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Top 10 tips for getting through an airport with kids

Getting through the airport can be stressful enough when you’re travelling alone, so with a family in tow, it can be an arduous experience. If you’re jetting off with small children, you’ll need to keep them occupied from the drive to the airport to the departure lounge. Here are ten tips to help get you and the kids through the airport.

1 Print out the boarding passes
Preparation is key, so make sure you have print outs of all the boarding passes to hand. Some airlines even charge extra if you don’t check in online before arriving at the airport. Be prepared for the long queues at check in or bag drop, especially during summer holiday season.

2 Go for a fast check in
If the thought of entertaining the kids in a long check in queue already fills you with dread, look out for fast check in points that can be pre-booked before your trip. If you’ve booked an upgraded ticket, you might already be entitled to head to the speedy check in area, so be sure to investigate.

3 FastTrack through security
Many airports have FastTrack security lanes, and welcome families, as the process of getting through security controls are often stressful enough even if you’re travelling alone. Don’t be afraid to ask if there’s a dedicated lane for families., where they’ll help you and the kids through. Book FastTrack at Manchester

4 Put all your items in your bag before going through security
Before heading to the security controls, make sure everyone is prepared by stowing away all the items you usually put in the trays, in one place. You’ll need to juggle bags and kids and electronic items all at once, so if you put belts phones and wallets away in the same place before getting to security, it might just make the experience that little bit easier.

5 Kid’s own backpacks
Take the weight off your own shoulders by getting little rucksacks for the children. They’ll love carrying their own crayons and colouring in books, and you won’t have to fish around in your bag when one of them needs distracting.

6 Take plenty of things for them to do
Children are easily bored standing in queues or waiting to board the plane. Bring along as many distractions as you can, and you’ll be thankful for them. There are plenty of small, lightweight games and puzzles, along with the obligatory electronic games and gadgets.

7 Bring food and drink
Buy some fiddly snacks to keep the kids occupied, but remember to go easy on the sugary sweets – you don’t want them to have too much energy on the flight.

8 Make sure the gadgets are charged
If the kids are like most others these days, they’ll be glued to their handheld games or your phone/tablet. Make sure the gadgets are fully charged before setting off, and if they’re being used in the car on the way to the airport, plug them in if you can. Mini travel battery packs will help on the long-haul flights, and some airlines even have USB charging points in the seats.

9 Wear the kids out before getting on the plane
Sitting on a plane for hours is no fun when you’re an easily-bored child, and there’s only so many episodes of kids’ TV that’ll keep the young ones entertained before they start to realise they’re bored. Make the trip through the airport as tiring for them as possible and they might just sleep on the flight.

10 Get on the plane last
You’ve finally made it through the airport and got to the gate on time! No doubt the gate area is heaving with impatient passengers who just want to get on the flight and leave. Families with small children will be called to board before the rest of the flight, but why not hang back and get that last bit of energy out of the kids before they end up bored in a confined space.

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