Whether its some long distance driving in England to stay with family or friends or a full blown European motoring vacation, the thought of taking children on a long car journey can seem a great idea when costing out the family holiday, but as the day approaches it seems more and more daunting.
The secret to a successful trip is to invest some time before you set off so you're prepared and ready to entertain, challenge and keep happy those delightful little passengers strapped in their cosy car seats in the back row.
According to a recent study, one in five parents will not fly with their children on holiday purely because it is too stressful. Six out of ten said their children could not sit still for more than 30 minutes on a plane and nearly half are worried that their child might suffer from air-sickness. Showing a concern for other travellers 46% feared their little ones would upset other passengers and 34% were worried that their babies would cry.
Flying with a baby offers a whole new experience for regular travellers, but it's perfectly possible to take your little ones on planes for holiday or for general travel. Airlines have many rules and regulations to enhance safety so it's important that you contact your airline before travelling to make sure that you are going to comply with their requirements. Rules between airlines differ, so if you've travelled before with a baby on a different airline, don't assume the same rules apply.
Some airlines have a minimum age before they will take babies, this could be anything up to a month. They also won't carry poorly children: if your baby has a hint of illness, take them to your doctor and seek professional medical advice. Babies will probably have to sit in an adult lap, but airlines can often only accommodate one such passenger in each row because of the additional safety equipment in the plane.
When booking, see if you can arrange a flight around a nap time; having your baby sleep through the flight could make the journey that much easier! Also, try to check in and reserve seats online in advance so that you can book good seats. You should be able to board the plane before other passengers which also helps. Many, but not all, airlines will take baby equipment at no extra charge - car seats, travel cots and strollers. Make sure you know the allowances before arriving at the airport.
Flying with a baby can be challenging, but it's quite possible, and it would be a shame not to go on holiday or visit relatives just because you're worried about the experience.
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