Travel Information, Experiences & Tips
Sometimes, when I hear someone is about to travel for the first time with a baby or young one, I feel like introducing myself as a travel-advice-aholic! My husband and I are often asked for advice by friends and family, on what to expect and what products might be good.
Here you'll find a few Fiesta Tots Top Tips & Experiences, formulated while travelling around the UK and worldwide. We have learnt through honest mistakes and good research - so, by passing this knowledge on to YOU, we aim to ensure good times travelling to and from YOUR destinations.
We've also added some useful nuggets of wisdom passed to us by the Professionals:
Cabin Crew, Check-in Agents and Travel Agents.
We always welcome advice, experiences or those 'worth remembering' thoughts that our customers may have. Alternatively, if you're about to go on holiday and have any questions then please get in touch with us - we'll endeavour to answer your query as fully as possible.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even for European countries, in many ways similar to the UK, this can be invaluable.
And for travelling in Europe, you should have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
At Fiesta Tots, travel-wise, we're not 'one-trick-ponies'! Although my background is 15 years of working in aviation and my husband has accrued another 20 years of working in the same field, we also love other forms of transport and holidays. Camping (once with a 2-year-old while 8 months pregnant), road trips (the best being one across Arizona and Nevada with an 8-month-old) and day trips on the train are some of our regular experiences.
As parents, most of us are very knowledgeable on many aspects of our children’s care. But new experiences bring new questions. We can write about our own experiences and offer our Top Tips for Travelling, but we're the first to admit that they're not the complete picture.
Below are some POINTERS, DOs and DON'Ts about how to travel efficiently, written by professionals you will come into contact with when travelling. Some points might seem obvious, some are avoidable annoyances ... but most will simply make your journey easier and your travelling experience more fun.
From the CABIN CREW:
- When you first board the aircraft, pop the children straight into their seats with their own bags. This keeps them out of the aisle and enables you to concentrate on quickly stowing your other bags in the overhead locker. Entertainment / toys can be retrieved from bags once you're all seated. It's a good idea to have easy access to children’s bags during the flight - so place these under the seats in front of them. Boarding this way really speeds the process and you won't feel you're delaying other passengers.
- Take toilet-trained children to the toilet prior to boarding - it might be a long wait and the chance won’t arise until after take-off and the seatbelt sign is switched off. Having said that, if it's safe to do so, we will always try to help.
- We want children to enjoy flying (many of us do the job, because of a childhood love of flying), but please don’t let your children wander around the cabins on their own or - worse - run up and down the aisles. The cabin-service trolleys are very heavy and could seriously hurt a child if they ran into it. Please also note that, as much as we love chatting to young passengers about our job, the galley can be very frenetic during service times. For their safety (and your peace of mind!), it's best that children are kept in their seats during these times.
- PLEASE don’t start moving seats unless requested by the cabin crew. The weight and balance of an aircraft is precisely calculated on where the passengers are seated, with bags and cargo in the hold also taken into account (and this is especially true of near-empty flights). If you DO wish to change seats, ask a member of crew after take-off - nine times out of ten it will be fine.
- Please smile at us! We spend much of our day looking at computer screens and asking serious security questions, but we're human ... Checking in a happy family rather than a stressed one is better for all involved and makes our job far more enjoyable. Plus, it helps us work harder to resolve any problems (like seat allocation) that you might have.
- Have all your documents (i.e. passports and booking number) ready before you come to the check-in desk or gate. Keep them safe, but easily accessible. This speeds up the process for you and reduces the potential stress of not being able to find an essential document when you need it.
- Double check the number and weight of bags allowed. Airlines' regulations vary greatly (especially with hand-luggage), so be careful. We have to check this before you board and we honestly hate having to ask people to re-pack their bags.
- While passport holders are useful for keeping documents safe, please pass your passport to an agent with the cover removed. It really does make it easier for us to check all the details of a group, especially if it's large and the ages of children need to be checked.
- I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but please do not ask for an upgrade. These are virtually NEVER given at check-in anymore, unless you pay for it.
- When you are called forward for boarding, have your buggy already folded and your bags ready. Otherwise, the queue behind you can grind to a halt while you sort yourselves out - with your fellow passengers becoming increasingly disgruntled (remember, you'll be on the flight with these same passengers).
- If you book your seats ahead of check-in, DO NOT leave a spare seat between members of your group. Your thinking may be that, if the flight isn’t full, you'll have an extra seat (e.g. for a baby in the group). The reality is that this causes problems for the cabin crew and check-in agents if the flight is FULL. Worst case scenario: agents will assess the flight before check-in opens and will re-allocate seats to accommodate larger groups, resulting in you being moved from the cabin area you chose. Additionally, even if you are NOT moved, some passengers refuse to move from their allocated seat no matter what - so you could end up with them between you!
- Try and book as early as you are able. Not only does this give you a much better choice but much better value, too. Booking early could mean that you reserve that perfect 2-bed villa for the same price as a not-so-early booking of just a 1 bedroom villa or apartment.
- On the subject of accommodation, try to be realistic about the space you actually need. We often find that families with at least two children really would be better off with a 2-bedroom villa or apartment - the idea being that children can still go to bed earlier and their parents can relax and enjoy the villa / apartment (it is a holiday, after all!) before sleeping in their own room with a proper bed.
- Think prior to going into a travel agent about what you want from the resort. For example, if kids' activity clubs will be useful - tell us, as it can make a real difference to the types of holidays we show you.