Sponsored by PDM Travel
IF YOU’VE been inspired to book a family get-away but are dreading travelling with small children, fear not! Here are some top tips for stress free flying with little ones.
Choose a family friendly travel agent that can give you good advice.
Check with the embassy or consulate of country you’re visiting whether or not you need a visa. Children with their own passports will also need their own visa, but a child included on a parent’s passport does not.
Ensure that you’ve got a comprehensive family travel insurance policy.
Find out whether you will be able to get hold of the basics like nappies, sterilising tablets, baby food, formula milk and whole milk.
Cheap tickets sometimes have hidden restrictions – like tough cabin baggage weight limits – so check yours carefully before you start to pack.
Get children to carry their own backpacks to lessen your load
Work out responsibilities clearly between adults before setting off.
Dress your child in distinctive clothing to avoid losing them in crowded airport lounges.
Allow plenty of time at the airport for check-in and connecting flights. Remember how much longer it takes to achieve anything with kids in tow!
Ask if your flight is full when checking in. Some assistants will block out the seat next to you in a less full flight or offer you the option of seating next to a vacant seat.
Get wrist “reins” for your toddler – this helps when you are wrestling with bags, buggies, passports and boarding cards in a busy terminal.
Consider booking seats apart from one another if travelling with a partner. This way, one adult can rest while the other entertains the children.
Many airlines board parents with children first. This allows you to grab the most convenient luggage storage before other passengers board, and lets you settle the children into their seats before there are queues in the aisles.
If you think your children will find the time on board dull, you can ask if your partner can board first without you, then you can board last with the children to minimise the waiting time in seats before take off.
As soon as you board, put your pack of wet wipes into the seat pocket in front of you to keep stickiness at bay.
Take your own baby food, bowl and utensils for an infant. Some airlines do have tins of baby food on board – but most likely not what your baby likes best!
Ask for bottles and meals to be warmed well in advance of when you need them.
Entertainment and playing
Wrap toys to add to their entertainment value.
Bring toys out one by one – get maximum use from them, pack them away, then move on to the next one.
Ditch your TV-watching rules: The Simpsons all the way from Faro to London is a blessing, not a curse.
Be prepared to lose stuff (and don’t get upset when you do).
Ignore rude people, especially those whose job it is to help.
Keep smiling! We hope you’ll find these tips helpful and look forward to booking your next family holiday for you.