5 Tips for Travelling with Children
by Sheila Hendrick
As Ireland’s travel experts, we at Abbey Travel have infinite experience in arranging family holidays. We’ve learned a thing or two over the last three and a half decades! Plus between us all here in Abbey Travel, we have produced 25 kids! We believe that travelling should be just as easy and enjoyable as the destination itself, regardless of how many kids you have in tow!
To make your life easier, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 guidelines for a stress-free voyage!
1. Give yourself plenty of time
Time is your best friend when you’re travelling with children, but it can very easily transform into your worst enemy.
Arrival time at the airport - make sure you plan enough time at the airport. We suggest you get to the airport a bit earlier than the guidelines say. As a general guide, long-haul flights check-in can open up to three hours prior to scheduled departure and European flights check-in can open up to two hours prior to scheduled departure. We would recommend factoring in a further 45 minutes - especially if parking a car.
A great little tip if travelling from Dublin airport is to avail of the great service of 'Airport Genie' now on offer. For only €50 you can avail of their ‘Genie Family Care’ service which will provide your family with an attendant to help facilitate a stress free journey through the airport plus FREE fast track included. Check out the Airport Genie website for further details. Finally if you are travelling to your final destination via another city, try to opt for longer layovers so you’re not sprinting through the airport, buggy in tow come crunch time.
2. Hope For The Best, But Pack For The Worst
It happens, we’ve all been there – despite ‘reliable’ forecasts and optimistic locals, a spot of bad weather can sneak up on you. A well-stocked suitcase should be your first line of defence, unfortunately you cannot control the weather, but you can control how it affects you and your family.
There will be downtime - waiting in the airport lounge, taxi hopping, railway lingering - so you’ll need to provide entertainment and stimulation when these times arise. Make sure to pack plenty of colouring books and crayons don’t forget to utilise your smart phone which is filled to the brim with entertainment for the little ones – you’ll be thankful for it!
Mess, mess, mess.For those travelling with babies make things easier for yourself and opt for easy to eat, easy to clean, mushy food. Self-containing cups work well to keep spillage to a minimum. Make sure to keep a decent supply of bottled water, as dehydration should be a concern and tap water quality can vary from location to location. If you’re travelling on a plane bring a bottle for take-off and landing as babies cannot equalise their ears and sucking helps the popping. For the toddlers and older kids pack plenty of little snacks for the flight.
A well-equipped first aid kit will make your life much easier. Bandages, calamine lotion, anti-bacterial soap, and insect repellent should be included. Infants and children are more inclined to contract gastrointestinal diseases as the immune system can suffer from change of environment and diet.
Depending on your travel route and child’s previous health history, consulting your paediatrician could prove valuable. If you’re heading somewhere sunny make sure that you’re buying the right sunscreen, as the formula for adult and baby (under 6 months) sunscreen is different.
Follow our tips and bringing your beloved brood abroad will be a breeze! Don’t forget your kids’ reactions to new experiences on holiday can give you lots of good memories, so enjoy. You can thank us by sending us a postcard ☺
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