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Travelling with children

travelling with children

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A wing and a prayer?

It may seem that many of the things you love go out of the window when a new baby arrives: Nights out, eating with both hands and a good night’s sleep are just three that spring immediately to mind. However, even the busiest family needs a break once in a while and there is no need to abandon holidays abroad until your children move out. Travelling with even the youngest of little ones can still be an amazing adventure if you know the drill, so here’s how to avoid turning the first day of your well-earned rest into the Journey from Hell. Make travelling with children relaxing and fun…

Top ten tips when travelling with children

1.Organisation is everything.Arriving at the airport with a passport or the essential soft toy missing will not make your holiday the relaxing experience it could be.

2.Allow extra time.Children have an amazing ability to throw things in your way right at the wrong moment: A full nappy as you leave, an unexpected extra feed, or a full-blown tantrum as you try to strap them into the car. You may arrive with lots of time to spare, but at least you won’t arrive in a flat panic with a stinking, screaming child in tow. Lots of airports have areas for children to play to use up any excess time after checking in. Alternatively, take a picnic or your toddler’s favourite game to play whilst you wait.

3.Tell everyone you are traveling with a small child. This is really important when booking your seats on a plane as you don’t want to find your child in a seat out of your reach.

4.There are a few essential items that you will need to ensure a stress-free trip:

*Snacks. Choose snacks that are small – a box of raisins can keep a toddler occupied for a blissfully long time. Avoid anything full of sugar or artificial colours/flavours. Unless, of course, you want to be sat next to a two-year-old Tasmanian devil for the duration of your flight.

*Toys or books.

*Nappy sacks. These are priceless when you need to transport soiled clothes or full nappies.

*A change of clothes.

*More nappies than you can possibly need, just in case you find your flight delayed.

*A lolly or boiled sweet (depending on the age of your child) to help avoid earache from pressure buildup. A sippy cup or dummy can also help.

5.Take a buggy.If you have one of these little gems your baby can sleep and you won’t have to chase an escapee through a crowd of already disgruntled passengers with little patience for your toddler’s exciting new game. At check-in you can get a label for your buggy, enabling you to hand it over as you get on the plane.

6.Check your change bag.Remember that there are security restrictions on items you can take onboard a plane, most notably sharp objects (such as baby nail clippers) and liquids. There is nothing worse than a child suffering from nappy rash… except when you can’t put nappy cream on them because you had to throw away that liquid gold at the airport as the pot was too big. Be careful – it is the size of the container that is important, so a half-empty large pot of cream will also be removed!

7.Don’t be tempted to take seats on a bulkhead row.You may feel the extra leg-room is a luxury, but remember: Without a seat in front of you there is nowhere to store the bits and bobs that make a child happy.

8.Take your child’s car seat with you. Holding onto a small baby for an entire journey can be difficult, especially if you are travelling alone or with more than one child. Check with your airline before you travel, but if you have reserved a seat for your child then you may find having somewhere to put them safely a godsend. Also, if you are traveling with toddlers and have hired a car at your destination, you can check your child’s car seat as a large luggage item (usually at no cost). This way, you avoid having to work out how to use a hired car seat after a tiring journey and your toddler will be comfortable in a familiar seat.

9.Use a backpack. If you want to use your nappy bag on holiday, pack it in your suitcase. You will find it hard to hang on to a shoulder bag whilst holding onto your tickets and a wriggling child or car seat.

10. Take advantage of any help offered. Parents can usually board early, and if you are travelling alone with children you may be able to get someone to help you board the plane. Generally, if you ask nicely people will want to help you – so don’t be shy: Just ask.

travelling with children





About Miles Matthews

About Miles Matthews

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