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8 Tips for Traveling Safely with Children

Many parents face traveling with their kids with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
While it is exciting to experience the world through their eyes and spend time together without the interruptions of regular life, it is also a move away from the safe familiarity of your own home, where you know what to do and where to go if something goes wrong. One of the biggest dreads is the actual journey itself – so many variables, stresses and unpredictable outcomes. So how can you best prepare for your trip? Here are 8 tips to help the journey go that little bit more smoothly.


1. Hand Luggage


Take all your essential items for your child in your hand luggage. Include items like extra nappies, bottles and snacks in case of delays. It’s also a good idea to bring spare clothing, especially if you will arrive at night when temperatures are cooler and children are tired and feel the chill a bit more. Also baby wipes – even if the kids are out of nappies, can come in very handy for wiping hands, cleaning surfaces etc.


2. Drink plenty of water


Once you get through security, or at bus and train stations buy a couple of bottles of water. Traveling is seriously dehydrating and little ones certainly feel it, so make sure to keep hydrated.


3. Make sure someone is ‘on duty’ on long trips


It sounds obvious, but always make sure that an adult is awake when traveling with children. I've saw a couple who were both asleep and their child woke up and was wondering up the aisle of the train.


4. Seat your child away from the aisle


It might sound wrong, considering most parents expect to spend the entire journey walking up and down the aisle with busy toddlers, but it’s better if you sit on the outside and keep them away from hot trolleys with coffee and food passing by.


5. Airline Approved Car Seats


It is crazy to think legislation is so strict on car seat safety and not on planes, trains and buses. If your car seat is ‘Airline Approved’ (it’ll have a sticker to say so on it), this means you can bring the seat on board and install it like you would in a car. However, you will more than likely need to purchase an extra seat (even for children under two, who normally travel for free).


6. Amsafe Harness


This looks exactly like the harness on a child’s car seat and fits around the seat of an aircraft. If you book a separate seat for an under 2, most airlines require that you buy this. But it’s a fairly useful safety item even for bigger children, especially with turbulence.


7. First Aid Kit


Always pack a small first aid kit for holidays. Of course, if there is serious illness or injury you’ll be heading straight to the doctor, but pack a small amount of ‘everyday’ stuff you have at home. Include antiseptic wipes, plasters, thermometer, sting cream, antihistamines. Medications such as Calpol often come in handy travel sachets too.


8. Label Them


It’s stating the obvious but airports, train stations, bus stations are all busy places with crowds of people, as are cities, festivals, markets. There are all sorts gadgets out there, from mini alarms to tracking devices that you can attach to your child in case they get lost in a crowd. Even simply writing your contact number on their arm is better than nothing. For more advice on travel, check out our travel experts, The Stork Exchange.
Do you have any advice? Leave a comment below.

About the Author

I’m Olivia Mai, founder of The Stork Exchange and Mum to two small children. My third baby is the one I leave at home when I go on holidays, it’s called The Stork Exchange and it’s my little business. It is a children's equipment hire service that offers everything from child car seats, prams, buggies, cots and highchairs, to monitors, booster seats, buggy boards and pram bags. I started The Stork Exchange with my husband four years ago after a bad experience on holidays abroad with my kids. Fast forward four years and we now have two shops, one at Dublin Airport and one in Shannon. We work closely with a number of airlines and car rental companies and have spent three years developing our product range. That’s a lot of products to trail -- safety, durability and ease of use are top priorities. I constantly get asked questions by parents about travelling with kids -- what equipment to bring, what not to bring, what’s allowed by airlines, what’s not. Being at the airport day in day out means I am pretty close to it all and as a result have built up loads of knowledge, tips and nuggets of practical and useful info about the do’s and don’t of travelling with children. I also learn from the experience of other Mums and Dads. It’s great to be able to share this advice to help make the journey and holiday a bit smoother and easier for other parents. Want to get in touch? Email me at or call 087 255 8702 Check out my website and social channels at the icons above.


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