We’re gearing up for our Summer Holidays over at Mumsnet Reading HQ and whilst the thrill of a holiday fills me with excitement, two things are lurching in my stomach with dread. 1, the dreaded baring the body in a swimming costume and 2. The flight. With kids. For 3 hours. Acch.
So in preparation I’ve googled, searched and asked about for the top tips other parents have for travelling with little ones and these were the top 5 I could find:
- The first is a preparation one, the first passport. We’ve had no end of a nightmare getting my Youngest’s first passport organised. We did check and send with over the double time allocation and still we found ourselves 10 days before travel, ringing and pleading to get on the fast track service as they hadn’t even examined the documents after having the paperwork in their office for 8 weeks. Many stressful calls and finally a call directly with the Durham office and we are sorted. Phew. So if you can, put in for the first passport the day you even consider booking a holiday, they are backed up to the max in the passport office currently it seems.
- The tip of packing a selection of activities is a well known one, but one I hadn’t heard before was to pack a cheap packet of window gel stickers. Since they launched a few years ago, these are now easily picked up in discount/£1 stores. Eldest was in love with these last Christmas so I hope they hold some entertainment come mid-flight.
- Getting through the airport, allow time, time and more time. You know how your toddlers need to pee right when you don’t have time to whizz them to the loo? Or when they want to do something all by themselves and heaven forbid if you stop them? That’ll all probably come in to play and more at the airport, so allow a whole heap of extra time to get you through and to the gate.
- One of our favourite tips from asking our social media fans was to keep beakers empty until you’re through the security checks. A full beaker is a lot to guzzle at the check through just to keep hold of those favourite cups and what goes in, must come out, meaning even more pit stops.
- Plan ahead some small light activities just incase you get held up in the airport in delays or queues. A quick search online finds some ‘Airplane Bingo’ and ‘Airplane Wordsearch’ printables that are easy to pop in your bag in preparation. One of favourites was this one from Mummy and the Munchkins, here.