Planning the Perfect Trip: Summer Travel Tips

Are you gearing up for a family trip? Flying with family is no simple task. Getting everyone packed, organized and ready to go through security with little fuss can present quite a challenge! Thankfully, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has a few pointers to help make your summer travel experience run smoothly.

Know How to Carry-on: Children get hungry for snacks. You know this and you want to be prepared. Solid foods such as apples, granola bars or sandwiches can be packed in your carry-on for the plane ride, and any liquid food – such as yogurt, pudding or peanut butter - must be in containers of 100ml or less and placed in a clear, closed, resealable one-litre plastic bag.

catsa_family_1However, if you’re traveling with a baby (under the age of two), items such as baby food, breast milk, formula, water and juice are exempt from the 100 ml limit and do not have to be placed in a plastic bag. Still, you must present these items to the screening officer for inspection.

Other personal items to keep the kids entertained, like iPods, tablets and toys, can go in your child’s carry-on baggage. Always be sure to leave toys that look like weapons (e.g. water guns, toy grenades, etc.) at home.

Check Wait Times: Preparing for your departure is easier with CATSA’s online wait time indicator. Wait times for security screening checkpoints major airports provide extra convenience when planning your trip. (I check it obsessively before travel! Super convenient.) 

Breeze Through Security: Did you know there is a Family/Special needs lane? This lane is for passengers who need more time or help with their belongings to get through security. Check when you arrive if this lane is available.

catsa_family_3Make sure your family wears easy-to-remove outerwear, clothing without snaps, metal buttons or studs and be sure to limit jewelry to small items such as earrings. Let your child walk through the metal detector if they are able to do so on their own.

Travelling with the Family Pooch: Contact your airline in advance to find out about their policy for passengers travelling with pets. If your pet is travelling in the cabin with you, remove it from its carrying case, send the carrying case through the x-ray scanner, hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector.

Follow these tips – and the only thing left to do is relax and enjoy your family vacation! Additional travel advice can be found at, on Twitter and Pinterest.


49 Responses to “Planning the Perfect Trip: Summer Travel Tips”

  1. loucheryl
    June 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Check wait times!!! YES! Soooo important, especially when you know there is bad weather happening or nearby.

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      For sure! I hate being held up at security!

  2. Heidi C.
    June 20, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    I agree about checking wait times, especially if you are travelling with children or pets. It is important to prepare as well for possible unanticipated layovers.

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      Great point Heidi!

  3. Debbie W
    June 20, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    I always check the wait times before the leaving the house, BUT I have been a victim of long delays with a child. Be prepared is good advice for the unexpected.

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Completely agree Debbie!

  4. nicky
    June 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    great travel tips – thanks!

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      You’re welcome Nicky!

  5. Melinda L.
    June 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    I always check my carry on…had to throw away perfectly good jam because it was slightly too big according to regulation :(

    good tips!

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Oh no! I once had to toss a hair spray as well :(

  6. Angie In My 30s
    June 20, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    thank you! I need these tips :)

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Anytime Angie!

  7. Flora M
    June 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Not that I am planning a trip on an airline anytime soon, it is great to know these tips ;)

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      You never know Flora!

  8. sarah sar
    June 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    I had no idea you could check for wait times. Awesome….will keep that in mind for our next trip. Also, yes, pack lots of snacks!!!!

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      You can absolutely check for wait times!

  9. JaimeeM
    June 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Not that i travel too much, but love the tips incase i decide to

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Great! Thanks Jaime!

  10. Darlene Schuller
    June 21, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    These are great tips!! We don’t ‘fly’ but we do cross the border a ton. My brother does a lot of flight travel and starting this year, with his kids. I’ll have to be sure to share your advice. Thank you.

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      You’re so welcome, Darlene!

  11. Anne Taylor
    June 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Thanks for these tips! I had no idea there was a family/special needs line! That must surely make a difference!

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      It really does! I always ask about it when we travel with the kids!

  12. Chandra Christine O'Connor
    June 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    Wish I had a tip to bring a fan to my mother in law it’s so freaking hot right now

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      It’s actually quite pleasant in Toronto – don’t curse the heat!! LOL

      • Chandra Christine O'Connor
        June 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

        not the heat she had the heat on! she has no fat on her bones so she is cold all the time

        • Lena
          August 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

          Poops :(

  13. Florence C
    June 22, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    I always bring lots of food and pick up a drink after I go through security. I seem to get caught on planes for long periods of time because of fog or high winds and the plane having to divert because it can’t land at my destination. I once flew from Edmonton changed in Toronto and flew to St, John’s and could not land. Had to divert to Deer Lake, Halifax, Toronto and stayed overnight in Toronto and flew to St. John’s the next morning.

    • Lena
      June 22, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      Oh dear, that was quite the journey Florence! Good thing you knew how to be prepared :)

  14. Victoria Ess
    June 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I also always put everything that needs to be removed from my luggage in a separate bag so that I can quickly and easily remove the items and put them back into my carry-on at the security screening.

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Great tip!!

  15. Rick F
    June 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    Great tips.

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Thanks Rick!

  16. Maggie C
    June 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    great article! Thanks for the tips!

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      You’re welcome Maggie!

  17. Amy Stack
    June 22, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    We always bring extra snacks in case of delays at any point of the trip! We also bring spill-proof drinking cups for our little guys. Even older children could have a problem with spills in-flight in turbulence.

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Amazing tips!!! Thanks Amy!

  18. Judy C (Judy Cowan)
    June 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    I don’t fly that often but it is always good to stay on top of the current rules, thanks for the tips!

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      You’re welcome Judy!

  19. Suzie M
    June 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    flying is such a hassle theses days–its best to be prepared for everything

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm #


  20. Tara E
    June 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    thank goodness for a family lane! we always try to travel with carryons only. make it SO much faster, instead of waiting for luggage and it’ll never get lost!

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      I wish we could do that!! Though sometimes hard for a family of four :(

  21. Yuen C
    June 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    Great tips!

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks Yuen!

  22. Nicky
    July 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    that online wait time indicator is a very useful tool!

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

      It is! Can’t wait to take advantage of it for my next flight!

  23. Bailey Dexter
    July 19, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks for the tips, I didn’t know about the CATSA’s online wait time indicator.

    • Lena
      August 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

      Yup, it’s a handy tool!

  24. BobbiJo Pentney
    August 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Always make sure you help your children pack their carry on, those liquid rules can cause tears.

Leave a Reply