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PRE-FLIGHT CHECKLIST FOR PARENTS

Daisy and Sky at HK Airport

Book holiday, pack bikinis, duty-free shop and get drunk onboard. Those are the activities you might indulge in if you are footloose and fancy free.  If you’re jetting off with little ones in tow, you’ve got so much more to worry about from reserving a bassinet to buying inflight activities.  I thought I would make things a bit easier for you and provide you with a parent-focused pre-flight checklist below.  You can use it in conjunction with this more comprehensive travel list which includes things like organising pet care and emptying dustbins.

Documentation

  • Check all your passports have sufficient free pages and aren’t due to expire soon (many countries require a 6 month minimum)
  • Leave plenty of time to organise visas.  Countries like China require more documentation for first time travelers e.g. birth certificate, hotel booking If you require photos, get them done properly with the correct background.  

Flight Booking

  • For some reason airlines don’t always seat families together (crazy!)  Save yourself the stress of worrying about this and do all you can to ensure you are from phoning the airline call centre to checking in online the moment you can
  • If you are flying with an infant and require a bassinet (not all airlines have these), try to reserve the bassinet seat. Here are my tips on how to do this.
    Sky in Bassinet
  • Sign your family up to the airline loyalty scheme.  If they don’t meet the minimum age, you might be able to get around this by signing them up for a different scheme within the same alliance e.g. Singapore’s Kris Flyer when using Virgin (both are Star Alliance)

General

  • Keep an eye on your child’s health in the lead up to a flight.  You don’t want to take chances with things like an ear infection.  

Getting To The Airport

  • Make life easier for yourself and book an easy transfer to the airport e.g. taxi with child car seats. Allow for plenty of time.

Packing & Purchasing

  • Consult a packing checklist to see if there’s anything you need to go and buy, including the actual suitcase.  Nothing like running out to purchase one the day you fly (have done that on multiple occasions!).  Here is a link to my hand luggage, checked luggage and travel medicine kit packing lists.  Also make sure you are familiar with the baggage/weight limit.  Don’t forget that infants get baggage allowance in most cases.
  • Pack your vital meds, don’t risk anything by putting them in your checked bag.  If you have any meds that are over 100ml, you will require a prescription.  Don’t forget to take spoons/syringes for dispensing onboard.
  • Buy activities for your kids.  What you’ll need depends on how old they are.  Here are some ideas for entertaining baby on a plane and the Under 5 contingent.
  • Figure out what your kids will wear on the plane.  If I want my girls to get excited about an upcoming longhaul flight, we go shopping for new pyjamas for them to wear on board. 
  • Keep a list of all the last-minute packing items from toothbrush to grobag and stick this on the front door.
  • Don’t forget your buggy and baby carrier!

Food

  • For those feeding – sterilise bottles, boil water and pack more food and formula than you think you need.
  • Prepare/buy healthy snacks for your kids.  Here are some ideas.

Electronics

  • Download TV shows / kids apps
  • Charge all your electronics!  Then make sure you pack your chargers in your hand luggage

Always check the status of your flight before you leave for the airport. I can tell you from experience there is nothing worse than turning up to an airport with young kids, only to find out your flight has been rescheduled to 24 hours later…

HAPPY TRAVELS!

 

 

1 comment

  1. Evelyn Daniels

    Great reminder of things that I have to pack for our flight! Soon I am having my second travel together with my children, and I want to be more than prepared. The first time there was many things I forgot to pack. Thanks for sharing!!

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