Booking those late deal holidays can be immensely rewarding but if you are planning to travel with children you could end up arriving at your destination frazzled, stressed and incurring the wrath of your fellow travelling passengers. Small children and airplanes generally don’t mix well but with a little organisation you can sail through it, so here are our top ten tips for travelling with kids to help your holiday get off to the best start!
1. Leave earlier for the airport than you think you need to as there is nothing worse than arriving at the airport already stressed with a child who has picked up on the anxiety around them.
2. Have a stash of new toys to hand. Pick up some pocket money toys, puzzles and books and then divide them in half. One half for the journey there and the other half for the journey back. Don’t let your child see or play with the toys beforehand or they will lose their novelty, instead bring them out one by one so that once a toy has outlived its usefulness, you are on hand with another.
3. Take plenty of snacks. The airport won’t allow you to take bottled water on board so you will have to buy some from the departure lounge but you can take snack sized boxes of raisins, chewy sweets (good for making sure their ears won’t pop) and other treats.
4. Nappy changes. Once on the plane pop a nappy, plastic bag, wipes and travel mat into the seat pocket so that you can easily access them when needs must.
5. Arrive at the airport with your baby in a carrier rather than a buggy. If your baby is sleeping, this is the easiest way to move through the airport with them and most airports will allow you through security without disturbing the baby but if the baby is in a buggy, you may have to wake them for security to search the pram.
6. Give older children their own bags to carry onto the airplane. Those wheeled trunki cases are ideal and can hold a substantial amount of toys as well as offering bored children a wheeled seat to play with whilst you are waiting in the departure lounge.
7. Take a bathroom break before boarding the plane. This is vital if you want to avoid cries of “I need the loooooooo!” just before take-off.
8. Let them run around in the departure lounge to burn off excess energy and ready themselves for a long period of sitting down.
9. Take spare clothes on board in case of spillages/vomit.
10. Finally make sure you have their favourite teddy to hand for when it all gets too much and they need some comfort.
If you have booked late deal holidays with a tour operator such as Thomsons they often provide in-flight entertainment and might even provide flight packs for kids so it’s worth asking.