Top tips when travelling with children

Travelling with children whether a baby or a toddler or both can be a daunting prospect, but it really doesn’t have to be stressful. Prior planning and careful packing can ensure your holiday is memorable for all the right reasons.

If you are flying with small children; small sachets of Calpol or Neurofen can help soothe them if the air pressure hurts their ears. Chewing, sipping water, or sucking on a dummy during take off can also help to relieve ear pressure. Pack toys and books to keep them occupied during the journey and a special toy or blanket to encourage them to sleep. Have a good supply of snacks in case they won’t eat the food on the plane.

top tips when travelling with children

Take a change of clothes; both for you and your child – just in case! Planes can be cold, so adjust the air-conditioning to avoid drafts and take an extra jacket or cardigan and socks. For an overnight flight, take toothbrushes, pyjamas and something to snuggle up under and try and make everything as normal as possible to encourage the sleep routine.

If you are allowed to, try and take your buggy as far as the departure gate. A baby sling can be helpful to have to hand, as often your buggy is not returned until baggage reclaim.

Get to the airport in good time as if you are travelling with a baby, you may be allocated specific seats; bassinets are generally available for babies up to 2 years. A blackout cover may be useful to encourage them to sleep on the flight and try and keep to your usual routine as much as possible.

It is usually possible to pre-order baby food and ready to drink formula through Boots airside and take enough for the flight and to acclimatise once abroad (order at least 7 days prior to departure).

In hot climates dress in suitable cotton clothing to allow your body to breathe. Wounds often take longer to heal and can easily become infected in high humidity – therefore ensure that any injury is cleaned thoroughly and apply a sterile breathable dressing. If anyone is licked in an open wound by an animal or bitten, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible and receive prompt anti-rabies treatment.

Keeping everyone well hydrated is important in hot climates; particularly for nursing mothers, babies and small children. Treat the sun with respect; cover up with hats, sun glasses and sun cream, drink plenty and keep out of the midday sun. If you are swimming or sailing remember that reflections from water increase the potency of the sun and regularly apply additional sunscreen accordingly. Remember that small children have sensitive skin which is far more likely to burn.

If someone shows signs of heat exhaustion; flushed, sweaty, stomach cramps, headaches …encourage them to sit in the shade and drink to replace their fluids. Seek medical advice if concerned.

Research in advance about specific dangers in the areas you are visiting learn how particular stings, bites, illnesses or reactions should be treated if affected. Choose a child friendly mosquito repellent and wear long, loose clothing to avoid being bitten. Be particularly careful at dusk.


Think ahead:

Always travel with toilet roll, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and a compact, sensible First Aid kit. Add additional First Aid items relevant to your trip and attend a First Aid course tailored to the particular needs of your holiday and family.

First Aid for Life and provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

First Aid for Life offer tailored first aid courses for specific activities and destinations.

Written by Emma Hammett from First Aid for life tel: 02086754036


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