In June we embarked on our first family holiday abroad since having children. Needless to say I was pretty apprehensive about the whole thing but particularly the airport and flying side of things. We managed to book our flights from Bristol airport, which I was really pleased about as it’s only 40 minutes from our house, no need to have a long drive down to London or elsewhere pre-flight.
Despite trying to be more organised with packing etc, the morning of our flight was, as is usual, a pretty stressful one. We were in the middle of a heatwave in the UK at the time, so running around trying to pack, and children ready etc in 30 odd degree heat was not fun. Add into that a last minute dash to the doctors for a prescription for Austin made for not the most relaxing of mornings.
I always find the whole process of flying to be quite stressful and tend to get somewhat apprehensive about parking in particular for some reason. But I needn’t have worried.
We parked in the long stay car park at the airport and I can’t rate it highly enough. It is so close to the terminal, able to walk from car to terminal in a few minutes. Though there is a regular shuttle bus if you’d rather not walk. No need to check into car park, hand over keys and wait for a bus etc. Just park and go.
If you would rather save a few more pennies, there is the option to park in the Silver Zone parking which is airport parking further away, where you hand in your keys and board the short 5 minute shuttle bus to the airport.
I personally would rather pay slightly more money, and park in the long (or short) stay car park on site, especially when travelling with children.
I love the fact that the airport is not just off a busy motorway, rather it appears after driving through some great views of Bristol and Somerset countryside.
We were flying with Easyjet so we had already checked in online. We did still need to check our luggage in, and there was quite a lot of it!
The staff at Bristol airport were very friendly. In the past when flying I have often found airport staff can be quite grumpy, probably all those holiday goers whilst they are at work!
They were really helpful especially with the children through security.
Another thing we noticed was that they had great baby changing facilities too, always important when travelling with young children.
Going through Security
On the recommendation of my mum, we booked to use fast track security. This was something none of us had used before. But it was great!
I would definitely recommend opting for the fast track security option when travelling with children. It was great, no queuing, no toddler meltdowns. Didn’t feel rushed trying to get all bags, prams and people through the security machines. Again well worth those extra pennies!
Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend lots of leisurely time in departures as we would normally do.
After going through security we headed for somewhere to eat, there are an abundance of places to eat in departures with a range of food, but we opted for Burger King for a ‘speedy’ meal due to being so short on time. Unfortunately the service at the Burger King was ridiculously slow and I regretted having not just brought a sandwich from elsewhere in departures.
Whilst Mike and his brother waited for our food, I popped down to the Superdrug to collect the formula milk I had pre-ordered. This service was great, and I only wished I had also pre-ordered the nappies here and saved more suitcase space!
Boarding the plane
In a scene fitting of a comedy movie all 9 of us ended up running to the gate in a mad dash when they suddenly announced over the PA system that it was the final call for boarding our flight. Luckily for us we made it in time, and again the staff at the boarding gate and plane were really helpful in getting us all through, and onto the plane taking the prams, without any judgement of us being ‘those people’ who board the plane last.
Needless to say, next time we fly with the children we will definitely allow much more time to do everything and give us a chance to relax a bit (as much as you can with children in tow!) in departures and maybe even peruse the duty free shopping!
We had an evening flight on the way home, which was good in lots of ways as it gave us one more holiday day and all the boys slept on the plane for the journey. But it did mean that by the time we landed all of us adults were knackered being 2am and children all half asleep too.
When we got off the plane we soon realised that we were quite a walk to the terminal still and hence the luggage/prams, not ideal at 2am with tired children and no prams. Handily though Bristol airport have these trolley seat prams to use, which meant we could wheel the children to the terminal instead. This saved us from a lot of crying and the boys thought it was great fun to be pushed in these novel trolley prams!
If I thought the parking in the on-site long stay car park was handy on the way, then I was pleased to remember once we picked up our luggage that all we needed to do was walk a few minutes to the car and go!
Would I fly with Bristol Airport again?
Yes definitely, obviously for us living in Bristol makes it an obvious choice but would recommend for anyone in the south and south west in particular. They have had lots of expansion and improvements over the last few years which really shows. I’m really pleased we flew from Bristol airport, apart from our mad dash to the gate, which was our fault, they made our first experience of flying with children a really positive one. I will certainly be booking the on-site long or short stay parking and the fast track security next time too!
If you want to find out more information about Bristol airport including booking parking or pre-ordering baby supplies click here
Disclosure: We were given complimentary parking at Bristol Airport in return for an honest review. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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