Remember - time spent planning early can save a lot of time problem-solving later, so plan ahead, be prepared, and enjoy the ride!
- Make sure your travel insurance is paid and issued when you book your holiday or flights. You’re at higher risk of having to cancel when traveling with babies due to fever, ear infection, stomach bug etc.
- Consider breaking up your journey on long haul flights. Although this makes the total travel time longer, having a break from the confines of a plane when the journey is longer than 8 hours can be a sanity saver for the whole family.
- If you are hiring a car at your destination and require a car seat for your child, you can either take yours with you (always confirm the seat will fit the hired vehicle legally and safely), or arrange a car seat with your car hire company.
- Pre-book any special requirements you may have when traveling with kids - infant/toddler/child meal, bassinet for infants (generally maximum 11 kilos weight), an extra seat to buckle the child’s car seat into (this frees the parents up for meal times and gives the baby/toddler some space, but you will pay a full child rate applicable to the flight), airport assistance (check with your airline/airport what assistance is available).
- Arrange transport to the airport from your home – ask a friend or family member to drive you, or pre-book a taxi or airport shuttle with a car seat (or you can use your own car seat if you are taking it with you).
Ready for departure
- Using a baby carrier or sling allows free hands for parents to manage passports, luggage, check-in procedures, and other kids, allowing you to check your stroller in with the rest of your luggage. They are also very handy on board the aircraft to help settle your baby, and allow you to eat with free hands.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of nappies, food, medications, and change of clothes for both child and parents. Always pack anything essential in carry-on luggage (anything required at your destination which would be difficult to replace if luggage was lost indefinitely).
- Don’t forget to take your child’s favourite toy, blanket, comforter or pacifier (and some spares in case).
- iPads are a great form of entertainment while travelling. Load some games, music and story books for your kids before you leave, and take some comfy headphones.
- Ear pain may be experienced due to pressure changes, especially during take-off and landing. 'Ear plugs' are available from pharmacies (suitable for most children 1 year and older) which have a filter that regulates air pressure and cuts down noise.
Kim Salter is a Personal Travel Manager, and has recently completed her accreditation with the family holiday experts “Travel with Kidz”. Kim has extensive experience in the travel industry, from being a flight attendant, to managing a travel agency, to being a mobile travel manager, and embarking on long haul international travel with her toddler – she’s been there, done that, and knows how to look after you! Click on the image below for Kim's contact details.