Like most families we love to travel together. It’s amazing to share new experiences, explore new places and share new things together – but being the one doing the organising can be a major headache, can’t it?
I’m not sure how you work it, but for us we share the job of choosing where we’re going, and where we’re staying. But long years of experience have told us that it’s at this point that Mr LittleStuff’s patience runs out, and my excitement kicks in. Naturally, then, the minutiae of the planning falls to me. Which is fine – but the balancing act of collating all the various bits of information, and juggling everyone’s needs and wants is a planning-extravaganza any spreadsheet fan learns to love (and a potential migraine in the making, obviously).
And I’m lucky in that most of my kids are in their teens now – whilst they still have a long list of needs to be catered for, I can at least hand them a packing list and tell them to get on with it – and their travel bag contents no longer need to contain toy trucks, LEGO and colouring pens; a Nintendo DS, a phone and an iPod and they’re good to go.
If you have young children everything gets twice as hard, doesn’t it? Once you’re pregnant there are restrictions to consider, and travelling with babies and toddlers is an awful lot of work before you make it to your destination. It’s worth it, of course, but it can be a nightmare if you get it wrong – which is why I’m a big planner (travelling with four young children taught me the hard way the value of planning, planning, planning my way into a holiday).
I loved it, then, when I saw that travel search engine KAYAK.co.uk has developed a guide to provide genuinely useful insight for travelling families; a quick glance told me that if my kids were younger I’d be saving this and looking at it so often I could repeat it word for word before too many trips. It’s genius.
You’re pregnant, and you want to plan a trip – maybe to visit family – with your newborn. But when are you allowed to take them on a flight? Well, that depends on your airline; and the KAYAK guide shows you the current rules with the most popular airlines. British Airways will take a 2 day old baby, for example, but if you want a budget airline like easyJet it’ll have to be two weeks.
And then of course there’s the perennial pushchair issue – can you take one? And what about a car seat (though you might want to check these travel car seats if you’re thinking about it) – to take or not to take? So KAYAK have pulled together all the allowances for the most popular airlines again, so you can see instantly what allowance you have on your flight. For instance there’s no car seats with Jet2, and they’ll charge over 10kg for the pushchair too – as opposed to easyJet who allow you a pushchair and a car seat and have no weight limits. It’s not something you often think about when you book your flight – but once you know it, it’s hard to forget and would definitely have a huge influence over my flight bookings.