Travel Checklist For Kids: Before You Board
Flying with kids doesn't have to be scary or hard, you just have to plan ahead. It's all about preparation, organisation and the right attitude. So here are the basics to ensuring a good start to a family holiday: the essential must-do check list before boarding any flight with kids.
- Search for airlines that offer child-friendly options, such as infant purees and assistance for sole parents. These are the airlines that are more likely to have those added invaluable extras such as spare nappies on board (or an offer to babysit for a few minutes so you can go to the toilet). For a comprehensive list of the the pros and cons of the different airlines, see the suitcases&strollers story Airlines Compared.
- If you need a bassinet, after you’ve booked your flight, call up the airline and request it. Then just before you leave, ring them and reconfirm. And at check-in triple check again. Airlines mistakes are common and bassinets are few, so it’s worth being pedantic.
- Write a list of all the things you need in your carry on luggage and then start setting these aside in the days leading up to the flight. Before you leave home, re-check the list to be sure you have everything and you know where it all is. For a list of items suitcases&strollers suggests you should always have in your carry on, click here.
- Check that you can physically manage all the bags and luggage you plan to bring. If you can't even make it out the front door, you are not going to survive in the airport.
- If you plan to transport frozen breast milk you will need to plan this at least 3 days in advance to ensure the milk is adequately frozen. For tips on how to travel with baby's milk, click here.
- Ask if you can bring your stroller to the gate at the airport. Even if the kids refuse to sit in it, it makes for a handy trolley to push your carry on luggage.
- Ask where your stroller is going to appear at the other end. Sometimes it can be at the skybridge, for other airports its routine for them to appear at the baggage carousel or over-sized luggage area. Find out ahead of time so you’re not wandering lost later.
For tips on how to survive flying with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here.
For more handy tricks for travelling with kids, see the suitcases&strollers Travelling Tips.