Survive the Airport with your Kids
Preparation is KING when travelling with toddlers. In previous posts we’ve looked at the steps you can take to ensure a smooth trip, in the air and on the way to the airport. Today, we look at what to do when arriving at the airport to ensure as smooth a trip as possible, with little ones in tow.
Don’t be late! Give yourself plenty of time to get through the airport. How early you arrive depends on a number of factors, including your airline, airport, plans for parking, flight time and whether or not you are checking baggage. It is recommended that you arrive at least 90 minutes before your scheduled departure. International destinations have earlier check-in times. Consult with your agent if you are not sure.
When possible, checking in online and printing your boarding pass can save you a lot of time. Checking in early will also ensure that everybody gets a chance to seat together. This is especially important when travelling in a group.
If you are travelling with an infant, a seat at the back of the plane is always a great idea. If there are any empty seats left on the flight, chances are they will be in the back, and you might have extra room to stretch out. Seats at the back also ensure that you are closer to the bathrooms, you will also have extra standing space and the flight attendants will be close at hand if you need them.
Talk your children through what the airport experience will be like. This is especially important if your young ones aren’t familiar with air travel. Even as a family of frequent flyers, it is important to remind the children what is expected of them, in terms of behaviour, once at the airport and in the terminals.
You are all packed. You’ve ensured your entire luggage complies with the airport rules and regulations; layovers have been kept to a minimum; carefully chosen your seat assignments and photocopied birth certificates and passports. Your chosen flight cleverly coincides with nap time; you have the latest, hottest DVDs. While it’s important to plan every part of your trip, it is also important that you don’t forget to enjoy your precious moments away with family.