Going on a family holiday naturally raises a multitude of different emotions.
You're excited to make memories that will last a lifetime. You're happy that you will have a 'break' from hoovering and Octonauts (kind of!) and you're overjoyed at the prospect of building sandcastles with your toddler.
However, it's very normal to also feel apprehensive about the whole thing, if you're taking young ones on a plane. Especially if it's your first time leaving the country with your sprog in tow.
Your time away with your kids should be enjoyable and a time for creating happy memories, not stressful ones. So, we’ve compiled a list of 12 things to make sure you have a smooth start to your travels and avoid a complete meltdown* at Gatwick airport.
(From you, or your toddler!)
This way you can be fully prepared for your flight and you won't have to keep going up to the overhead locker to get other bits out.
1) Put *all* flight essentials in one bag
Make sure your pushchair is safe to go on the plane and make sure it's been checked at the gate. Thank us later.
2) Make sure your stroller is TSA-approved
Make sure the kids don't have really heavy clothing on and make sure they have comfy shoes.
3) Keep kid's clothing light and simple
Save money on the extortionate prices of the airport and fill up at a water fountain past security.
4) Pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on
Make sure you have charge when you land by bringing your own portable device - you won't know when the next availble plug socket opportunity will arise.
5) Bring a portable phone charger
Showing off your new designer bag shouldn’t be at the top of your list whilst at the airport (Er, Kim Kardashian, are you listening?) Make life a whole lot easier for yourself and invest in a big backpack, meaning you can use two hands. It's the little things.
6) Rucksacks are the way forward
Print out your boarding passes or even load them to your smartphone so you don’t have to stand in the long, tedious queue at the airport which can easily cause stress.
7) Check in online beforehand
The kids section on the inboard flight entertaianment will get old fast. Definitely pack more toys than you'd expect.
8) Pack plenty of toys
During busy holiday seasons, aiports usually open a family only lane. Use it to your advantage!
9) Check if the airport has a 'family only' lane
Get the kids some of their favorite treats to tuck into on the plane just in case they don't like the plane food. Check out our guide to toddler-friendly snacks, which are picky-eater approved!
10) Don't forget the snacks
This sounds obvious but once you’re back from your holiday the last thing you need is to forget where your car is parked...
11) Take a photo of your parking spot
Book a flight at a time when your children would usually be asleep or having a nap.
Choose a specific time to fly
Take breast milk and formula milk with you, but make sure you know the limits on how much you can take.
12) Take breast milk and formula milk