Traveling on airlines by yourself with several young children in tow is enough to make any parent or guardian worry. With only two hands, saying it's difficult would be putting it mildly. There's so many things and little bodies to keep track of and hold on to, and you only have two hands. Fortunately, here are several things you can do to turn what could be a nightmare into a dream.
Use an Airport Taxi Service
In most airports, the available parking spaces can seem like a million miles away from the terminal for little legs to walk. While there are usually shuttles available from the parking lot to the terminals, getting on and off a shuttle with several young children can be difficult. Instead of driving yourself and your gaggle of children to the airport, use an airport taxi service to give you peace of mind.
Most states do not require child car seats to be used in taxis. If you are concerned about the children's safety when riding in a taxi and would like to use car seats, you can have the car seats checked using curbside check-in as soon as you arrive at the airport.
Locate the In-Airport Child-Friendly Amenities
Hopefully, you scheduled your flight to not include any layovers. If there are layovers, don't fret. Keep your children entertained by finding the exact location of the in-airport playgrounds and other essential areas designed specifically to keep children entertained.
Find terminal maps online for each airport you will be traveling through. Terminal maps will help you locate family-friendly restrooms, eateries, and lounges. You can also find mobile device recharging stations in most airports, so you can replenish the batteries of any devices you use to keep your children entertained while traveling. If you arrive at the airport far in advance of your schedule departure time, you'll know exactly where to ask the taxi driver to drop you off at based on the locations of the most-needed amenities in the airport.
Keep Track of Everything & Everyone
There's little doubt that you'll need a carry on bag to keep track of all the little things your children will need. It's a good idea to use a backpack so you can keep your hands free. Instead of putting your identification and boarding passes in the backpack, wear clothing with deep pockets to store them in. That way, you won't have to remove your backpack more than necessary. To keep your children right beside you at all times, secure a carabiner clip to your clothing for each child to hold on to. Instruct your children to grab on as soon as you depart the taxi and to not let go unless you tell them to.
Get Through Security
Airports and airplanes can be exciting for children, but the adventure can also be terrifying when it comes time to go through the screening process. Prepare your children for the procedures by explaining to them what they can expect. Before leaving for the airport, role play being a Transportation Security Agency agent. Do this particularly for the children who are more sensitive to strangers or who have sensory or attention disorders.
Arrive at Destination
Arrange for an airport taxi service to meet you at your destination. When you reach the destination and have disembarked from the plane, ask a porter to help you gather your luggage (and car seats if you checked them in) and take you and your children to meet with your taxi service. Instruct your children to stand with one hand on the luggage while you arrange their car seats in the taxi. That way, the children can remain safe and out of traffic.
For more information, visit a website such as http://www.taxi-hotline.com/.