The Madness of Traveling with Small Children, and my Top 6 Tips!
Traveling with small children is a circus act of juggling bags, hand luggage, and children… of taking off shoes and belts at security, while simultaneously trying to hang on to a very excited toddler who’s bee-lining the bright shiny pots of Mac “paint”. Of walking for miles to the gate, listening to repetitions of ‘are we there yet?’ before you’ve even taken off, all the while wishing you’d brought the pram as you lug the newly generous Ryanair cabin allowance of two bags per person, which for a family of four means eight bags, plus toddler, plus now bored and tired five year old. ‘Are we there yet?’… I want to go home!
So are there any ways to make the holiday process easier? Here are my top 6 travel tips to help ease the stress of going away with the kids
- For children under 4, bring a stroller. It can be brought up to the gate and collected from the bottom of the aircraft steps on arrival and can be used for anything from carrying your slightly over indulgent duty free to restraining excited children. The reverse is also true: don’t bring a fancy / expensive pram that will need to be checked in to the hold – trust me, it will never come out the same.
- Pack a toy bag for the plane. Particularly useful are sticker books, story books, colouring books, beading, etc and make sure they are new so children wont get bored of them after two minutes.
- iPads, which you must save as the ace up your sleeve to quieten tantrums.
- Snacks + Drinks. Leave space for a few snacks and treats for the flight, it whiles away the time and can also be used as bargaining chips.
- Change nappies and go to the toilet before you get on the airplane. You will probably make endless trips to the toilet on board too, but cramped toilets do not make for easy changing rooms if nappies leak or accidents happen.
- Bring spare spares…babygrows and tracksuits are best, don’t bother with frilly dresses and zips and buttons. Think in terms of leakages and spillages and prepare for them!