11 Oct DONT FORGET ABOUT TIPS FOR THE KIDS!
Travel tips when travelling with the kids!
Travelling by air with your infant and or toddler doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. Here are some travel tips and airline guidelines to help you with your next family trip.
Check the airline’s website for the following:
1/ family seat assignment policy
2/infant and adult/children’s carry- on allowance
3/ baggage policy for infant
When you reserve your flights online, always indicate that you are travelling with children or an infant.
If you purchased travel insurance, confirm that the policy covers your children as well as yourself.
When planning your trip involve your child. If your child is old enough to understand, explain what the process will be at the airport. Show your child a map and where you are travelling. On the airline’s website, check out the airplane pictures.
If your child is travelling for the first time and seems a little anxious, play a few role games with a pilot and a flight attendant as the key actors. Tell your children how long the flight will be, where you are sitting and that there are bathrooms on board.
Travelling on an airplane is an exciting experience and it is understandable that your child may get a bit overexcited. Do go over the dos and donts of airplane etiquette. It’s not a good idea to run down the aisle. or kick the back of seats, etc. No loud games without a headset. No locking themselves in the bathroom without mom or dad.
Toddlers under 2 years of age at the time of departure are considered infants and may travel on the parent’s lap. Note your infant on your booking. Lap held infants are not charged a fare or taxes within Canada. If your toddler is two on the return flight, you will be required to pay for a ticket and a reservation for a seat will need to be made.
If you are travelling to the United States, there are taxes and fees that will be required to be paid on your infant ticket. Don’t forget you will need a passport for your baby. Your infant’s full name on the booking/reservation/ eticket must be an exact match to the passport name.
As you will need valid travel documents necessary to enter in, exit from or transit through, each country on your itinerary, your infant and children will as well.
Travelling outside of Canada? It is strongly recommended that Canadian children carry a consent letter if they are travelling alone, with only one parent/guardian, with friends or relatives. Visit the Government of Canada travel and advisory website for details.
When its time to go through the airport security check for a Family lane. The screening officers will inspect strollers, infant carriers, and car seats. Have the baby food, formula out and available for inspection.
For infants and toddlers under 24months, you can bring formula, breast milk, juice and baby food (in small containers) All are permitted in your carry on. These items are exempted from the 100 ml limit. Pack these items so they can be easily removed from your carry-on for inspection at security.
Within Canada, gel and ice packs can be brought on board, to refrigerate baby food, milk, breast milk, formula, water or juice for infants younger than two years of age.
If your concerned about what you can bring through airport security for your child or infant go to the CATSA website and look up “What can I bring”
Infant sling/wrap carriers like a Snugli are great to wear leaving your hands free to look after your toddler. However please note that your snugli is not approved for use as a “restraint device”. You will have to remove your infant from the carrier during taxi, take-off, and landing, or at any time the seat belt sign is illuminated.
Travelling with twins? Transport Canada mandates that no person shall be responsible for more than one infant on board. Two adults holding each infant are not able to be seated in the same row, due to the number of oxygen masks in each row.
Bring an approved car seat for children age 2 and up if your child is not tall enough and their legs are too short to bend over the edge of the seat. You don’t want them to slide under their seat belt.
There is no additional cost to bring your child’s stroller and child safety car seat.
Airlines only allow infant and child restraint systems approved by Transport Canada or the Federal Aviation Administration to be used on board the aircraft. Car seats labeled with a manufacturer’s name and, subassembly part number and the CAN-TSO number must be visible. This is usually a sticker in the shape of a circle with a maple leaf in the middle, usually found on the side of the car seat. Check your airline’s website for particulars. If you purchase a seat for your infant you will have to bring an infant approved car seat “child restraint device”.
