Top Tips for Surviving the Airport with Children

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 child-friendly infographic to get your children comfortable with how the airport works. Print it out for a fun colouring sheet you can read, and they can colour to get familiar with what’s going to happen at the airport.

Tips for flying with Children

We’ve also got some great advice for parents too! Here’s our top tips for surviving the airport with children:

Book your seats on the plane

Before you do anything else, ensure that you and the family are sitting together on your flights. Airlines have a habit of splitting passengers up and you don’t need that added stress.

Pack and dress wisely for an easier airport security experience

Keep needed items in carry-on luggage and place everything else in the check-in bag. If you’re bringing baby food, it is exempt from the liquids regulation that all carried liquids must be under 100 mls. The items will be thoroughly searched at security and you may be asked for additional information to show that you are carrying the items for genuine purpose. Baby food such as ‘Ella’s Kitchen’ can be purchased after the security gates.

Try to avoid having anyone wearing boots or belts as they’ll have to be removed while 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.

Dublin Airport has a family lane for passing through security that’s wide enough for buggies. 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 carry-on items. The cute case comes on wheels and can easily be pulled and if they’re feeling tired, your child can ride on the case while you pull it along with the five other bags you’re carrying.

Recommended items for your kid’s carryon luggage:

  • Colouring / activity book
  • Crayons
  • (Fully charged) iPad / tablet and stand with pre-downloaded movies
  • Earphones 
  • Favourite teddy / comfort blanket
  • Treat
  • 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. You’ll thank yourself for taking this step.

Arrive at the airport in plenty of time

Summer is the peak time for travelling and chances are Dublin Airport will be busy on whichever day you’re heading off on holidays. Arrive with time to spare before your flight’s departure to allow for queueing time, multiple toilet runs, and time to tell your child that no - they cannot have every item in existence at the colourfully decorated candy land shop. Instead, treat them to a delicious kiddies’ hot chocolate from Butlers while you enjoy a well-deserved coffee.

Travelling with buggies, prams, car seats etc

You may bring your own child travel equipment when travelling at Dublin Airport. You can either use the buggy until boarding the plane and leave it at the entrance to the aircraft in the hopes that it will be waiting for you at the door again when you land. Or, you can collapse the buggy, tag it, and check it on with your luggage.

If you choose the latter option, the airport has an equipment rental service called The Stork Exchange. They only use brands with the best of quality, and you can hire everything from car seats, cradles, prams and rearward facing seats. The staff are fully qualified to install isofix and LATCH car seats too. The Stork Exchange certainly helps to take the hassle out of family travel.

Read moreTop Tips For Travelling With Kids And Staying Sane

Baby changing and other facilities

Baby changing facilities are abundant in Dublin Airport throughout the two terminals. You can never be more than a few minutes’ walk away from a facility.


There are two pharmacies at the airport: Boots in terminal 1 and Pure Pharmacy in terminal 2. Both are fully stocked with a variety of baby products. Boots does not have a pharmaceutical dispensary, but you can get nappies, creams and some medicines. Pure Pharmacy has all essential pharmaceutical requirements.

Play areas

There are soft play areas in both of Dublin Airport’s terminals. They’re ideally located beside cafés / restaurants so you can watch the children in comfort while they burn off some of that extra holiday excitement before the plane. Terminal 1’s play area is located before security beside McDonalds and terminal 2’s play area is upstairs beside Burger King.

Keep calm and enjoy your holiday

We know it’s easier said than done, especially when travelling with young children, 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 the time spent together.

Wherever you’re off to for your family holiday this summer make sure that you and your family are protected with a family travel insurance policy.

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