Travelling with kids can be a challenge. Here are some top travel tips from Tots Too
- Before you pack, check what's already on hand at the resort. The team at Tots Too can advise you on the family facilities and equipment available there, and in many cases particular items can be requested.
- We can recommend services which will send your essential supplies of nappies, toys and feeding kit on ahead for you, so you can travel light.
- Even small children love to have their own hand luggage, to fill with toys and games for the journey.
- Don't pack everything into your main suitcases; keep a change of clothes in your hand luggage in case of spills en route (not just for kids, for you too!)
At the airport
- Remember to allow plenty of time - everything takes longer with children
- If you're driving to the airport, take advantage of valet parking. Tots Too customers are given a discount when they book with Purple Parking.
- Dress your kids in bright clothes so they're easier to spot if they go astray in a crowd. Toddler reins are useful if you're trying to manage luggage as well as active kids. If you have a cabin bag with wheels, try hooking it over the buggy handles for one less thing to carry.
- If two parents are travelling, you may consider booking one seat separate from the others at check-in, allowing one adult to rest whilst the other manages the kids (swapping at half time of course!)
- If the flight's not full, see if the airline staff will hold an empty seat next to yours, especially if your toddler doesn't have their own seat.
- Some airlines will allow you to take your buggy with you right up to the gate, then it goes in the hold at the last minute.
- Most airlines let families board first, but this increases the time in a cramped seat. If your children like to let off steam, it may be better to wait till the last minute (as long as you have seats allocated together!).
- Or one parent could go ahead and get organised on board, whilst the other waits to bring the kids on later.
- If you've just got a baby with you, then it may be easier to board straight away and get settled whilst the plane is not too busy.
Comfort on the flight
- Ear pain on take-off and landing can be eased by giving your child a drink to sip or a sweet to suck. It's ideal if babies can be fed by breast and bottle at this time.
- For an easy nappy change in cramped loos on board, prepare individual nappy sacks containing clean nappy and wipes to avoid lugging a huge changing bag with you. Keep a set prepared in your seat pocket.
- Bassinet cots are often under the movie screen - if so, a light sheet can shield your child from the disturbance
Mealtimes on the flight
- In flight meals are often extremely hot - test first before offering to your child
- For babies, take your own baby food, utensils and disposable bibs
- You may ask the flight attendant to warm up milk or baby food, but do so a little in advance as it may take time
Entertainment on the flight
- New toys will hold the attention longest, or think ahead and hide away some of their old favourites before travelling so they are a novelty again on the flight.
- Picture books and activity/sticker books are lightweight and can occupy a lot of time
- Avoid games with little pieces that can get lost, or try magnet toys and fuzzy felt which are less likely to end up on the floor of the plane. Other ideas are busy boxes, threading sets, stick-on tattoos and travel sized etch-a-sketch
- Don't bring all the toys out at once, pace yourself throughout the journey.
- A few crayons can transform an unused airsickness bag into a puppet!
- Apps and handheld electronic games are great for older children, but explain in advance that at certain times they need to be switched off so they don't interfere with the pilot's instruments. Keep the volume at a low level so as not to disturb fellow passengers.
- Look out for fast track customs and immigration check points for those travelling with infants.
- Dual time watches and clocks are great for keeping track of baby's routine in different time zones.
- Be prepared for the climate outside the airport, with sun screen and hats in your hand luggage (or extra layers when on your return!).
Bon voyage from Tots Too!