Tips on travelling with kids this holiday season
TORONTO -- The holiday season is supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation, but some parents feel boarding an airplane with small children during the holidays is anything but that.
"It's very hard," one mother, Vanessa said. "You have to take care of everything. You can see I have so much baggage, strollers, so many bags."
Nearly three million people pass through Toronto Pearson International Airport between Dec. 16 and Jan. 6. and travelling with children can add another layer of complexity to your journey.
"It's just more worrisome," Dennis, a father of a toddler, said.
With that in mind, CTV News Toronto has some tips to help make your trip a little smoother.
"The number one thing that all parents have to do is be prepared for the unexpected,” Melanie Tabet, from online travel agency Flighthub.com, said.
“So anticipate everything that can go wrong and everything that can go right and prepare for it."
That could include packing extra diapers, snacks, a mini first-aid kit, as well as pacifiers and chewing gum for landing and take-off.
Also, make sure you pack any necessary supplies in your carry-on, to make sure it is easily accessible aboard the plane. Beyond that, you'll have the essentials if your baggage gets lost somewhere during your trip.
Another suggestion is to give yourself extra travel time, just in case you run into any stumbling blocks, like traffic on the way to the airport.
"As long as you give yourself lots of time and get to the airport early, things usually go smoothly," Michelle, a mother of one, said.
Travel experts also suggest parents pack iPads or other electronic devices, as well as crafts and toys for their kids. For example, if you load up at the dollar store before your trip, you can dole out "gifts" at intervals during your flight.
"If they're about to lose it, it usually helps to pull something out that has crayons, and you know, things they can colour or little puzzles or things that keep you busy for more than two seconds. That usually helps," Tabet said.
If your kids are melting down, Tabet suggests walking them up and down the aisles of the airplane to soothe them.
And above all, Tabet says: "Stay calm. I think your children feed off of you and your body language, so I think the calmer they will be as well."