Coping with children and travel delays

New baby Support Travel with children and babies

We all deserve a holiday right now but the current issues with airport delays and flight cancellations don’t make travelling with children any easier. In fact, it can make it really stressful and exhausting.  

Obviously, we hope your holiday travel goes as smoothly as possible and you have a wonderful, relaxing time away with your family or friends. But we’re also realistic about the current situation so wanted to give you some tips on how to make the best of a bad situation, if it happens. Fingers crossed it won’t!

Suitcase illustration

Our first bit of advice is to prepare for the worst case scenario so you have everything you could possibly need if things do go awry. It doesn’t matter if you don’t use it all but you’ll kick yourself if you don’t pack the essentials. 

Here are our other tips for staying sane in an unpredictable time of travelling.

  • Snacks. We probably don’t even need to say this as we know that it’s a foolhardy mistake to ever leave the house with children and NOT have snacks for them in your bag. Whatever you think you’ll need to keep the little ones satisfied until you reach your destination, pack double

  • Airport food is expensive and not really geared up to little children. If you’re delayed whinging, hungry children will be the last thing you need so make sure you’ve got plenty of their favourite treats and something to fill their tummies too. Airport security will let you take food pouches and formula in your hand luggage, they might just be subject to an extra check. 

  • Spare clothes. This is essential for all of the family. Not only is it important to have a T-shirt and spare pair of pants in case your luggage gets lost but children are susceptible to travel sickness and spillages. If a child is on your lap then obviously food, vomit, or worse, probably won’t just land on your child. Arriving on holiday in soiled clothes is not an enjoyable way to kick things off for anyone. Pyjamas for the children are also a good idea if you’re gearing up for a long flight as this will help them get into the mindset of going to sleep and keep them cosy and comfortable.

  • We love the tip someone gave us early on to pop each persons spare clothes into a zip lock food bag, that way they are a) really easy to find and pull out of your bag, but also you can pop the dirty, wet clothes straight back into the bag and seal it up to deal with at the other end!

    Feet popping over the edge of a pram

  • Buggy. Most airlines and airports will allow you to keep your buggy until you reach the aeroplane door. Carrying a tired, upset child around an airport while delayed, without a buggy for them to snooze in is no fun at all. Keep it with you for as long as you are allowed and have a plan just in case it isn’t waiting at the gate at the other end (p.s. this is where our sling has always been our saviour!)

  • Man with a baby in a sling
    Pack a sling/carrier. Even if you’ve got your buggy with you, we really recommend packing a carrier too. Hannah Wallace owns Wear My Baby (a fellow, Tooting mum & business owner) and has given us her top carrier tips. 

  • “Buggies can be great, but if you're facing long queues then it's very likely your little one will want to come up for a cuddle, a nap, or simply a look around to see what's going on!

    “Using a carrier on your front or back makes carrying bags and navigating airports, trains and buses so much easier. Your hands will be free for pulling suitcases, holding onto older kids and keeping hold of your passport (phew).”

    These are Hannah’s recommended slings for travelling with babies and tired toddlers:

    1. Activities. We all know children have short attention spans, so why not put together a travel bag of surprise toys to fill up the time? You don’t need to spend much money but make sure you introduce them one at a time if you’ve got a long journey ahead of you. Pack their rucksack with some small picture books, finger puppets, stickers, magnetic games and puzzles, crayons and colouring books, or cards.
      Child lying on the airport floor colouring in
      The added bonus is that none of these toys will run out of battery power!  Places like the PoundStore, Wilko, The Works are all great places to stock up on little, inexpensive goodies.  Or you can opt for pre-made packs like the ones from Keep Em Quiet
    1. Put a blanket/ favourite cuddly toy in your hand luggage. If you’re worried about your child becoming agitated or overwhelmed if you’re delayed, make sure you keep something you know will soothe them close to hand. It might help send them off to sleep if they’re overtired giving you time for a much needed coffee, or something stronger!


    Here’s to your wonderful holidays whether abroad or at home!!  We’d love to see any cheeky snaps so feel free to DM or tag us!!  Are any of you taking your play mats with you on staycations? 

    If you have a road trip coming up then you might find some handy points in our latest article 

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