Liam Murphy from ClickandGo Travel recently asked a question on their Facebook page looking for advice on travelling with toddlers and small children. As some of the suggestions he received included the use of sedatives and bailing twine (for both children and parents), he thought it might be useful to put together a list of tips that won’t have child services beating a track to your door. Here are his Top Tips for Travelling With Toddlers:
The following suggestions are based on Liam’s experience of travelling with twin toddlers, the experience of friends and general advice gathered from various sources. So, in no particular order, here are some tips and reminders for making your family holidays a little easier:
#1. Choose where to fly from
Although larger airports have a great choice of destinations, arriving up to a big international airport with toddlers in tow for the first time can be a little daunting. Often smaller, regional airports are easier to navigate and are more family friendly.
Also, it’s often cheaper to fly from smaller airports as airlines try to encourage passengers to use less travelled routes. With this in mind, unless you’re geographically tied to a single airport, be sure to consider all your departure options.
#2. Distractions, distractions and more distractions
Bring whatever favourite toys, colouring books, games, etc. that will keep the little darlings distracted long enough. Just remember that the toy drum kit from last Christmas may not be a popular choice with your fellow travellers.
Portable DVD players, tablets loaded with games and LeapFrog or Innotab tablets could also come in handy.
#3. Feeeed me!
Lots of little pre-prepared bags with small snacks and treats also serve as a useful distractions and time fillers. Just remember to spread them out over the duration of your journey.
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#4. Baby food, bottles and security
Remember that baby food and baby bottles are exempt from the liquid restriction at airport security.
The Dublin airport website states: “Baby food or food for people on special diets is exempt from the new regulations. Passengers are allowed to bring these items through the screening points in the quantities needed during their trip. Passengers may be required to demonstrate that what they are carrying is real and for genuine use and not something less innocent.”
For details see the Dublin airport security FAQ page.
#5. Buy when you get there
However, depending on where you’re going, it might be possible (and maybe cheaper) to buy what you need when you get there, particularly if you were going to purchase lots of new summer gear anyway.
#6. “Evening before” check-in service
Aer Lingus have a service for passengers on early morning flights from Dublin airport that allows them to check in the evening before from 4 to 8pm.
Obviously more useful for families who live closer to the airport, this allows you to check-in and drop off all the heavier bits and bobs associated with travelling with babies and toddlers. This leaves you free to arrive at the airport the morning of your flight and go straight through security. You’ll find full details on the Aer Lingus website.
#7. Car seats
If you’re renting a car or getting a private airport transfer, be sure to request appropriate child seats. Depending on local laws, this may not be a legal requirement, so don’t assume it will be included.
#8. Travel before they are two
On most airlines, children under two years of age are considered infants and travel for a nominal charge. Once they are over two, they are charged for a full seat (including a carry-on allowance). If your children are already over two – sorry.
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Over to you now! Have you any extra tips? Please add them in the comments below.