When you’re traveling with kids, it goes without saying that planning ahead is vital. From making sure you’ve checked all the necessary information to being prepared for all eventualities, you won’t want to miss any vital must-haves.
So, to help you enjoy a stress-free trip here’s what you’ll need to pack and prepare:
Before You Set Off
It’s important to check all of your travel details before you set off, including your flight times, seating arrangements, and luggage allowance. If you can, print your boarding passes at home, as this will make it much easier for you at the airport. Equally, you might want to have a quick run through about the security queue with the kids (if they’re old enough) so they know what to expect, e.g. letting go of their favorite teddy while they walk through.
Don’t forget to check what facilities your hotel will provide you with, too. For example, family-friendly hotels like Marriott Fire & Ice Cape Town Hotel will provide you with a cot but others may not, so you’ll need to work all of this out in advance to save any nasty surprises once you get there.
Packing Your Case
Put together an extensive checklist of all the things you need to pack for your journey, from diapers to baby food, ticking off each item as you pack it.
You’ll also need to check the rules and regulations surrounding luggage on your flight, so you aren’t caught out in the security line. In your carry-on luggage, be sure to pack a change of clothes for your kids, along with all of the must-have essentials like diapers, food, baby wipes, games, toys, and breast milk or formula. It’s also worth planning ahead in case your checked luggage goes missing.
At the Airport
To prevent any meltdowns or stressful moments of boredom at the airport, have a bag full of games and activities that’ll keep the kids entertained. This could include coloring books, stickers, small games, and toys. Take them out one at a time to keep them entertained, leaving any noisy toys at home.
If you haven’t booked any seats or didn’t get a seat for your toddler (most airlines allow children under 2 to sit on your knee), ask to see if there are any spare seats you may be able to use. This might not be an option on a full flight but if the flight attendants know you’re looking for an added seat, they’ll be happy to help you try and find one.
And don’t forget to take advantage of priority boarding if you can. This allows you to get on the plane before other travelers so it’s much less stressful and provides you with ample time for putting your belongings in the overhead bins and getting all the kids’ activities out ready for the flight.
Even though traveling with young children or babies can seem like an impossible challenge, it really doesn’t need to be. Plan ahead, create your checklist, and double- and triple-check the guidelines for your flight and you’ll be well on the way to a stress-free journey you can all enjoy.