  • Ski
  • Helmets – If you plan to ski at least 2-3 times a year, it’s worth investing in a helmet. For health reason at least you won’t have to worry about lice and the cost of renting helmet will pay off for itself in a few days. We were able to pick up a helmet on clearance that cost less than $30 for our kids.

Après Ski Clothing

  • Sweater
  • Jeans
  • Boots
  • Shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Socks
  • Scarf
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit – There most likely are hot tub in the ski resorts and it’s one of the best way to end your day after a hard day on the slope.
  • Sunglasses

Do you have any particular tips to share on packing for family ski holiday? We will include your tips on our next post about how to save on ski equipments & gears.

Flying with Kids: Long Airport Layover Survival Guide

Tips for Flying with Kids Long Airport Layover

You might already have seen our post and update from our Facebook page on our recent long flight across the Atlantic ocean from Atlanta to Bangkok. We did survive our early flight trip. But it was not the whole ordeal considering it was the longest flight with the longest layover we have had since we started traveling with kids. Oh!! Things we do to save money for traveling. But have no fear we have learned a few tricks and put together tips for flying with kids especially when you have long airport layover.

Tips for Flying with Kids: Long Airport Layover Survival Guide


Know Your Airport

Flying with Kids Airport Map

Before flying, spend a few minutes checking out the airport that you will have a long layover. Check out if there is any kids play area or fun things to do around the airport. As much as I don’t want to waste my time at the airport, one of our longest layover was at one of the best airport in the world, the Changi Airport in Singapore. If you have to be stuck at the airport, this is the airport you want to be. A full review is coming soon but let just say we have plenty of things to do during our 4+ hours there and more!

Technology is Your Friend

I won’t hide the fact that we are the geek family. With the combination of more Apple products than one family should have in their possession, it’s safe to say that we love technology. However, we do limit the kids’ use of technology at home just so that when we travel it will be more rewarding for them to use them. And what’s a better time to take out your iPad for them to play a few games of Angry Birds or Zombie Farms than at a long wait at the gate in LAX.

Fill Up Your Tummy

Eat up and fuel your body with airport food because we all know that peanuts and pretzel will not keep your hunger down in flight. Unless you want to pay premium for a sandwich. Yes, airport food is not cheap either but at least you will have more options than on the plane. Plus, it will make your waiting time go by much faster.

Check for Earlier Flight with Gate Agent

If all else fails, you can also check if there is an earlier flight available to your destination from the same airline. I typically checked the departure information board as soon as I passed the security check and walked up to the gate agent and ask to be put in the waiting list for an earlier flight. This might not work well for a family since you will need more than one seat. However, if you know that the other flight is not full, you might be in luck. We did just that in Singapore and shaved 2 hours from our layover time.

I hope you will never have to endure the long layover.

Do you have any tips to share?