School is now finished and holidays are officially on! I came back myself last night from a week in Lanzarote, a great holiday I will share with you soon.
I thought this was the perfect time of the year to post this article kindly written by Karen Simmonds, owner of the family travel specialist Travel Matters. This independent travel agency, based in South West London, established 18 years.
Here a few practical tips on travelling on flights especially with young children and the stress that it can bring.
Many parents-to-be confidently declare that having children won’t curb their enthusiasm for overseas travel. Experienced parents roll their eyes, knowing full well that it’s simply not possible to travel abroad with kids without planning it out in the finest detail and packing enough to cover every possible eventuality at any given time. Having children shouldn’t put you off enjoying all this wonderful world has to offer. Sure, a weekend away may now involve more than packing a toothbrush and your passport, but that’s not to say it’s impossible with a little forethought.
Flying with children is an activity that parents dread. It’s tricky enough being somewhere you can make a swift exit from with your child should they kick off, but what happens when you’re in close proximity to so many people and when there’s no way out? Even the most placid children can get upset when flying due to air pressure hurting their ears, being over excited, over tired, or simply picking up on your raised stress levels and responding to them.
There are a few things to consider and useful tips to know when flying with a baby.
Families with children under five get a priority while boarding, which is convenient and fantastic, but also means that it extends your stay on the plane by good 40 minutes. Let’s not forget that children get bored easily. Coming up with ways to entertain the kids is a necessity – it can be a favourite toy, movies, drawing and all sorts of games, that you invent as you go along.
Infants up to 2 years of age can stay on their parents’ lap, with an extension belt provided.
If you are flying long haul check if your baby can be vaccinated.
Your child will need its own passport to travel.
While travelling with an infant you are allowed to take a number of items on the plane with you – a bag with all the items the baby might require during the flight, one fully collapsible push chair, a car seat etc.
Best places to travel to with babies.
When travelling with such young children, you want flights to be relatively short and amenities easy to access.
Toddlers love a good sandy beach – there’s so much to explore and so much to do! From doing buckets and spades endlessly to taking their first careful steps into the sea, watching a young child on the first beach holiday is a delight.
Europe is the best destination by far that ticks all the boxes. You want your destination to have extensive sandy beaches with gradual and easy access to the sea. We can particularly recommend Portugal, especially Algarve area, mainland Spain and the Balearics, Greece (Zakynthos and Halkidiki among others) as well as Puglia area in Italy.
As parents ourselves, we have found the best approach is to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Knowing you have a solution for problems before they arise means you can enjoy the adventure of the journey as much the holiday itself.
Travel Matters, 10 Blandfield Rd (off Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8BG )
PS. If you have any questions feel free to contact Karen on firstname.lastname@example.org, she is absolutely a lovely lady and I’m sure she will be very helpful.