Travelling with Kids | How to Make it Through the Airport
When you are a parent, a family holiday probably means two things to you－great, quality time spent with your children and the extremely stressful challenge of travelling with kids.
While the joys of fun times with your children definitely outweigh the hassle of travelling with them, there is no doubt that it is not an easy task, especially if you’re travelling by plane. Busy airports, crowds, check-ins and security checks － this can be stressful enough when you travel alone, but having to take care of other people can turn it into a nightmare.
Fortunately there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and minimise the stress.
Find good airport parking
Forget about travelling to the airport via public transport. Carrying three suitcases, watching out for two kids and making sure you all get off the train or bus at the same time is the kind of stress even a long holiday on a sunny beach won’t help you forget. And remember that you’ll have to do the same thing on your way back.
Leaving your car at the very expensive parking lot next to the airport doesn’t seem like a good solution either. That’s why you should check for cheaper car parks in areas near to the airport. Many of them are located a bit further away from the terminals, but they offer good parking rates and even allow you to book parking in advance.
For instance, if you do your research and find places like Parkos, the airport parking fee in Perth can be very reasonable compared to what you’d need to pay at the airport-operated car park. And most importantly, most of these car parks offer free shuttle buses to the airport so you don’t have to worry about getting to your terminal.
Getting back from your trip will be much nicer knowing that your car is waiting for you and all you have to do is put all your bags and kids in the car.
Make sure everyone knows the drill
There are quite a few things you’ll have to do at the airport and then on the plane that require some discipline and focus. Starting from the check-in and security, through getting to your gate, and finishing with boarding, settling in on the plane with all your belongings in the right place and seatbelts fastened.
Make sure your children are prepared for this and know what to do, especially if they will be flying for the first time. Explain the entire process at home so they know what to expect when you get to the airport and things can get a bit hectic.
You can turn it into a fun game a few weeks before you travel－time them when they pack and unpack their bags or make it into a quiz. Do they know what they need to take out of their backpack before the security check? Can liquids go in the bag? What goes in a separate plastic bag?
Make sure it’s fun and stress-free, so they look forward to your trip rather than worry about getting through the airport before you even get there.
And make sure you are prepared too. Keep all the passports in one place, pack in advance and make a to-do list if there are a lot of things to remember. This should make things a little easier.
Things to do while waiting
Apart from all the stress and procedures you need to go through at the airport, there is also quite a lot of waiting involved when travelling by plane. Long lines, queuing and waiting by the gate － it’s not a very exciting thing for most adults but imagine how bored your kids must be.
Make sure they have something to occupy themselves with like books or games (something easy to pack). You can also think of a fun family game you can play together while waiting. This would be a nice way to pass time while travelling. You can also let them play on your smartphone, but remember to bring a charger with you, the wait is long and your battery might run low.
Plan some extra time
There is only one thing worse than running late for your flight － running late for your flight with your children.
Having to run through the airport, rushing through security and asking people to let you go first in queues is stressful and embarrassing enough, but having to do this as a family is much worse. It’s also an extremely stressful experience for your children who might really start hating airports in the future.
So make sure you plan some extra time － that way if something takes longer than expected, you won’t have to worry. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Take a good book and brace yourself, it’s better than missing your entire holiday!