"By thinking ahead, there are loads of things you can do to make your journey smoother, aside from the obvious, like leaving loads of time to get to the airport. Tick the Select Your Seat box when you’re booking and you’ll be able to guarantee where you sit on the plane. Aisle seats near to a washroom are ideal for restless two-year-olds. If you’re travelling as a couple, you could also have one of you board the plane with your hand luggage right when the gate opens, while the other person lets your little one burn off some energy in the departure lounge for a final few minutes before the flight."
"These pint-sized wheelie suitcases work wonders for getting children through the airport. They’re just the right size for tots to perch on and rest their legs or scoot themselves around. They also come with a strap so you can pull them along. You can fill it up with all the stuff they’ll need for the journey, too, like toys, blankets and baby wipes – that’s one less thing for you to carry."
"Keeping little ones involved is a great way to avoid temper tantrums. Why not make them a little passport and ticket they can use to check in their favourite toy? There are lots of printable passport and ticket templates on Pinterest and colouring it in will keep them busy – for 10 minutes, at least."
"Formula, hand sanitizer, nappy cream… there are countless liquids you need when you’ve got a toddler in tow. Avoid the airport security liquid limits by pre-ordering everything you need to one of the airside shops. Boots offers this service at 15 UK airports, including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Gatwick. As for strollers, sterilisers and bottle warmers, on a TUI Family Life holiday, you can pre-book these so they’re ready for you when you arrive at the resort."
"Tablets are a parent’s ticket to peace and quiet in any circumstance, but they’re especially useful onboard a plane. Before you go, download a variety of programmes and apps so they don’t get bored. A shock-proof travel case will give you peace of mind if it gets dropped. And, headphones will not only keep them engaged with the screen, but they’ll double up as ear protection against plane noises. The people sitting around you will appreciate not listening to Peppa Pig on repeat, as well."
"As distracting as a tablet is, it probably won’t keep your little one busy for the whole flight. To go with it, make a goody bag filled with small toys that have been forgotten about at the bottom of the toy box, and present them with a new one each time their attention starts to wear thin. Soft toys, crayons and stickers work well – just be prepared to peel them off seats, windows and yourself before you leave, please."
"Let’s face it, drinks will be spilled and you may end up with stains down your carefully thought-out holiday wardrobe. So, make sure you pack a backup outfit for yourself and your child. Pashminas are handy because they can double up as a blanket if it’s chilly on the plane."
"Have a pack of baby wipes handy to clear up everything from spillages to sticky fingers on the go. Antibacterial wipes are also useful for wiping down tray tables, before they come in contact with snacks and dummies, etc."
"Most airlines don’t provide in-flight meals for under 2s, so pack a meal and lots of snacks to keep them fed throughout the flight. Avoid sugary sweets that’ll keep them awake and instead go for packets of raisins and mini boxes of cereal – the latter are especially light and easy to carry. Ensure you also have a drink or something to suck on ready for take-off and landing to ease popping ears."
"If you’re considering weaning your toddler off their dummy, consider waiting until after your holiday if you think it will comfort them throughout the flight. If you’re worried about it being dropped around the airport, these dummy protectors are designed to close around the teet before they hit the floor, keeping it clean."
On a TUI Family Life holiday, you can check in 10kg of luggage for under-twos, plus a car seat or stroller for free. You can even wheel the pushchair right up to the plane door, where the cabin crew will put it in the hold for you. You’ll also be able to request a cot in your room for no extra charge and book baby equipment before you go, including sterilisers and bottle warmers. TUI Family Life hotels come with lots of baby-friendly features around the resort, as well – from food preparation areas in the restaurants to dedicated Baby Lounges that save you a trip back to your room when you need to change a nappy or warm a bottle. Parent and toddler sessions offer up music, games and storytelling, while the fully-trained staff at the BabyClubs will give you a much-deserved few hours off.
Ready to go long-haul with your little ones? Check out our new TUI FAMILY LIFE hotel in Thailand.
The TUI FAMILY LIFE Mai Khao Lak comes with everything little ones could need, including a special Baby Lounge designed for changing nappies and warming bottles.
At the Royalton Punta Cana younger guests can get stuck in with activities at the kids’ club or splash around in the children’s pool.
In a prime spot on the Riviera Maya, the beachfront TUI SENSATORI Resort Riviera Cancun offers up a taste of the finer things in life.
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