Travelling with Little Ones in Tow

Don’t we all look in admiration at parents who make travelling with children in tow appear to be easy? They surely must have a couple of tricks up their sleeve, as well as a pair of sturdy biceps, to be able to carry luggage and little ones, whilst keeping the latter sufficiently entertained.

Frequent travellers and parents, Daisy, Roberta, Jennifer, Jackie, Reuben, and Kurt shared with us some top tips they picked along the way, with Reuben recommending that these are coupled with more than just a pinch of patience for the smoothest of journeys.

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Plan ahead

“Leaving barely enough time to check in and go through security amounts to a lot of unnecessary stress and flaring of tempers,” says Jackie. Do try your best not to leave packing until the very last minute, and to be at the terminal well ahead of your flight departure time.

Security Screening Note: Travelling with a pushchair? It is highly likely that you’ll be asked to close it, so that it goes through the X-ray machine for screening. It is recommended that you prepare for this part of the airport journey before you actually get to the security screening area.

Snacks aplenty

Have plenty of snacks handy, but steer away from messy foods and sweets. Hands smeared with chocolate and sugar rushes in mid-air can have quite disastrous consequences. Roberta recommends breadsticks, crackers, small cereal boxes, and fruit pouches as great alternatives to sugary and messy foods. You can even stock up on last-minute snacks for the trip from one of our WHSmith outlets located within the Welcomers’ Hall and at Departures.

Security Screening Note: Remember that baby foods are allowed only if you are travelling with a baby or infant (aged 0-24 months).  Passengers are requested to carry only what is needed for the duration of the trip until they reach their final destination. Baby food and other dietary products may be subject to additional screening with liquid analysers.

On-the-go entertainment

Favourite toys, small colouring books, puzzles, and plasticine make for excellent on-to-go entertainment and time killers. “Think small, but not too tiny,” says Kurt, “the last thing you’d want is a hunt for a practically microscopic piece, whilst dodging other travellers’ stomping feet.” If you’re resorting to technology to keep your little ones amused, be sure that your device is charged and brimming with cartoons, songs, and apps.

Put together a first aid kit

All’s not well when young globetrotters feel unwell. Be prepared for the eventuality by putting together your own first aid kit, packed with easy-to-swallow medicine, suppositories, and other basics such as a teething gel, plasters, antiseptic wipes or hand sanitising gel, an antiseptic cream, and calamine lotion.

Security Screening Note: Remember that medicines that are carried in the hand luggage may be subject to additional screening with liquid analysers and if they exceed 100ml, they should ideally be accompanied by a doctor’s note indicating that they are needed on the flight.

Have an extra change of clothes handy

Toilet accidents and spillages will literally dampen a journey. “A change of clothing, or two if the trip’s particularly long, should be one of your hand luggage staples to save the day when the need drops,” says Jackie.

Beat that ear pressure

Little ones are particularly prone to experiencing ear pain during take-off and landing. New mother Jennifer has learnt that breast or bottle feeding at these two points of the journey helps equalise the pressure in the inner ear and lessen the pain.

“Older children, who can chew food properly, can be given a gummy sweet to chew on at these two points of the journey. However, do remember not to let children doze off with food in their mouth,” says Daisy.

Keep tabs on your children

You can easily allow your toddlers the freedom to wander off, explore, get lost, and be found with a tracking device. Such devices come in many shapes and sizes, but they generally are very inconspicuous and will not make your child feel restrained and watched.

“I love these gadgets, but if you don’t quite subscribe to the idea of tracking your little ones, do make sure that you kit them out with a bracelet or tag with information such as your contact details,” says Kurt.

You have the power!

Nobody knows your child better than you do. This arms you with some seriously great powers and strengths to breeze through journeys and deal with hitches with common sense and intuition.

Have a safe trip!