Single parents’ hacks to make flying easier including family lanes at security

Going to the airport can be the most stressful part of a holiday as you worry about long security lines, missing your flight or accidentally bringing the wrong liquids.

Add in children and it becomes a total nightmare especially if you're wrangling them into order by yourself.

But, there are lots of things that can help your airport trip and flight go more smoothly according to fellow single parents.

Whether that's being able to skip the mammoth security line, packing extra snacks or asking the crew on-board to hold your baby.

Don't be afraid to take help where it's available – you might even get some freebies at the airport whether that's due to kids eat free deals or Heathrow's latest gift giving service.

Your holiday can be stress free and fun with a few simple changes…

Travel experts from eShores have collected some of the most shocking stories parents across the UK have shared and offer advice on how to avoid and deal with the challenges solo parents face when traveling alone with their babies.

Ask for and accept help

"I had to go to the loo with my baby on my lap because I didn't realise flight attendants would offer to hold her," mum Emily, 33, explained.

Flight attendants may offer to hold the baby if you need to use the toilet or need a break – and instead of trying to fit your suitcase into the overhead while baby wearing, just ask someone to help you.

At check-in, see if there are any extra seats on the flight and if they would be willing to move you and the baby to an extra open seat.

Layers and pockets are a must

"A male flight attendant threw a blanket at me while I was breastfeeding and said it was to make me more comfortable," Priya, 27, said.

Priya was on a nine-hour flight from London when the male flight attendant threw a blanket at her when she tried to feed during take-off, "for her comfort" – quite rude of him.

You are legally allowed to breastfeed on a plane so don't cover if you don't want to!

If you do prefer to cover, a cardigan with pockets will serve a dual purpose if you are breastfeeding, as it can be used to drape over the baby, not to mention you can store essentials in your pockets such as a phone, passport, tickets, headphones and other necessities.

Don't forget a carrier for the baby

"I dropped my much-needed coffee all over myself and my baby because I couldn't reach my boarding pass," mum Nina, 30, said.

There's nothing more stressful than trying to juggle a baby, carry-on bags and passports.

As well as ensuring you have pockets for essentials, take a baby carrier to make sure you have free hands to access them.

A wrap or sling carrier will keep your baby close to you, helping them feel safe and secure as you make your way through the airport, while also leaving your hands free to grab your tickets, passport or that much-needed coffee.

Remember, you need to take this off to go through security, though!

Prepare for the worst with back-up outfits

Clint, 34, remembered one unfortunate incident: "After a massive poo explosion from my little one, I had to sit in the mess for the remainder of the four-hour flight. At least my baby had a lovely dry change of clothes!"

He was flying with his three-month-old son Otto, when Otto had a messy explosion.

Clint then had to sit in soiled clothing for the rest of the flight. Babies under 12 months old go through three outfit changes a day – travelling doesn't change that!

Always take an extra change of clothes (or two) for the baby in your carry-on luggage, as well as a change of clothes for yourself.

This way, any messy accidents can be easily cleaned up, and you can both change into fresh clothes to keep dry and comfortable.

Check what you're entitled to

There is plenty of help at airports for parents to make sure they make their flight and to reduce disruption to other passengers.

Check if there's a special "family lane" at security and if not ask to join the fast track queue.

You are also entitled to priority boarding and get on the plane first with your kids.

Plus, some airports like Heathrow even offer free children's meals when you buy an adult dish – just check the website to see if the deal is available when you're flying.


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