In light of recent tragic events, you can expect heightened security at all airports. Of course this is a welcome measure to keep us all as safe but it can be tough navigating security with young kids in tow. I’ve encountered endless tantrums in security kids (mostly my kids but sometimes me when I see how slow people are at removing laptops from bags, phones from pockets etc).
If you are heading for security sometime soon, I hope you find these tips useful…
- Check in advance what the limits are on carrying liquids. For example, the UK guidelines state that you can take liquid containers through with more than 100ml if they are for baby milk/food purposes. It’s always best to carry through more sterilised bottles than you think you need as you maybe asked to sip the water. Likewise for food pouches.
- Investigate if you can buy formula and food pouchers airside. For example at many UK airports, you can phone Boots (a British pharmacy chain) and reserve ready made cartons of formula and food pouches. This means you don’t have to stress about how much you are actually carrying through the security check with you.
- Have all your documents within easy access. Put them all together in a pocket and remember which pocket they are in!
- Keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Family Queue’. However this is occasionally longer than the regular queue due to people like you and I who have to take their time collapsing a stroller etc.
- Don’t collapse your stroller too early in the queue. The last thing you need is to be lugging a baby or shepherding an unruly toddler AND a kicking a long a folded up stroller. Wait until you’re by the machine and ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT. If you are traveling solo with your child you can never have enough hands!
- To the point above, don’t have millions of loose things in the stroller. Try to keep everything neat and contained so that all you need to do is fold up the stroller, place your bag on the counter and carry your child through.
- Be organised. I like to travel with a backpack which has lots of pockets so I know where everything is. Have all your liquids in ziploc bags so that security can easily see what you’re carrying. Don’t forget to do this with all your liquids e.g. medecine and toiletries
- If you have a laptop or iPad with you (of course you do, you’re flying with a toddler!), have these ready at the top of your bag so you can remove them easily.
- If you are carrying through any medicines that are over 100ml, make sure you have your prescription with you.
- Prepare your children for the security check and explain what they will need to do in advance. My daughter got really freaked out by the body scanners in LAX and I had to explain how they worked and that she wouldn’t need to go through one.
- Always wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Kids aged 12 and under won’t need to remove their shoes.
- It’s all about the snacks. If you predict a meltdown, have a snack on hand to calm your child down whether that’s a teething biscuit for a toddler or a lollipop for an older child.
- Once you are through, take your time gathering your belongings. Put your baby/toddler in the stroller first and strap them in so you can concentrate on getting the rest of your bags. Do a mental note to make sure you have everything! You’ll be needing that iPad loaded up with Peppa Pig for the loooong flight ahead….