THE UMBRIA WITH KIDS TRAVEL CHECK LIST
TRAVELLING WITH KIDS CHECK LIST
We are parents ourselves and after some ups and downs on the travel front and after several years have gone by, we look forward to travelling with our 3 little monkeys. We have learned a fair bit about what makes travel with kids fun and relaxed (rather than something to be apprehensive about) – preparation seems to be the key – we hope you find our travel with kids check list useful.
CHECK YOUR FLIGHTS
Double-check the flight schedule. Check with the airline 24 hours in advance to make sure your departure and return times haven’t changed. Sign up online for e-mail and phone alerts in case there is a last-minute change.
ARRIVE IN PLENTY OF TIME
Plan to arrive at the airport in plenty of time – most airlines recommend that you need to be there 3 hours before an international departure – when travelling with kids, the unexpected can happen – please allow yourself plenty of time.
PRE-PRINT YOUR BOARDING PASSES
Print your boarding passes at home. Airlines offer this time-saving feature on their websites and it means you won’t have to occupy the kids during long queues at the airport. (You may wish to print out the Travel with kids check list at the same time…)
EXPLAIN ABOUT SECURITY
Explain the security obstacle course to kids. If your kids will be flying for the first time, tell them in advance what to expect during the security screening process. ‘You’ll have to let go of your teddy while we go through security, but you’ll get it right back.’ Make sure you have plenty of snacks & a hand held toy or 2, incase you get stuck in long lines for security checks. When kids know what to expect, they are often much more happy & relaxed.
Although car seats can be bulky items to travel with – we highly recommend you bring your own – Car seat hire can be very expensive in Italy and the safety standard of seats may not always conform to UK standards. If you bring your own car seat, you have the advantage that you already know how to fit it in the car and you know it fits your child. (Please remember when you book your car to check that your car seat will fit the type of car you have hired)
Almost all airlines will carry a pushchair/pram and a carseat or booster seat per child free of charge (please do check with your airline, however, before your travel)
CARRY ON LUGGAGE
Know what you can carry and juggle. You may find yourself alone with the children and mountains of bags more than once in the airport, while Dad’s parking the car, on the way to the loo, etc. Think realistically about what you can manage on your own while watching and manoeuvring the kids around the Airport. Back packs are ideal – leaving hands free for holding on to little ones.
PREPARE A BAG OF TRICKS
Have a bag full of tricks. If you’re traveling with a child too young to distract himself, include plenty of small toys, games, stickers, magnets, and colouring books in your bag. (Once on board, don’t whip them all out at once or let him rummage through – take them out one at a time and let him play with each until he’s really ready to move on to the next distraction. And leave toys that make noise at home. Your fellow travellers will thank you for it.)
HAVE PLENTY OF SNACKS
Have a bag full of snacks and emergency food – children often get hungrier when they travel – maybe due to the added stress & excitement or also often due to boredom. It is a good idea to have some extra snacks to hand that don’t melt or need refrigeration. (Dried snacks like, crackers, raisins, baked crisps, bread sticks and raw veggie sticks and fruit and a few smarties for emergencies always come in handy… )
Buy a few other items from the airport after you have passed security – in the UK, there is usually a Boots that stocks baby food, fruit pouches and yogurts for little ones.
Avoid bringing fruit or yogurt pouches, in your hand luggage as they may be confiscated by security.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
Always ask about available seats. If you didn’t purchase a seat for your toddler (kids under 2 years old can sit on your lap), expect a full flight and know your chances of getting one are slim. But ask anyway. If you need help boarding the plane or getting around the airport or need to borrow a pushchair- it doesn’t hurt to ask – there are often staff able to help and many airports are well equipped to help parents with children.
Take advantage of early boarding. When they make the call for travellers who need extra time to board, go for it. Use the time to stash bags where you want them before the overhead bins fill up. Get everyone seated and happy before the rush.
CHECK BAGGAGE GUIDELINES
Check baggage guidelines. The rules are often modified and very from airline to airline, so before you pack check with your airline website – check the hand baggage weights and restrictions and the quantity of hand baggage allowed (as some airlines allow a hand bag or camera bag in addition to hand baggage, others do not) Many airlines allow a baby bag to be carried for young children in addition to the normal baggage allowance.
