Being keen holiday goers is generally something that unites Mr Tammy and I. We are always in search of the next getaway, despite the trauma that can be travelling with kids, more specifically toddlers.
Holidays are meant to be just that, a holiday. An easy life, a break from the norm. Holidays have always been this for us, until the two tiny terrors came along. Now, well, they aren’t quite what they were but we have been working on perfecting them. I have been sharing a few of these tips recently on the blog, from how we improved our holidays with private rentals to some handy money saving tips. For this w eeks travel essential I am focussing on how to make the airport an easy ride when travelling with little ones…
1. Check in your pram.
I know it might sound silly but bear with. Every time we have flown, until recently, we have kept our pram about us until we have boarded the flight. Why I am not quite sure as actually neither child sat in them. All we ended up doing was pushing empty prams and chasing wayward toddlers. We’ve even had to lug them down stairs with toddlers in tow to get to the plane. Nightmare. Lighten your load and bin off your pram. Let the toddlers burn some energy and stretch their legs before they are restricted to the confines of an airplane chair or their parents lap. If you’re child is too small to walk, perhaps try a baby carrier?
2. Fast pass
Another reason to ditch the pram is to be able to take advantage of the Fast Pass system. Most UK airports offer these and they vary in price per adult from £3.00 – £7.00, on average. Mark my words however, it will be money well spent, especially in peak season. You know that huge queue there is to get through security and have your bags searched, yeah you can bypass that. On our last getaway we skipped a 45 minute queue and waltzed straight up to the belt. No bored kids to try and entertain in a queue for us. It was god send. Kids are impatient. Word to the wise, you cannot use this if you have a pram and if you do have a pram or two chances are you will be headed into the ‘family queue’ aka the place where time stands still.
3. Children’s play areas.
I had never really noticed these until I has children. Not all airports have them, but a lot of the bigger airports do. Here are a list of some that I know with children’s play areas:
Gatwick (North and South terminals, Heathrow (every terminal), Manchester, Birmingham, Stanstead, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Donnington/Sheffield and Newcastle.
You will also be likely to find play areas at a lot of your holiday destination airports, particularly Spainish ones.
4. Airport parking.
If you par take in airport parking consider an upgrade. The days of using a bus to take you the terminal are gone. We did this last year with the kids, suitcases and prams, never again. Waiting for and standing on a bus for 20 minutes is the last thing you want after a flight with kids. We will always either park in a car park within walking distance, or use the meet and great option. If you prefer to get a taxi to the airport then a little tip – car seats are not a legal requirement in taxis. You do not therefore NEED them for the journey to the airport.
The thing with Trunkis is that they are brilliant for older kids, who can carry and/or wheel it themselves. We made the mistake of buying our eldest, who at the time was just under two one. Needless to say she either spent the time at the airport crashing into people on it, or I was carrying it. Along with everything else. It did not make life easier. I do intend to get it back out of the loft when she is a little older, until then, it remains out of sight for staycations only.
If you are travelling with a not yet fully weaned baby then working out how to take formula milk through airport security or a flight can be taxing. Firstly you can take pre-made bottles of formula through, even though it exceeds the 100ml limit. It will just be put in a fancy scanner by security. Alternatively if you want to do the powder hot water thing, you can take it as you would any outing and simply request some boiling water on the flight. You can also pre-sterile your bottles, although I am told they only remain sterile for 6 hours… you’re call on that. If you are unsure however you can buy disposable, one time use, sterile, bottles. They’re not the best, but for that one time use they do the job.
So there you have it a few hints and tips for making your life easier when holidaying with little ones. Trust me, anything to make life easier. That is what holidays are about after all. Do you have any hints or hacks that make airports easier for you? I’d love to hear form you.