Until six weeks ago, I hadn’t traveled with my family before… EVER. Yes, I freaked out about absolutely everything – the flight, keeping the boys busy and happy, the airport wait times, checking our stroller, what to pack, how much to pack, what I shouldn’t pack… OMG!
Turns out, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it’d be, and the boys rose to the occasion both times. Easy-peasy! And since then, we’ve taken off once more to a sunny destination, so I guess you can colour us lucky :)
Now if you’re traveling today or tomorrow – chances are, you’re not alone. It’s Toronto Pearson’s BUSIEST days for holiday travel; in fact, an estimated 105,000 visitors will pass through the airport tomorrow. #Wowzers
And so when Toronto Pearson asked me if I’d like to share the following travel tips with my readers, of course I agreed – after all, a few short weeks ago, I would have loved to have these for reference myself.
- Check in online from the comfort of your home before you leave for the airport. <<- I can’t stress this enough. Come on people, it’s 2012! There’s no reason you can’t check in online beforehand.
- Ensure all travel documents and tickets are in hand before you reach your counter or kiosk.
- Be aware of weight and size restrictions for checked baggage and ensure that all checked and carry-on luggage has your name and address on it prior to arriving at the airport. <<- On our last trip the airline even weighed our carry-on luggage, something that has never happened to me before!
- Before leaving home, verify that your baggage does not contain any restricted items. For a complete up-to-date list of restricted items please visit www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca.
- Flag with your airline if you have oversized items to stow, such as strollers and car seats.
- Talk to your kids about the airport experience before you leave home, to ensure they are prepared for the experience and know what to do if you become separated. <<- Watch them like a hawk at the airport. Both my kids treated the big, spacious gates like their personal living room. Gah.
- Take advantage of Guest Service Representatives. Located throughout the terminals, these airport staff members are happy to help you with any assistance you may need while at the airport.
- Keep an eye out for family washrooms which are designed with to keep your family together while protecting your personal space. <<- Yes please. No one wants to crowd in a bathroom stall with two toddlers.
- Check TorontoPearson.com for any special events happening at the airport the day of your trip, and plan to stop by to enjoy the festivities.
- Give yourself lots of time to enjoy your airport experience. <<- YES!
The last point is crucial for me. Airport travel is always mildly stressful for me, because of the sheer amount of things going on. You do not want to add the prospect of missing your flight to the mix. So, be sure when traveling with kids to give yourself just a little extra time (but not so much more that you’re banging your head as you wait at the gate for an hour).
For all my friends traveling the skies this holiday season, wishing you a safe a comfortable flight. And if you happen to peek out the window, be sure to look for flying reindeer!