We know that family travel isn’t easy at the best of times. Airports are busy, queues are long and children’s attention spans are short! We’ve created this guide to get you up to speed on how Manchester Airport works for families. Here’s our top tips for travelling with tots:
Choose the right holiday destination
Before you book your dream holiday make sure that the destination is child-friendly. Will you be able to push a pram comfortably along the footpaths? Are there child-friendly restaurants and activities nearby? Will your child cope with the weather? These are all important factors to consider when travelling with children that can affect the quality of your well-deserved trip.
Plan your route to the airport
Tensions can run high when it’s time to head to the airport. It’s best to arrive with plenty of time to spare before your departure, especially when travelling with toddlers. Are you driving to the airport? Consider a park, stay and fly package from an airport hotel so you can relax and start your family holiday in the best way possible. Know that your car is safe while you and the family rest ahead of your journey and enjoy a fresh breakfast before taking a 5-minute shuttle bus journey to the airport.
Pre-book your seats on the plane
Airlines have a habit of splitting passengers up and you don’t need that added stress. Book seats to ensure your family is sitting together. Airlines will increase the price of seats after booking so its best to book them at the same time you’re booking the flight.
Pack and dress wisely for an easier airport security experience when travelling with kids
Keep needed items in your hand luggage and place everything else in the check-in bag. Make sure any liquids are under 100mls and fit in one small plastic bag per person. You can pre-order baby formula from Boots and collect it when you go through Manchester Airport’s security gate. Restaurants at the airport will heat up baby items free of charge.
Try to avoid having anyone wearing boots or belts as they’ll have to be removed when passing through the metal detector while you’re already simultaneously trying to fish out your liquids bag, load your suitcase on the travellator and watch that the kids don’t wander off.
Manchester Airport has a family fast lane for passing through security that’s wide enough for pushchairs. Ask a member of staff to guide you in the right direction if you can’t see it.
Trunkis are ideal for holding your child’s carryon items. The cute case comes on wheels and can easily be pulled. If they’re feeling tired, your child can ride on the case while you pull it – if you can manage that along with your own luggage!
Recommended items for your kid’s carryon luggage
- Colouring / activity book
- (Fully charged) iPad / tablet and stand with pre-downloaded movies
- Favourite teddy / comfort blanket
- Coin purse with an agreed amount for spending in the airport to avoid any outlandish requests
- Sweets to help with sore ears during take-off and landing
Keep your travel documents together in a folder
When travelling with children, there’s multiple passports and boarding cards to look after. Keep them together in a travel folder that you can easily access from your handbag or backpack to help your airport time run a little smoother.
Arrive at the airport in plenty of time
Summer is the peak time for travelling and the airport will be busy. Arrive with time to spare to allow for longer queues, multiple toilet runs, and time to tell your child that no – they cannot buy that pack of M&Ms for £20. Manchester Airport recommends the following eateries for family dining:
Where to eat and drink
- Terminal 1 – Giraffe
- Terminal 1 – Joes Kitchen
- Terminal 2 – Frankie & Benny’s
- Terminal 3 – Trattoria Milano
Travelling with buggies, prams, car seats etc
You can bring your child’s pushchair through the airport and leave it at the entrance to the plane. It will be waiting for you as you exit the plane when you’ve reached your destination. Contact your individual airline for information on travelling with other baby equipment such as car seats, booster seats etc.
Baby changing and other facilities
Baby changing facilities are available throughout the three terminals at Manchester Airport. They are located either in or beside the lady’s bathrooms. There are chairs in the baby changing spaces to assist with breastfeeding. Manchester Airport supports breastfeeding and does not restrict where it can take place throughout the site.
There’s a soft play area at terminal 2 in the departure lounge beside Cafe Nero. The area has attractions suitable for children under three years old and an adventure play area for kids aged three to eight. Art desks are also available throughout the airport. They are located at most eating areas and provide colouring books and crayons.
We know it’s easier said than done, especially when travelling with babies or young kids, but try to keep calm. You’ve done all the hard work: packing, organising and everything else. This is your holiday too after all! Join in the excitement with the children, watch a movie with them on the plane, discuss the plans for your trip and enjoy your time spent together. They won’t be young forever.
Family travel is our speciality at Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport. Discover our range of offers on park, stay and fly packages and start your family trip the right way.