Travelling With Children
Travelling with children creates countless challenges and plenty of research.
So let us first try and point you in the right direction of what you need to know and where you can get the information from.
Here is our checklist for travel with youngsters and what we think you will need to consider having:
- Inflight bag for child usually a wheeled type bag or a backpack work well. (Trunki have some amazing items that are reasonably priced and appealing for the younger generation! Bees, fire trucks, dinosaurs, you name it Trunki have a bag or a case with it on!)
- Then let’s think of toys/colouring packs for the flight/journey. Pick things that they haven’t seen or played with before, so the interest is there from the minute the toy/game/puzzle is brought out. A good idea is to pack things that are NEW for each stage of the journey capturing their attention, ie one for the airport then another for the flight.
- Nibbles. Always pack a few nibbles. Children are always hungry and airport food can get expensive. Just a couple of cereal bars/fruit/crisps will do the trick.
- Wet wipes. Say no more!
- Drinks bottle, this can then be refilled on your journey saving you money. Most airports have refillable water stations now. Anything that saves money is a no brainer where children are concerned!
- Spare clothing, clean t shirt and pants!
- Favourite toy. (or the favourite toys decoy/alias) just in case it goes missing. We have seen children heartbroken/inconsolable before from the lost favourite teddy! Then if you are unlucky enough, for it to be lost, you can always say teddy has got his own passport and will be at home waiting. Works every time!
- Painkillers Calpol/Olbas for children/for your child if they have a cold.
If they do have a cold, their ears can become painful upon descent in an aircraft cabin, so having some mild pain relief before the top of descent can help.
Olbas for children is to help with sinuses and it is worth taking some with you, especially if your child is prone to colds. Just by inhaling this can reduce the sinus pain.
Baby bassinets, a cot for a baby on a flight, weight and age restrictions may apply. These are available with some airlines so its best to check with the airline, if you are doing a long overnight flight, check whether the baby bassinet is on the aircraft, although be aware that the aircraft type could change on the day.
With reference to car seats, check with the airline first, as its their decision. Just because your car seat says it is regulated for use on an aircraft, doesn’t grant you permission to take it on the flight, you must get the permission first from the airline.
If you are taking a car seat, it must be located in a window seat, so they aren’t blocking the exit pathway of another adult, bear this in mind if you are pre booking seats. Also, they can’t be placed on an exit row, or on the row infront or behind of one.
We are enclosing the EASA guide to Flying with children, they regulate the rules and regulations for airlines travelling within the EU. Airlines don’t make up the rules! They must abide by the regulations that have been set by EASA.
On this guide they discuss the rules around MERU travel chair and the Amsafe CARES device.
An infant is defined as 24 months and under
A child is defined as above the age of 2 and 12 and under.
Finally when booking seats together, the Civil Aviation Authority state:
"Young children and infants who are accompanied by adults should ideally be seated in the same seat row as the adult. Where this is not possible, children should be separated by no more than one seat row from accompanying adults. This is because the speed of an emergency evacuation may be affected by adults trying to reach their children."
Always check in early or online to ensure that you get the seats you request.
If you haven’t got seats together, bring it up with the handling agents first, then the airline staff as you board the aircraft.
In the world we live in security is so important. Security plays a huge part in our travel environment whether we are travelling by road,sea or air. Security restrictions are everywhere in the airport and passing through the security scanners is a challenge in itself.
Try and be prepared and remove belts and have laptops and electronic items ready to be placed in the trays. Liquids need to be presented separately and this is where the liquid ruling plays such a huge part. Liquids must be in containers no larger than 100m ml and they must be presented in a sealed clear plastic bag. Total amount of liquids in the bag must not exceed 1000ml.
You are only allowed one bag per person.
Medical devices must be declared and baby milk too. Baby milk has restrictions
There are certain exemptions to the ruling and they are if they:
- are for essential medical purposes
- are for special dietary requirements
- contain baby food or baby milk
Check with the airport before you travel to see if they have any other advice for your items. Check with your airline if you need to travel with any medical supplies or anything from our list above, you may need a letter from your GP to confirm they are essential.
Sadly, travel related fraud is out there and hopefully by following these tips we can help you avoid the common pitfalls in travel.
When booking your holiday always check whether you are booking through an ABTA member you can do a search here. ABTA gives you the added protection when booking your holiday.
How to protect yourself when booking.
Check invoices and check the website is a secure domain. If the offer of a good deal seems too good to be true, it usually is!
Never pay someone personally into a personal account.
- Once in your hotel room, always use your ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, whether you are in your room or not.
- Use your peephole.
- Do not leave valuable items out on show. They do and can go missing!
- Use your safe, or lock items in your suitcase, to stop temptation.
- Travel insurance will want to know you have used your safe, so if the safe isn’t working address it with the hotel or you may risk being uninsured.
- Leave you room lights on, even if you are out in the evening.
- Any magnetic strip card can be used to place in the key card slot, to keep the power on in the room. This is also ideal to keep the air con on if you are out for a short while and need the room cold for when you return.
- Check the balcony doors and external doors lock securely before you unpack, including any adjoining doors to rooms next to yours.
- Don't be afraid to ask to move rooms if you are unhappy about the security aspect of your room. Before you unpack!
- Be aware of your surroundings, know your exit route and don't give your room numbers out loudly at the bar. People can overhear and will know your room is empty. This is the same with your room key, don’t leave it on show on the bar.
- If you are worried about getting into a taxi on your own, you can always send a screenshot to your email address of the car reg. If they are a trusted taxi company they won’t mind.
- Some of us like to pack our cases the day before we leave, just beware that once packed you will be unaware if anything was to go missing from your case until you get back home. So please lock your case, when you leave the room.
- If you do have anything stolen from your hotel room make sure you get a crime ref for your travel insurance. Report it to the hotel and the local police.
Hollie Guard App by Hollie Gazzard Trust
We also recommend you take a look at the Hollie guard app, which has been created by the Hollie Gazzard Trust for security for when travelling out and about. This turns your smart phone into a personal safety device. Take a look at how this app can help single females when out on their own. One single shake or tap can send your location to a designated contact - hollieguard.com
Lost Property / Damaged Baggage
Any items of lost property need to be handed in as for obvious reasons can pose a security alert. If you leave an item on an outbound flight the cabin crew must hand it in to the handling agent at the airport and it is usually recorded. So first stop with any items of lost property is to contact the airline. Then contact the lost property of the airport concerned.
If you have arrived back in the UK and have a Lost/Damaged or Delayed bag.
Don’t forget to collect a PIR. What is a PIR? It’s a Property Irregularity report. This needs to be collected from the arrivals hall before you leave and remember to always check the airlines policy on when this form needs to be submitted as times vary with each airline. A letter with a claim usually needs to be submitted to the airline within 7 days.
Airlines only have to pay a small amount for each bag so do not expect the full price of the luggage to be re claimed. You may be better going through your travel insurance.
Travel insurance sometimes state in their small print that unless a PIR has been completed you will be unable to make a claim. So remember to get one. Check your travel insurance.
Airlines also require the original receipt for a bag and not a replacement receipt.