PACK AN EMERGENCY CARRY ON BAG
When we travel with our children, we always pack one item of hand baggage with a complete change of clothes for everyone, including adults, a t-shirt and shorts each, our toothbrushes, pyjamas, any important medication and our swimming costumes – we figure we can survive without or easily buy the rest… (It doesn’t happen often – but checked luggage does get lost – and we have had families arrive here with literately nothing to wear or swim in…)
PUSHCHAIRS & CAR SEATS
Your push chair or car seat will have to go through the x-ray machine, so take kids (and all their stuff) out in advance if possible, if the child is sleeping, you can ask for the pram to be hand searched – although this may not always be allowed.
CARRY ON BAGGAGE
Restrictions – check with your airline before travelling – as rules may change
Liquids: Per person you are allowed one 1litre transparent zip lock bag with all your liquids in – no single amount of liquid may exceed 100ml*. Mascara, lip gloss, hand cream etc… all count as liquids. You must put the bag separately on the security scanner belt – so it helps to be prepared.
For essential medication the restrictions are waived – although you may need proof you require the medication – a note from your doctor & prescription details etc…
Baby milk, formula, and baby food are excluded from this ban – but you can be asked to open and try all liquids – once you have opened and tried bottle milk – it only has a short while before bacteria build up and you can no longer safely, feed it to your baby. So carrying powdered formula is a good idea – as you can purchase bottle water after security to make up a fresh bottle.
When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey. You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby. You can’t carry frozen breast milk in hand luggage.
Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml.* Each container will need to be screened at the security point. Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids.
*All information on our travel with kids check list is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing – but please do check all restrictions yourself with your airline, before you travel, as regulations do change.
PLAN AHEAD – HAVE DRIVING DIRECTIONS READY
Make sure you have the printed directions, a printed out route map and your route map planned out on your sat nav or phone (Google maps works well in Italy) before you leave home. Remember if your phone runs out of battery, or loses the signal, you may need the paper directions/map. There is not much that comes to mind more stressful than getting lost in a foreign country, when you don’t speak the language without directions, when you are tired and your children are fed up of being in the car – if you only follow one of our tips on the Travel with kids check list – please make it this one…
AVOID UNNECESSARY HOLIDAY ILLNESS & TUMMY BUGS
Children touch and chew everything and planes can be breeding grounds for bacteria. It is a good idea to bring some anti-bacterial wipes and wipe the following – seat belt, tray table, window, arm rests and touch screen TV. Also make sure you help your child go to the toilet (don’t let them go alone- who knows what they will touch) and make sure they have shoes on and that they wash their hands throughly with soap afterwards.
Parents learn by experience that when children travel, especially when they are very little, it is not unusual for them to vomit. This can happen in planes, cars and airports – anywhere…a child that never normally is sick in a car – may well be after a long journey. It just can happen – so be prepared – have a change of clothes for adults as well as for each child, and a couple of changes is always a good idea for babies. Also it is a good idea to cover your car seat with a towel or muslin if you have a long car journey to undertake after flying – that way, it is easier to clean up…
PREPARE FOR CABIN PRESSURE
Many children, especially young babies can be affected by cabin pressure, particularly on take off and landing. It avoid this, it is a good idea to give young babies a breast/bottle feed while you take off and land – this means they are sucking and this should release any pressure that builds up in their ears.
Older children can be helped by performing a chewing action, gentle massage around the ear area, drinking from a sippy cup and swallowing.
All information on our travel with kids check list is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing – but please do check all restrictions yourself with your airline, before you travel, as regulations do change.
Above all remember – you are going on holiday and are going to have fun – preparation is the key – if you are well prepared you should be well equipped to handle travelling with little ones…
If you found our Travel with kids check list useful – please like our page PIAN DI CASCINA – thank you!
At Villa Pian Di Cascina, we provide a long list of baby items –
check out our baby equipment list for details – TODDLER & BABY EQUIPMENT –