Travelling with family, especially young children, can be equal amounts of fun and stressful. Airports are hard enough to navigate before you’ve added a crying baby at passport control and a tantrum from a toddler during baggage claim. Here are the travel essentials that your family needs to make travelling that little bit easier and a lot more enjoyable.
Preparation is key. Make lists of everything before you even begin to pack. Keep a timeline and itinerary of your trip so you know exactly where to be and what you’ll need when you arrive. Otherwise you’ll be looking for three boarding passes and five little plastic bags for your sun cream with just ten minutes to spare.
Determine how easy it’ll be to replace once you’re at your destination. Don’t risk arriving to a closed airport gate for something you could buy when you land.
Make sure the first things you pack are the most important. Things can get lost in a rush to get out of the house on time so separate essential prescription medicines into two bags so you don’t run short. Make sure you buy sun cream and travel sickness medication before you travel.
Most pharmacies abroad speak English but you should speak to airline staff if you’re particularly concerned about a medical problem.
Of course you can eat at the airport (for some families this is a bit of a holiday ritual), but pack snacks anyway. If one of the kids gets hungry you’re prepared and a few sweets to keep them occupied on a long transfer can also help with the 4am alarm clock.
Pop into a shop as soon as you can!
Don’t just reach for the nearest tablet or download the latest iPhone game (Gate 4 is not the place for Pokemon Go) Pack a couple of games that everyone can play, without the worry of batteries running out. Even a simple pack of cards will occupy most families through a flight delay.
You’ll be able to grab batteries from the airport. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with a game of eye-spy.
For long-haul flights, you’re going to need a lot of books to see you through. Luggage allowances don’t allow for the entire Harry Potter series. Download audio books for long car journeys and load up an ereader or tablet with books that everyone in the family can enjoy. Make sure you download a couple of bestsellers you want to read when the kids finally fall asleep.
Jump onto airport wifi before you board and download a couple of options to keep you going until you get to your hotel.
Don’t forget, travelling with family is rarely ever going to go smoothly, but with a little planning and prep in advance, you’ll be in for an excellent holiday that you’ll remember until the kids are fully grown