I recommend the use of a small collapsible umbrella type stroller. You can bring it on board in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item. These strollers can be stored either in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. Super easy to travel with! No waiting for your stroller at the gate. When you are connecting you can get to the next gate faster. No waiting for your large stroller that is being brought up to the bridge. This was my lifesaver at airports and vacation destinations. Something about that hammock type seat that put my child to sleep! We both liked it.. win win Id say!
Mom or Dad, besides taking one day’s worth of clothing in your carry-on for each of you, I always took an extra t-shirt with me. My baby’s tummy wasn’t the best on some flights and before we got to our destination, we both needed a change of clothing.
Don’t forget the sanitizer and lots of baby wipes. Not only can you wipe little faces and wash your hands also germ-free with wiping down the armrest, food tray, movie screen, seat buckle and washroom tap, and toilet seats.
Bring enough food, diapers. (one diaper per hour of your total travel time.) and Pull-Ups to last at the airport and in flight, have extras on hand in case of any unexpected flight delays or travel disruptions.
Bring a neck pillow for everyone! This helps little heads when they start to nod off. Buy pillows that can be attached to your backpack leaving hands free.
Avoid sitting your children in an aisle seat. Choose the window or middle seat. The food and beverage cart often go up and down the aisle and you don’t want your child bumped by accident.
When I travelled with my toddler and infant my seat preference was the last row with a wall behind and I was close to the washroom. Your seat may not recline and it may get a bit busy but my child liked the people coming and going. If you want to stand and hold the baby you are near the galley and have a bit more room (as long as no in-flight service is happening)
Check in early so that your children have time to play in a child’s area at the gate or look around the stores or out the windows at the airplanes, it’s all fun to do when you’re at the airport! If your rushed and stressed its more than likely your child will be stressed as well.
A great way to excite and occupy the kids is to bring surprise gifts. Simple travel games (small magnetic games) a deck of children’s cards, colouring book, paper, pencil, pen, and crayons etc. to be opened when you’re on board the flight.
If there is an entertainment system on board there will be children movies, you will want to bring earphones. Headphones or earphones should be worn to mute any video games being played. This also would apply to movies being watched on a personal laptop.
If they are old enough, let them pick out a travel journal from the dollar store to fill out while away. Download their favourite music or audiobooks to your phone or tablet. Bring the kids size headphones!
Don’t forget your child’s favourite comfort item, blankie, teddy, doll, pacifier? (I used to bring 3 pacifiers with me in case I lost one.)
Give your child his own backpack to be responsible for. Let your child pack his own bag with a few small items plus empty drinking bottle and include a change of clothing. Double check on what was packed in case the truck collection took priorty. Include their own wet naps and their favourite gum to chew for takeoff and landing.
Ear pain is uncomfortable for a little person. Bring along a sippy cup for your child. Giving your child something to drink, eat or chew (gum, sucker) when the plane is taking off and landing may help alleviate ear pain caused by the cabin pressure adjusting to the altitude. Encourage your child to swallow or yawn to help with any discomfort. For your baby, you may want to bottle or breastfeed or if using a pacifier, it may help.
When your infant or child is out of routine or suffers from motion sickness, their tummies may not be too happy. Be prepared with a first aid kit in your carry-on. Include gravol (consult your pediatrician for the best remedy) band-aids, ear drops, antihistamines, cough medicine, children’s Tylenol.
Remember in the seat pocket is an airsickness bag if you need it. Keeping your child hydrated will help as children are particularly prone to dehydration.
Special meals for dietary requirements and children’s meals may be ordered 24 hours in advance of a long flight. Your flight time usually has to be longer than 6 hours. Check the airline’s website to see if this is complimentary service or if there would be a fee charged.
Buy a postcard from each destination or tourist attraction you traveled to. Help your child write down a favourite memory on the back of the card plus their age and date. When your back from your family holiday buy a special travel box from the dollar store. A great way to keep their travel memories handy!
Always research the airline’s website for updated children and infant information. Sounds easy, but this step is often overlooked. Do not assume all airlines have the same policies. Research before you go it’s worth your time!