1. If you can - check in early
I always suggest to pre-book your seats, but if you haven’t done this when you booked, then I would definitely make sure that you aim to select your seats as soon as check-in opens. It can be a complete pain if you aren’t sat together. Sometimes a kind stranger will swap seats with you, but why have the added stress of asking them and what if they won’t!
2. Allow enough time
Ok so it’s an obvious one I know, but if you’re someone who generally likes to fly by the seat of your pants and arrive at the airport just as the boarding desk is closing (I kid you not this is how my husband likes to travel!). This is just not advisable with kids. You absolutely need to factor in, the impromptu toilet stops, the extra time it takes to get through security, requests to stop and watch the planes taking off through the concourse window, the dropped teddy etc. Much better for your stress levels if you can be sat having a coffee with plenty of time to spare.
3. Invest in Kiddie headphones
This is one that I almost forget, as my kids don’t generally wear these. However, when on a flight with strangers (who may or may not have kids) then they will thank you for packing a pair of headphones. I mean seriously, who really wants to hear the theme tune to Peppa Pig on repeat? No-one. Also add it to your list to download films, games and apps to their iPad before you leave home, or at the airport on the Wi-Fi with all that spare time you built in! Another great tip I saw was to pop your iPad or phone into a Ziplock bag so that you can hang it on the seat in front…genius!
4. Pre-order your baby milk
I get asked a lot particularly by new mums about what they can and can’t take, will they have to taste it at security, how much are they allowed. Well, did you know that good old Boots offer a pre-order and collect service at the airport departures. Problem solved.
5. Pack plenty of snacks, snacks and more snacks.
Kids are allowed a cabin bag so why not allocate their little rucksack as a fun bag for all the essentials, snacks (as much variety as you can fit), wet wipes and pocket games. I’d even chuck in a couple of pull-ups. They may just save your bacon if your little one just plain refuses to go to the toilet on board.