Heading overseas with the family is fun and exciting until faced with the often anxiety-ridden ordeal of transiting through an international terminal with kids. To help you stay relaxed, ready and able to enjoy the fab facilities, family friendly dining and great shopping on offer, here's our tips on how to transit through the International Terminal with kids.
Plan and prepare
While there's a huge thrill in the last minute scramble, it's stressful and important pre-travel tasks are frequently forgotten. Planning for the big family trip is the key to a happy holiday and smooth transit.
Lists become the secret weapon for staying on your game. A precise packing list helps you pack only the travel essentials to check-in and the sanity saving items for the carry-on. Get the kids to buy into the trip and take care of their belongings by having them pack their carry-on bag.
Prepare to-do lists and check off important pre-departure tasks, including; updating passports, notifying banks of travel, buying family travel insurance, family vaccinations and redirecting the mail.
Stress less and arrive early
Weighed down with extra gear including prams and car seats and with young kids tiring easily, there's little chance of being nimble in transit. Arrive at BNE International Terminal with a buffer of three to four hours before departure, to allow ample time to navigate check-in, security and customs.
Pick up travel supplies
Pick up travel supplies including toiletries, adapters and medicines at News Travels along with magazines, snacks, travel toys, children's books and even vegemite on hand. Essentials that are usually hard to find at your local shops are readily available at Brisbane Airport including; travel size shampoos, first aid kits and infant nasal spray.
Grab a pre-flight family bite
Alternatively, start the holiday right and enjoy a family meal at Windmill & Co overlooking the runway. Try the generously sized steak sandwich washed down with a craft brew on tap. The wood fired pizzas are a hit with the kids as are the colouring-in activities provided.
Hit the shops
Hit the shops with the kids, while they check out Lotte Duty Free's oversized Chupa Chups, M&M filled toys and giant bags of gummy bears, enjoy a whisky tipple at the Whisky bar or browse the latest shades, travel beauty kits and perfumes for a duty free bargain.
Find Aussie souvenirs and gifts at Australian Way including choc-coated macadamia nuts, local honey and variety packs of Tim Tams. The Aussie surf icon Billabong's towels, hats and t-shirts make great gifts for overseas friends.
Lounge access is not just for the exclusive airline club elite. For a single entry fee, Plaza Premium Lounge welcomes the families to complimentary buffet-style food, barista coffee and free alcoholic beverages.
Kids can munch on muffins and cookies and help themselves to a jar filled with sweets and swing from basket chairs overlooking the foyer.
There's speedy complimentary WIFI, shared computers, pod workstations and comfortable lounge chairs with plugs to charge devices. There's also complimentary showers with towels provided and pamper packs at the Wellness Spa for an additional fee.
Free charging stations to power up devices for the long flight ahead are located at various spots including the food court before and after security, as well as the concourse (after security) and near different gates. Connect to the complimentary WIFI to play shared games, download apps or stream videos while you wait for the flight.
Run it out
Let the kids exert some of their pre-flight energy at the Kid's Play Zone on The Village Green, a perfect spot to run and play. There's two big screens loaded with interactive airport themed games that keep kids moving.
Bottle and bathroom break
Keep kids hydrated throughout the flight by packing an empty, lightweight, leak-free reusable water bottle. Fill bottles up at the free water stations located by Gate 80, Gate 82 and by the Qantas Club Lounge.
Be sure to change the baby's nappy or take the kids to the bathroom before the flight to avoid the desperate need of a toilet on take-off or during the first meal service with trolleys blocking the aisle.