1. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, it may be well worth comparing your airline and flight options, two good websites for comparing flights are Skyscanner or Momondo A good tip is to check these sites first, then try and find a comparable price by booking directly with the airline.
2. Pre-pack your baggage to check it all fits in your suitcases. As basic and as simple as a tip this might sound, you don’t actually realise how many items you have to have with you when travelling with children. Strollers, baby slings, backpacks and all the other items soon add up. You only have one pair of hands and when walking through a busy airport the last thing you need is the stress of carrying lots of bags, so don’t wait until the last day to discover your packed way too much.
3. Before lining up to get through customs and immigration, the airport should usually have an express lane for VIP’s, elderly people and families. So just about the only benefit of having kids when travelling through an airport is this little pleasure. Skipping quite often the long queues is a great benefit when trying to get from A to B.
4. If you want to wear a baby sling on the plane and help keep your hands free for other things, purchase a sling that has these ergonomic benefits, you most likely be asked to remove your baby from it and/or you and the sling through the X-ray machine.
5. Taking your pram/stroller to the gate. Several airlines and airports allow you to take your pram to the plane just before setting foot on the aircraft. This needs to be a fold-down type stroller. This is very much a bonus particularly if your kids are sleeping. Each airline and airport is different so check their website or ask at check-in for more details.
6. Keep toddlers and older children buckled into their prams until you have finished loading all other items onto the X-ray belt first. On the other side, collect your stroller first and strap in your child before collecting your other gear. If you have children like mine, they will try and run around at any chance they get. It’s quite funny however to watch the security guards squirm at the sight of a toddler running around through security!
7. Have you heard of the flybaby air travel “hammock” for babies? When flying with an infant on your lap this will help free up your hands for at least some parts of your flight, it’s amazing how sore your arms get after a few hours holding your baby plus and have your hands free to do other things is quite useful!
8. Have your bag of goodies for the children to play with, see my other blogs for this.
9 Have you heard of the Jetkids bedbox ? It’s a suitcase which can be carried on to the plane then once your up in the air it can be stored between the seats then a nifty mattress comes out so your children can then lay on it. You can also store items inside the case and your children can sit on it when walking to the plane, very useful.
10. Collecting your baggage, have a toy/movie anything special maybe a food treat for the kids when collecting your baggage. If you didn’t fly first class or priority class then your baggage usually comes last. I find the children hard to deal with at this stage not only because everybody including myself feels a little bit restless and can’t wait to leave the airport, so to stop a meltdown try something like this to keep them entertained.
11. Rather than wait in potentially long lines for taxis after your flight, check the rates for private car service at your destination. It may not cost much more to have a driver ready and waiting for you on arrival, and in some cases, your hotel might include this as part of the package. Haggling with taxi drivers at the airport and not knowing how much things cost does come as quite a stress, so relax and pre-book your first journey to your accommodation.
I hope this has helped, safe travels.