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Flying with Children: Tips for a Stress-Free Trip

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Excited about your holiday, but not looking forward to flying with your kids? Whether you're a seasoned traveler or this is your first time and you don't know what to expect, some planning can help make your trip as stress-free as possible.

Pre-book your seats 

You'll avoid delay at check-in and you'll make sure your whole family is travelling together if you choose your seats well in advance.

If you're travelling with a baby and you're hoping to get a bassinet, request your seats as soon as you book your flight. There's only a limited number of bassinets on each aircraft and if you miss out, you will have to hold your baby throughout the flight.

Plan your meals

Some airlines will automatically book a child meal with each child ticket, others require that you put in a request or your child will receive a standard adult meal. Either way, it's worth finding out exactly what's in the meal, especially if you have a fussy eater and pick something that your child will enjoy.

If you're flying with a budget airline that doesn't serve meals, research what is offered for sale during the flight and what you can bring with you on board. Prepare plenty of snacks to keep your kids happy and occupied.

Check stroller arrangements

At most airports you'll be allowed to have your own stroller. It'll be taken off you at the gate of the aircraft and then given back to you at transit points or on arrival. Some airports provide strollers that you can use while you're within the airport area. If you're hoping to use a stroller, it's helpful to know your options in advance. If you can, use a baby carrier instead; it'll give you more flexibility.

Pre-book your airport transfers

Imagine this. You arrive at a crowded airport in an unfamiliar city. You're exhausted and you can't wait to get to your accommodation. You head to the taxi line just to find that it's a mile long. While you're checking the map for the nearest public transport stop, your kids wander off and start playing hide-and-seek. You go off at them and everyone is upset… not a great start to a holiday.

Now imagine a different picture. You get off the plane and you know exactly where you need to go for your airport transfers. Someone knows that you're coming, they've checked whether your flight is early or late and they're waiting for you. Your car or shuttle bus drops you off right in front of your hotel. You have arrived.