I’ve just returned from the Sunshine state that is Florida and I’m stoked to be home! Descending through the blanket of grey clouds to and even greyer looking Heathrow, then hopping in a taxi which led us round the grey boundary of the airport to the car, to then sit on the M25 and M1 and look at more, well, grey. I tell ya, I just can’t get enough of England!
This was our sixth trip abroad with the littlun and how about going through that airport security with a baby / toddler? Its not easy, even when you think you’ve got it down to a fine art. AKA, food in one clear bag, milk / water in another clear bag, calpol nappy cream in another and so on, and all handy ready to pull out and shove into a grey tray as you take off your belt, your watch, your shoes, pashmina – while getting your laptop out and trying not to lose your passport that seems to always be in your hand at this point. Oh and then theres trying to contain the toddler while folding up the buggy to get that on the conveyor-belt as well.
The UK is completely different it seems to the other places I’ve travelled to with Ethan, (Spain, Portugal and the States). At Heathrow it took us 30mins to get through security from start to finish as our bag of baby stuff was in a queue as one person was checking through nearly every bag that crossed their path, including swabbing them inside and out. Painful to watch. They check all the milk/food etc in a machine as well as make you taste it yourself, they look at the ml of the calpol (please don’t take this off meeeeeee!) and toss away the nappy cream as its over the 100ml limit – because all I want is a baby with nappy rash on a 10hr flight, another £3 in Boots on more cream once through. It was a tedious experience to say the least.
However, when flying from Europe, you get to go through as a priority due to the child so its a little less rushed. You don’t have to strip off all your clothing and they don’t give a toss about milk / water testing. They’ve allowed me through with a 2litre bottle of water before!
Funnily enough, the States were similar. Yes we had to strip but we forgot to take sunscreen, water bottles and the over 100ml nappy cream out of the hand luggage and it went through unnoticed.
Aaaaanyway – Tips for surviving UK security:
1. Be organised
2. Buy clear bags and separate all your baby stuff
3. Milk in one, calpol / sudocrem in another
4. Food / fruit pouches in another
5. Get all that out along with lap top etc and put in grey tray
6. Strip yourself of all your valuables – watch, iPhone, belt, shoes and put in grey tray
7. Keep baby / toddler in buggy until last minute, then take out, try and get them to stand still while you fold up buggy and put on conveyor-belt
8. Pray the security people are friendly as child has run through without you and hope you set off the alarm as you run after them
9. Get buggy, get child in buggy if you can, dress yourself
10. Wait patiently as they test everything you brought with you to feed your baby / toddler.