Woo – we are in Ibiza! This is our first trip as a family of 5 travelling abroad via an airport. So, with that in mind, I knew that I had to be super prepared for not only our holiday, but our time at the airport too. We are lucky enough to live a very short distance from an Airport. So for us, we really don’t have to take into consideration a long car journey to get there. However, after countless hours of packing, pre-booking your plane seats wisely and downloading numerous films on the iPad, you now have to navigate your time at the airport with the sprogs! Not everything goes to plan, but with some planning, you can attempt to make your life easier. Here are my top tips for surviving the airport with the kids.
Top Tips for Surviving the airport with the kids
BEFORE YOU GO
1.Pre-book your seats. This can be a nightmare trying to sort whilst at the check in desk, especially if there are not enough available seats left together. This will just add stress and cause worry for you as a parent knowing that you’ll have to be separated from your partner and children on the flight. It’s an extra £50 odd, but worth it for the added security. Also, consider where you want to sit on the plane and where’s best for the children. Do you need extra leg room? Do you prefer an aisle seat or being close to the toilets?
2.When possible, check in online at home. We had never done this before prior to our Ibiza trip but it is super easy. You can print all your boarding passes at home and in this case with Jet2Holidays, you can even add them to your iPhone wallet on your mobile. We’ve done both just to be safe!
3.Even though we do not live very far from our local airport, our taxi collecting us was 20 minutes late! Therefore, my first tip would be to leave in PLENTY of time. If it means more time at the airport then so be it. There is nothing worse that running late with the kids screaming, being demanding and adding to the tension and anxiety. If you are driving, consider where you’ll be parking and the time it will take to transfer from your designated car park. If you have any booking references, get the details printed as well as on your phone. In terms of arriving at the airport, most airlines advise arriving 3 hours prior to your departure.
WHILST AT THE AIRPORT
1.If you have checked in online already, then head straight to the baggage drop off point. This would be a good idea to confirm with a member of staff where you need to drop off your buggy if you have one (or two!)
2. Consider the safety of the children. I sometimes dress the children in bright colours or matching outfits when on days out so I can easily see them. Another idea is to purchase ID bracelets for your children, containing contact details just incase they were to wander off. It’s unlikely but it can happen and I always think its best to air on the side of caution. Prepare your children about how busy airports can get. Ensure they hold hands with you, your partner or each other and if you have one, a buggy.
3. In line with the safety side, consider taking a harness for your toddler, or a baby carrier. Having a baby carrier really do help when you have a spare set of hands. Or if you have a toddler like me, or just loves to climb out of the pushchair and run off, then a toddler harness is for you.
3. Grab something to eat. Airports can be boring for kids! To bide some time, treat them to a fun breakfast/lunch or dinner. At Birmingham we have an array of dining opinions including Burger King, Giraffe and Frankie and Benny’s. Normally these restaurants will provide some colouring, a place to refuel and relax before boarding your flight.
4. The best tip for surviving the airport with the kids? Consider entertainment. Lets face it, children’s attention spans can be short and technology can save our bacon! Prepare your iPad with their favourite films and apps downloaded and maybe treat them to a new toy to keep them entertained. Take a magazine of their choice to read too or their favourite sticker book.
5. Check if the airport has an airport play area for the children. Most do now and if so, pull up a seat and let the kids run some energy for a bit. No matter how long your flight time, the kids do get grouchy on the plane. They need to stretch their legs as much as possible and hopefully have a little nap on plane! If the airport your flying from doesn’t have a soft play, then find an area that’s safe for your little ones to have a little run, play tag or dance to a little music off your iPhone. Most families will also be navigating surviving the airport with kids too, so you should be socially accepted!
We all know how hard it is surviving the airport with the kids! However, if none of this works, then maybe little tipple would help us parents calm our nerves!
Not sure what to pack? Check out Travel Loving Family and their packing guider short trips in the sun
Any more tips you can add below?