As excited as you may be about your holiday, you’re probably not quite so thrilled about the travel involved in getting there! Long queues, busy airports and enclosed spaces can so easily end up with tears all round. But don’t panic – with careful planning there is plenty that can be done to smooth your path to the slopes.
Here are some tips for your travels with small children – some you will probably be familiar with, others may give you new inspiration…
1. Do your homework
Airports have become increasingly child-friendly in recent years, but many families are unaware of what’s on offer. For example, did you know that Heathrow, Gatwick, Edinburgh and Geneva airports all have soft play areas after security? Perfect for occupying (and wearing out) small people before the flight. Also look out for family-friendly security lanes and check-in zones.
2. All the kit
Babies and children come with a lot of kit! Check your airline’s baggage policy to find out what you can bring with you (bearing in mind that limits may differ for infants who don’t have their own seat). Your airport may provide buggies, in which case you can save on space by leaving yours at home (Chatel Childcare has a range of buggies suitable for resort conditions).
Don’t forget to check your airline and airport’s policy on travelling with baby milk and food as well.
3. In the air
Even for a short hop from the UK to Geneva, you will usually have at least a couple of hours on the plane to kill. Snacks and tablets (with headphones!) come into their own for older children. For younger ones try buying a small pack of toy cars/ dinosaurs or similar and wrapping them individually before you travel, then bringing them out one by one throughout the flight.
Changes in pressure during take off and landing can be particularly bothersome for babies and toddlers. Sucking can reduce discomfort – milk for babies and (safe) sweets for toddlers should do the trick.
4. Don’t forget the transfer
It’s easy to focus on the flight and forget about the transfer. Remember to save some snacks and distractions for the trip up the mountain.
Be aware that transfer companies can be very hit and miss in their provision of car seats. If you’re travelling from Geneva I would recommend Professional Transfers or Chalet Transfers who take children’s safety seriously and provide a range of seats for different ages. Once you’re in resort you’re covered too – I provide age-appropriate seats to ensure your snow bunnies are transported safely to and from the slopes.