Car Hire with Kids: How to Handle Airports
Whoever said that the journey is more important than the destination obviously never spent any time in an airport with children. Even when everything goes smoothly and you go straight from the airport to the plane and from the next airport to your rental car, kids can become restless and upset. But when there is a delay, you may wish you had never left the house. Our tips can make the process less painful:
Find a Space to Play
Airports vary hugely in terms of what they offer to keep kids entertained, with some child-friendly airports really going out of their way to help families, but even the most basic usually has some kind of play area – even if that’s just a space near a gate area where they can play jumping games. Ask at the information desk for the location of children’s areas. Once you’ve settled your little ones with one parent, the other can set off in search of snacks, drinks – and possibly some sanity in the form of a quick cup of coffee alone!
Don’t Be Caught for Time
Traffic jams, no room to park, lengthy queues – all of these are factors you have no control over, but you can dictate the amount of time you give yourself to deal with them. Wildly overestimate the time you think you’ll need (if in doubt, add an hour), and you may even get a chance to relax before your flight boards.
Use the Family Lane Where Possible
Some airports (including most in the United States) have designated family lanes, where parents and small children can travel at their own pace through security. These lanes generally bypass the longest section of the security line. Small folding pushchairs can generally be taken as far as the airplane door at most airports.
Of course you’ve brought games, books, colours, and whatever else you think might occupy your children before you get to your destination – but have you brought enough? If your flight is delayed, or heat and excitement make your little darlings more fractious than usual, you may need extra entertainment supplies. Don’t overlook low-tech: Learn some new rhymes, songs, and simple games. If you are depending on technology, charge batteries fully and don’t forget the chargers. Stock up on nappies and snacks before you reach the airport too.
A packed airport with people from around the world is the ideal breeding ground for an international germ jamboree, so don’t let sickness spoil your holiday. Make sure hands are washed and keep children (and yourself) as hydrated, well nourished, and rested as possible. You really do not want the hassle and additional expense of changing flights due to illness.
Now that you’ve negotiated the airport, you’re free to enjoy your holiday. Long drive ahead of you when you collect your rental car? Don’t worry, we can help you survive a road trip with kids too!