Flying Long Haul with Young Children

Allow me introduce Gillian McGoey and Donal Fitzpatrick and their three year old son Bryan. Gillian has kindly reported back on her recent trip to Australia for us in this special guest blog. It’s a really honest and insightful account of the journey and I hope, useful for anyone considering flying long haul flight with young children:) Continue reading Flying Long Haul with Young Children

Family Travel Insurance – Get the right cover

Given that we live in Ireland, it is fair to say that the majority of us like to escape the weather and get a bit of guaranteed heat into our bones every year. While admittedly travel insurance is an additional cost, family travel insurance need not be hugely expensive and for the guaranteed peace of mind you have while away from home, it’s probably worth it.

Continue reading Family Travel Insurance – Get the right cover

Traveling with preschoolers? 6 Top Tips

Off-peak season is such a gift for parents traveling with preschoolers and children under the age of 5; not only are airline, car rental and hotel prices much better value, but the airports are less crowded and frantic. I would even go so far as to say travel on a Wednesday if you can – reportedly the least busy day of the week in terms of business travel too – imagine you could have the whole plane to yourselves! Continue reading Traveling with preschoolers? 6 Top Tips

Car seats on airplanes?

I get asked this question a lot, and it’s not an easy one to answer. Given that it is in my interest to promote hiring a seat on arrival I declare my bias. However, to answer the question “Should I bring car seats on airplanes?” … not if you can help it and here’s 6 reasons why.
Continue reading Car seats on airplanes?

Holiday Sleep tips for tots!

Guest Blogger and Qualified Sleep Expert Cara McDermott of Sleepies.ie gives us some advice and her top sleep tips, for parents who may be anxious of upsetting sleep reoutines by ging on holidays.

Tips from The Stork Exchange on Sleeping

Going on holidays with the kids is great fun but if they are not sleeping well or you are afraid their sleep routine will be affected it can be stressful, especially if it is your first family holiday.   Whether sharing a room or a bed or just having to get up to your little ones, following the tips below will help you all get a better night sleep away from home;

  • If possible try to organise travelling around the times your child needs a nap. For example if you are driving at some point during a day, try and do this around your child’s nap times.
  • If you are travelling for a few days only and across time zones it is a good idea to ignore the clock change for your child especially if it is only 1 or 2 hours. That way when you come home there is no need to change the time back.
  • If the time change is significant, change the time as soon as you arrive to the new location. Also get your child up at the new time rather than letting them sleep. That way their sleep clock will adapt faster.
  • If you are staying in a hotel or rented accommodation, be sure to order a cot in advance if you need one as there may be high demand in the busy season.
  • Keep the bedtime routine as similar as possible as at home. A bath is usually something that is available in most places and can calm and prepare for night time sleep. Also try to bring some bedding (grobag, blanket) from home to help make the surroundings a little more familiar.
  • If your child needs to nap and they are not used to their new environment, lie down with them to ensure they get a good nap during the day.
  • To get your child used to their new environment, try some playing in the bed/cot/bedroom and around the new surroundings to allow them to become comfortable with their new space.
  • If you are staying in a hotel and your little one wants to sleep with you try and settle them first in their own bed or if they are still in a cot bring the cot closer to the bed so they are not afraid. If they insist on sleeping with you they may be anxious in a different environment so until they become comfortable in that room allow them to be close to you. Also if it is only for a few days it will be easy to transition them back to their own place of sleep when they return home.
  • Waking during the night or at the crack of dawn usually signifies overtiredness so don’t push them to their limits over the holidays – watch out for sleepy signs and get them to bed when they need to.

Travelling Ryanair with Small Children?

All airlines have different policies regarding flying with infants and small children and the carriage of equipment such as strollers and car seats. Here are 6 things every parent should know when travelling Ryanair with small children. Continue reading Travelling Ryanair with Small Children?

Dublin Airport Family Services – 3 Things Every Parent Should Know!

So many of you were looking for information on assistance available at Dublin Airport, that I did a bit of investigating and I think you’ll be happy with what I’ve found…


1. The Concierge Service
This is dead handy particularly for those parents who are traveling alone with the kids, or who simply have their hands full. It works both ways – you can be met on arrival into Dublin at the air bridge and an assistant will help you through to arrivals landside, and vice versa – you will be met at departures check-in and assisted through security all the way to your gate, with stops for food and shopping of course! It costs €39.95 altogether for up to six people. Essentially it’s an extra pair of hands to help you through, but I’m working on persuading them to include a stroller in the offer – for those who think a stroller should be included, please voice your opinion in comments!
2. Family Lanes and Seating Areas Airside
So the good news is, there are ‘Family Lanes’ to get through security With a lane wide enough for a buggy to fit through and separate from the other passengers queueing to get through security in Terminal 1 who needs Fastrack?! These lanes are specifically for families with small children and cost nothing!
There are also new seating areas which are suitable for children – in terminal 1 it is beside Starbucks, with lots of space for children to play, a couple of toys, soft (fun) seating, RTE Junior on a big screen etc.
3. DAA Lounge Service (with Family Rooms)
I am so excited about this little life saver – both terminals have lounge areas with separate family rooms, where toddlers can play or tantrum to their heart’s content without disturbing fellow travellers! You pay €19.95 per person (no kiddie rates I’m afraid), but this does allow you access to the family room, and a self-service style kitchen stocked with juices, soft beverages, teas, coffees and two alcoholic drinks per adult (which is nice) and snacks such as fruit, croissants and cereals at breakfast, soup, crackers and cheeses at lunch etc. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of airside and the family room, while small, is clean, safe and virtually soundproof. It has a highchair, TV with kiddie videos (think Peppa Pig etc) toys, baby changing facilities etc. Sooooo worth considering if you’re early for your flight, or your flight is delayed. You can pre-book the lounge or pay at the door …all in all it’s a very nice way to get your holiday off to a stress free start.

The Stork Exchange are happy to offer customers a discount of 10% on all DAA customer service products mentioned above and other services including Fastrack, Executive Lounges etc You will receive a discount code with your booking confirmation. For further information on these products, check out http://www.dublinairport.com/home.aspx, or ask me!

Top 6 Travel Tips

The Madness of Traveling with Small Children, and my Top 6 Tips!

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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. iPads, which you must save as the ace up your sleeve to quieten tantrums.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!