Travel tips & tricks for parents with babies and small kids
Our tip is to travel as much as possible during the first two years of your child because the standard airline company offers two categories for payment:
Infant in airplane
Infants – babies younger than two years old pay around 10% of the fare and 0% taxes. Your baby will sit in your lap on a short flight but on the long flight, you will be provided with the crib that attaches to the wall in front of you. With this ticket, you are not allowed on checked baggage for the baby. Make sure to bring enough food for your near two-year-old because babies don’t get a meal and you might stay hungry because it is so fun to eat from mommy’s little trays in the planes. At least it was for our Cub. Later I’ll explain what is allowed to take with you on board. On a long flight, breast is the best. However, the aircraft crew may offer to warm a bottle or provide pureed baby food in a jar.
Children – from two years until twelve years pay around 70% of the fare and 100% taxes. So, use this wisely and often. With this ticket, your child is allowed on checked baggage.
Lowcost carriers have different rules and procedures:
Bowsing the Airport
Usually, you pay a fixed price for an infant. Around 25 – 30€ and your ticket might cost around 10€ if you are lucky and not so strict about the dates of the journey. That means that you will sometimes pay more for the baby than for an adult and you won’t be able to have checked baggage with an infant ticket. They don’t have a children’s category, so you will have to pay full price, and that means fare plus taxes.
Frequently asked question in parents’ social network groups is “what should I do to prevent ear problems?”. Don’t worry, just breastfeed during take-off and landing, or use the bottle, or pacifier. The baby needs to swallow a lot, and everything will be fine. During the flight make sure to use a seat/security belt for the baby that attaches to your seatbelt. The aircraft crew will provide it onboard.
Another question that pops up often is “what should I do with a baby stroller?” Again, there are two options:
Some airline companies offer delivery on aircraft. That means that you can have your stroller at the entrance to the plane and leave it there. Airport staff will pick it up and pack in a big plastic bag to save it from the dirt in your plane’s cargo hold. After landing your stroller will wait for you in front of the plane entrance. Just make sure to inform the airline company in advance that you will carry your stroller so they can prepare airport staff.
Some companies/airlines will offer strollers that you can use at the airport while yours will be packed with checked baggage.
A question that is linked to the one above is “Do we need a baby car seat onboard?”
No, you don’t need it if you buy an infant ticket. Your baby will be in your hands strapped with a baby belt and attached to you or it will be in a crib attached in front of you. If you buy a children ticket your child older than two years will be on the seat next to you.
Yes, if you want your baby to have its seat but you will have to pay full fare and taxes and your car seat must have a certificate for the plane issued by the manufacturer. Usually, it’s on the sticker attached to the side of the car seat. There is the possibility that you bring on a car seat for a child since a child has its seat just make sure that this car seat also has the certificate.
Ready to go! Three of us one suitcase in the Netherlands
The last big question is “What baby food is allowed to be taken on board?”
If you are breastfeeding you are lucky and blessed with few necessities. The food is always there, warm and by the mom’s most hygienic standard. So, enjoy it and remember to use it during take-off and landing to prevent aching ears later.
If you need bottles, I’m not an expert but during the years I’ve collected my friends’ experiences and will try to summarize for you. First, don’t worry because every plane has an option for warming clean bottled water. Pack just powdered baby milk or take a thermos bottle and hope for the best. Liquid allowances are only 100 ml per package and that applies to creams, lotions, pureed food in the jars, water etc. All liquids should be packed in a transparent plastic bag and not exceed the total amount of 1 litre. After you pass a security check-up you can go to a duty-free shop and stock up your water supplies if you need more than is allowed.