Travelling with children
We're doing everything we can to help get your family holiday off to a good start. That’s why we're proud to be the first Family Friendly accredited airport.
When you’re travelling with children, you want your trip to be stress-free. From dedicated Assistance and family security lanes to Kids zones, see all the steps we’re taking to help you and your family get to your flight as smoothly as possible, with entertainment along the way.
Gatwick parking options
Checking-in the day before your flight
Going through security
Taking baby milk through security and other essentials
Food and drink
Tips for holidaying with children
We offer a range of parking options and our car parks are the closest to the terminals.
Our Valet parking is perfect for families – simply drop your car with one of our valet staff when you arrive and they’ll have your car waiting for you when you return.
Plus, look out for our Family Friendly bays in our long stay car parks, which are conveniently next to the bus stops.
Check all our parking options to see which suits you best.
Most of our airlines allow you to check-in the day before your flight, perfect if it’s early in the morning or if you’re planning to stay in one of our hotels. You can even drop your bags off too. Speak to your airline for more information about checking-in early.
We’ve created special Assistance and family lanes in security for departing families. If you’re travelling with young children in pushchairs, our dedicated lanes will give your family extra time and help to get through security. Simply follow the signs for the Assistance and family lanes after you've checked in.
When going through security, we will scan all items, including children’s toys. We know it can be upsetting for children to be parted from their possessions, but if they’re told in advance it can prepare them for what is going to happen. There’s nothing to worry about, we often hear that Teddies enjoy their x-ray adventures.
You may carry enough baby milk or baby food for your journey in your hand luggage, but you should pack the rest in your checked-in baggage.
You can pre-order up to two tubs of baby milk on the Boots website so it’s ready to collect from our Boots stores after security in both terminals. Orders should be made no later than seven working days in advance to guarantee arrival. If you don’t order in advance, you can buy it in store on the day. Boots also supplies other baby and toddler essentials including nappies, baby food and wipes.
At North Terminal, you can also buy baby milk from Well Pharmacy, which sites within the large WHSmith store at the far left end of the departure lounge after security. Well Pharmacy also supplies other baby and toddler essentials including nappies, baby food and wipes.
If your child has a specific drink as part of their dietary needs, you should make sure you carry a letter from your doctor to support this.
Check our security advice pages for more detailed information around medicines and prescriptions.
For any queries about ordering baby milk, please contact Boots on 01293 569606 for North Terminal or 01293 569353 for South Terminal.
From Jamie's Italian to Wagamama, we have a wide range of restaurants and cafés for families to enjoy before boarding your flight.
Most of our restaurants also offer kids menus and highchairs for younger diners, making it easy for the whole family to sit back and fill their tummies before boarding.
You can warm baby bottles in Pret a Manger in both South and North Terminals and all of our restaurants, cafés and bars will be happy to offer you a glass of tap water, free of charge.
We have specially equipped rooms for feeding and changing babies, which are indicated by a babycare symbol. Changing facilities are provided in the check-in area, en route to the gates, in the transfer area and after passport control in arrivals. There are also fold-down tables provided in some male and female toilets.
We’ve created the ideal areas to keep your little ones entertained while you’re waiting in the departure lounge. Our Kids zone in South Terminal provides a separate area for the kids to play and watch TV. It's free of charge to use and make keeping an eye on the kids just that little bit easier.
Please note: The children’s play area in North Terminal departures will be closed for the summer from 3 June due to essential construction activities. A brand-new children’s area will take its place later this year. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you’re departing, you can take your pushchair to your gate before your flight. Your handling agent will tell you where you need to leave it so they can put it on the aircraft.
We also have pushchairs you can borrow on your return journey, located along arrival routes. Please return them to the designated collection point in baggage reclaim, after your own pushchair has been delivered from the aircraft. They are free to use, but a deposit of a £1 or €1 coin is required, and will be refunded when the pushchair is returned.
English Mum blogger, Becky Wiggins, shares her top tips for families to help counteract the stress that can sometimes be associated with travelling with children:
- Go with the flow and treat the journey as an adventure - if you don’t get stressed, then the kids won’t pick up on it.
- Pack your child’s rucksacks with interesting things to do: crayons, colouring books, a favourite book or toy (make sure you check if they want to help – although my son once packed scissors and a spud gun!)
- Save a couple of surprises to be whipped out when things are getting stressful.
- Most airlines load children first, but it’s not always best to be first on board – sometimes taking an extra few minutes of freedom before being cooped up on a plane journey is a bonus.
- Distribute essentials between bags - in case the one with all the important baby items goes missing.
- Scan everything and email it to yourself - passports, tickets and travel insurance – you never know when things need replacing on holiday, and it’s much easier if you have all the details.
- When travelling with younger children, pack an emergency bag - wet wipes, tissues, change of clothes and most importantly a sealable plastic bag.
- Leave plenty of time to get to the airport – then add an hour – airports are great places to explore and an extra hour at the airport is preferable to a meltdown in a traffic jam worrying about missing your flight.