Travelling with Children
So.. you’ve booked your holiday and you’re ready to set off! There’s just a small niggle in the back of your mind – how to cope with a long journey and little people? We’ve gone out to our expert panel of parents and collated the best ideas to make that journey a breeze…
First – remember that the journey will be long. It will be painful at times. It’s not going to be a chance to relax so you may as well treat it like a challenge and rise to it! Your children will no doubt absolutely love the experience, even if doesn’t feel like it at the time.
It’s good to know airline rules before you set off, so check with your carrier. But as a basic guide, you will be allowed two extra pieces of check-in luggage per child – car seats, buggies, child carriers, and travel cots. These will be tagged at check-in and as you may have to carry them the phenomenal distance to the aircraft door, we recommend you travel as lightweight as possible. LittleLife products are created by designers with decades of travel experience to make this easy.
When you are travelling with a baby you can take enough baby milk, sterilised water and baby food to last the journey. This will no doubt be over the 100ml limit so don’t worry. Airport staff may need to open the containers to screen the liquids so make sure your milk is in containers that can be resealed.
Double the amount of time you might have planned as a solo person to get around the airport and through customs. Airports are exciting places to explore and wee stops, snack breaks and nappy changes always take longer than you hope. They can be overwhelming for little people so expect a few extra meltdowns en route as they take in all the sights, sounds and smells in this busy place.
It’s a good idea to carry spare clothes – for everyone – in case of illness on board. It’s easy to forget that you are likely to need a change too if that happens!
Of course, using a tablet is a brilliant way to pass the time for toddlers, but you might also have noticed how crazy they go after staring at an illuminated, moving screen for a long time! Here are a few genius ideas from our parent panel to help make the journey fly by…
- Ask the cabin crew if your children can sit in the pilot’s seat.
- Before you leave, ask your Little Explorers to pack their mini backpacks with a few favourite toys.
- Babies and children will need lots of cuddles and something to suck to relieve their ear pressure during take-off and landing. The noise is deafening and can be frightening, so bear that in mind and prepare them for it before it happens.
- Give them a disposable camera to document the journey. It’s so interesting to reveal later what has sparked their imagination.
- Visit a pound shop and buy small presents. Wrap them up and distribute to your children frequently. Wind-up toys are fun on the little fold out tables!
- Magic water painting books work a treat – you don’t need much water and they can be used time and again.
- Colouring books, dot-to-dots and mazes are all great. You can make a wipe-clean folder of these by printing them off from the internet, putting the pieces of paper in plastic ring binder folders and using a marker pen on the plastic.
- Shaped crayons are a good idea as they won’t roll off the table.
- Kaleidoscopes and prisms work brilliantly in the bright crisp light streaming in through the plane windows.
- Sticker books with a travel theme are such a lovely way to reinforce the learning element of the journey.
We’re not huge fans of giving out apology notes or bribery to other passengers. We were all babies once and many of the people on the plane will either have children of their own, or will one day. We don’t think you should have to apologise for the existence of your child as long as you do everything possible to keep the peace. Who knows – one day your baby might be a world peacemaker, top surgeon or … the pilot who flies that grumbling passenger home.
Let us know your top tips for tots who travel!