Single-handed, with a rambunctious toddler and six-month old baby, the airport is no longer a simple limbo-land between home and holiday. Since her first trip with two tots, Hayley Spurway has learnt some valuable lessons about surviving the airport.
On my first solo trip with babe and toddler, I hadn’t really throughout about the portion of the journey up to boarding the plane. In fact it wasn’t until I arrived at Gatwick and caught the taxi driver eyeing me with concern as I left the baby on the pavement and swore at the double buggy I couldn’t unfold that it really sunk in. Unable to commandeer a luggage trolley as well as the buggy, I had to strap on two backpacks, balance a baby car seat on the buggy handlebars and tow a huge wheelie bag. Finally I got on the move, zigzagging up the ramp to Departures. Lesson learnt: Use the porters. Many big airports have helpers who will meet you and transport your luggage.
Bags and car seat checked in, next came security. At least there was a family lane, so I could sidestep couples and business travellers, glaring at us like we were the sort of vermin they were going on holiday to get away from. Folding the buggy and removing its wheels (by stern request) was no easy task with a baby strapped to my front and a toddler straining to break free from his backpack (attached my wrist by a leash). By the time I’d removed our shoes and sampled three types of baby food as well as a bottle of baby milk (formula, not breast, thankfully) to prove I was no terrorist, there was quite a queue forming. Lesson learnt: Make sure you know how to fold and dismantle your buggy, and keep baby food in a separate, transparent pouch.