Traveling with kids is a real challenge for parents and carers. Crying baby on a plane, whining at the airport, or the little ones interested in everything but a nice seat, are only a few obstacles to a peaceful flight.
Luckily the key to success can be a good organization and preparation of appropriate management strategies!
Before you start preparing for your trip, it is necessary to organize the relevant documents, which are essential to every toddler during the briefing of the airport.
- The primary document entitling the child for travel around the world is a passport. Is acceptable also an identity card, and in some cases even school ID (part of domestic flights). During the checks, you must present a document, which is inscribed on the ticket. The child must have its own document, can not travel using documents from its parent.
- In the country of residence, the child during the flight needs only an identity card, in the case of some airlines is also considered a birth certificate or school ID.
- Flights within the Schengen area require a passport or ID card, but children living outside the zone must have a visa – obtained in a similar way as adults.
- Flights outside the Schengen area require a passport, and in some cases also a visa – should be checked before traveling, where do you need to have a tourist visa.
- A passport or a visa for the child requires the consent of both parents or legal guardians.
- The fact of having an identity card of the child by third parties such as grandparents is treated as consent to the child’s journey.
- Before leaving, you should check the procedures for traveling of minors in the embassy of the country to which your departure is planned.
- When the case of documents is clear, it’s time to take care of developing the action plan to travel with a toddler.
- Imagine the journey. Prepare your child to travel by showing pictures of places and people in the country to which you are going to.
- Involve your children in the preparation. A perfect example is to ask children, to make gifts for the people you are visiting.
- Make a plan – prepare some books, paper, crayons or markers, and pack them into an easily accessible, plastic bags with closing. Perfect will also be mini toys, stickers, playing cards or games on the tablet.
- Prepare rewards for good behavior and pack them into the bag cache – mini souvenirs, movie tickets or “vouchers” to exchange for sweets will be a great mobilization for each child.
- If the child is sleeping on the plane, you should book a night flight or one, that is between the hours of a toddler naps.
- Book right places – best to do it in advance – the child may need frequent go to the toilet, so you should choose someplace on the side, etc.
- Develop a plan for emergencies – rare, but there are situations of loss, so you should sensitize toddler where to go in case he gets lost. Ideally, when it is precisely defined space at the airport, where the child has to wait or determining the persons to whom he should go if necessary.
- Take a photo of your child in sweatshirts from the day of departure, as in a case when he gets lost, searching will be easier.
- Pack up practically – many things, you can buy on the spot.
- In your bag cache, pack a spare set of clothes for the toddler, wet wipes and closed in an airtight container snacks. Separating them in a bag with closing will facilitate a briefing, and is very practical.
- Pack several large and small plastic bags – it will be useful in many emergency situations.
At the airport
- Explain to the child a process of airport security – the role of security personnel, scanner, and why all this is so important.
- Take a trolley – perhaps it makes little inconveniences during the briefing, but later can become a real means – while waiting for another multi-city flight.
On a plane
- Take care of the baby’s ears during takeoff and landing – ideally works sucking a bottle or pacifier, in the case of older children – a lollipop or candy.
- Bag cache is now super-helpful – ready gadgets, check for boredom or calming a toddler.