Published: Friday 06 July 2018

Travelling can be a stressful time, and especially if you have small children with you. The number of items you have to carry with you seems to have quadrupled since you travelled before children. I have travelled with my twins often alone since they were 10 months old and it hasn’t always been plain sailing.

Here are our top tips in getting through the airport with your sanity intact!

  • Be prepared – write a list of everything you need including travel documents down to baby wipes and raisins! But don’t panic: lots of items can be bought airside in the UK. Most airports have a Boots where you can buy all the baby essentials.
  • Pack your travel bag in advance. This is so you know how much room you will need and how much stuff you actually have to carry.
  • Ensure your pushchair is easily foldable and suitable for travelling on a plane. They get thrown around so you may not want your best pushchair to be chucked onto a plane. Do you need a carry bag? Do you have a travel pushchair you can take? Practise folding it down, even with one hand i.e. also holding a toddler or baby. Multitasking at its best!
  • Check the procedures – most UK airports do allow you to take the pushchair to the gate, most have family security and most allow baby milk through security as long as it can be tested.
  • Check out the soft play or toddler activities – many airports have soft play/ toddler activities so find out what’s there before you travel. Failing that a good game to play is running fast and slow or spotting things on the way to the gate. This will help to burn off some of that excess energy and also de-stress you a bit before you get on the plane!
  • Have lots of snacks and drinks – toddlers need feeding little and often.
  • Get through security asap – use the family security gate if they have one. Use games like eye spy or spotting things while stood in a queue. Give them a ‘responsibility’ i.e. something to hold – it may just be a piece of paper which they believe is a ticket. I am not suggesting your passport is the best idea, after all if it goes missing you are going nowhere! Make it a game perhaps: ‘blankie’ (or ‘bo-bo’ in our case!) is racing them through the X-ray or having a lovely ride on the conveyor belt (it is always stressful removing the comforter).
  • Practice what to expect with your toddlers – I taught mine from when they could stand to put ‘hands on wall’ or ‘hands on floor’. This was a turned into a game but meant when I was wrestling with my pushchair at the departure gate they stood with their hands on the wall and did not move from that spot!

Hopefully some or all of these will help reduce the stress of your trip through the airport. Keep your eyes peeled for our next set of holiday-related tips: staying happy and relaxed on the airplane! To stay up to date with all our advice and news for parents and families, sign up to our monthly email newsletter.

Want to create added peace of mind when travelling? Join us on our Baby and Child First Aid courses taking place in Brighton & Hove and Angmering in Sussex.

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