No matter how organized parents are, there’s nothing like family travel over the holidays to bring out stress for parents and kids. Fear not though, we’ve got a few tips and ideas to help keep the kids smiling and for you to stay sane.
Carry-on baggage restrictions might confuse even the most seasoned travellers, but add children into the mix and there are more things to think about. Is baby food allowed? What about snacks? Baby formula? Our friends at the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority (CATSA) have a complete list of permitted and non-permitted items on their website, as well as restrictions. Here are some family-focused ones:
Formula: Formula, juices and water may be brought in your carry on for children under the age of 24 months. However, there are certain restrictions and requirements you must adhere to. Double check with CATSA’s permitted items before you arrive at the airport.
Strollers: There is no more difficult task then trying to decide which stroller to take on vacation. The jogging stroller, the mall stroller – which ones is allowed on board? Airlines usually prefer a collapsible umbrella-style stroller, however some airlines may permit larger strollers. It is at the discretion of each airline as to which, if any, strollers are acceptable. View the WestJet and Air Canada infant and children policies on their websites.
At the Airport
It’s best to know the layout of the airport before you arrive, so view a map of our terminal, to find the nearest washrooms, food courts, security and Customer Care counters. And as every parent knows, unexpected accidents happen, so keep an eye out for our friendly Green Coat Volunteers stationed through the airport to help.
For the Active Munchkin:
- Children’s Play Areas: If your kids need to burn some energy before your flight, you’ll want to visit one of our Children’s Play Areas located throughout the terminal.
Before Security: Domestic Terminal Food Court, Departures Level 3
After Security: Domestic Terminal, Gate 3
Domestic Terminal, Gate 43
International Terminal, Gate 54
- Public Observation Area: If you’ve got a child that loves to point to the skies every time an airplane flies overhead, you’ll want to take them to the Public Observation Area located before-security in the Domestic Terminal on Level 4. The area is a great place for families, kids and aviation enthusiasts to learn about airport operations, watch aircraft and play with interactive exhibits.
- Colouring Books: Pick up a free colouring book and crayons (while supplies are available) at one of our Customer Care Counters located through the terminal.
- Laptops & Technology: Free WiFi is available throughout the terminal for your use. Keep idle hands busy with online games or pick up a DVD at Virgin Books & Entertainment that will keep them entertained (and quiet).
With a little planning ahead of time, family travel doesn’t have to stressful after all. Now tell that to the toddler having a temper tantrum…