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Travelling with children

Before departure

Passports and visas for international travel

All family members, including infants, need a passport to travel overseas. Please make sure passports and any necessary visas are valid for everyone travelling. Remember you may also need a visa for any transit stops. Contact your airline or travel agent, or check online to get the latest information for the countries you'll be visiting. Your passports must be valid for a period of six months ahead of departure date for most countries.

Health requirements

Please arrange to have all necessary vaccinations well in advance of your departure date. See your GP for more information.

Medication

If you or your children take any medication make sure you speak with your GP for advice. You may find individual airports and countries have their own specific restrictions and requirements.

For more information, please visit the Australian Government’s TravelSecure website.

Insurance

It is highly recommended that you take out travel insurance for yourself and your family before departure. Travel insurance can protect against the high cost of emergency medical and hospital care overseas. Contact your insurer for advice on your family’s needs. If you need to purchase last-minute travel insurance at Sydney Airport visit our travel insurance page.

Eating and drinking requirements

Some airlines offer special child, toddler and baby meals which can be requested at the time of making your booking. When travelling with an infant or small child, you are permitted to carry sufficient food or liquid (milk, pre-made baby formula or boiled water in bottles to be used with powder) for your journey. You are also permitted to carry an ice brick with the bottles if required.

Please note that government mandated restrictions are in place around the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs), so it's important to understand exactly what you can take onboard. For further information, please refer to the Australian Government’s TravelSecure website.

Special requirements

Some airlines are able to offer assistance to the aircraft or strollers for use at the airport. You should contact your airline well in advance and check what assistance they are able to provide. Visit our Airline Directory page for contact details.

Packing tips

When you're travelling with children, there's often a lot to pack. Here are some handy hints to help you prepare for your journey:

  • check the baggage restrictions for each flight you'll be travelling on during your journey - your airline can advise you on baggage allowances for each flight
  • contact your airline about whether you can take prams or strollers on your flight
  • if you're travelling overseas, be aware of restrictions surrounding the transport of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) and prohibited items in your carry on luggage - there are some special exemptions for families with young children, so it's worth doing your research before you travel
  • government mandated restrictions around weapons and dangerous goods also apply to some children’s toys and replicas, such as toy guns, swords or hammers - click here for more details of prohibited items
  • ensure you pack enough nappies to cover your time at the airport and for the duration of your flight

Getting to the airport

Take the stress out of your journey by allowing plenty of time to get to the airport. Remember to allow extra time for car parking, traffic delays, roadworks and busy conditions during holiday periods. Plan your trip so you're fully prepared and check with your airline about when you need to check-in.

At the airport

When you get to the airport, we'll help make it easy to navigate your way through the terminal:

  • trolleys are available on both the Departures and Arrivals levels of all terminals, and our trolley bays accept credit cards , gold coins or notes ($5, $10 and $20 notes only). Never place your children on or encourage them to play with the trolleys as they're not designed for this purpose.
  • if you think you'll need assistance from the kerbside to check-in counters, make arrangements with your airline before you arriva
  • flight information display screens provide important information including the location of check-in counters, flight departure gate numbers and boarding times
  • our airport ambassadors are located throughout our terminals and are easily recognisable by their blue jackets - they're happy to answer any question you may have
  • baby change rooms and parent facilities are located throughout our terminals and include change tables, nursing areas and a microwave oven for the convenient heating of food and formula
  • We have a dedicated queue for families at all security screening points - more information about security screening is available below
  • if you're travelling with infants and young children, some airlines may invite you to board the aircraft before other passengers

Security screening

It is a requirement that our staff screen everyone regardless of age, including infants, at the security checkpoint. Government mandated regulations require infants and children to be taken out of baby carriers and strollers. Strollers and baby carriers must be placed through the x-ray machine with your carry on luggage.

Please collapse your stroller in preparation for the x-ray machine and metal detectors. You will never be asked to be separated from your child or children.

If your child can walk without your assistance, they will be asked to walk through separately. If you're carrying your infant through the metal detector and the alarm sounds, our Security Officer will need to clear both you and your child by secondary screening measures. These will be clearly explained to you.

You may not pass the child to another person behind you or in front of you during this process.

Our Security Officer may ask for your help screening your child.

Your easy to follow airport check list

  • check flight information display screens for check-in counter details and proceed to check-in
  • obtain your boarding pass and check-in your luggage, making sure you meet relevant LAG requirements
  • go through airport security screening, making yourself known to bag security screening staff if you are having difficulties or need special assistance
  • locate your gate, and keep checking information screens just in case the gate details change
  • enquire with staff at the boarding gate about the possibility of pre-boarding
  • use the bathrooms or baby change rooms and parents' rooms near your gate as needed
  • show your children the plane and explain where you're going
  • use our play areas if you have time to spare - but don’t forget to keep an eye on boarding times and gate lounge information

Services and facilities on arrival

Bathrooms, parents' rooms and nursing facilities are located near baggage collection areas for your convenience.

It's useful to plan ahead for when you arrive at your destination. Have a car booked or bus tickets pre-purchased, and know exactly where you're going for bus and taxi pick-ups. Useful transport information is available in the Go section.

More information to help you plan a family friendly flight

  • Safer Air Travel - Travelling with Children, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Australian Government
  • Smart Traveler - Children, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government
  • Going on Holidays with Children - Health and Daily Care Raising Children Network