What to pack in your carry on when flying with young kids
Before you fly
Check your carry on allowance with your airline. some airlines will allow you to to take a handbag and a carry on piece per paying seat. however some are very strict on size restrictions.
Its a good idea to have one carry on bag that is dedicated to the kids. If you then need something for the kids you will know where to find it and wont be rummaging through several bags while the kids are unsettled and in the confined space of an airplane.
What to pack
Depending on length of flight I always pack
- Clothes- Change of clothes or pyjamas and a fresh set of clothes for when you arrive at your destination. This will save you having to get into your checked in luggage on arrival.
- Nappies- Enough nappies to cover the flight, connecting time between flights and a few extra just incase your baby goes through more then you would usually. Sometimes even having extra for when you get to your destination is helpful so you don’t need to get to a shop straight away or dig into your checked luggage.
- Wipes- Because every mum knows how handy these are.
- Blanket- Sometimes a familiar blanket can help with sleep time and keep them warm when the airplane gets cool.
- Comforter- Dummy or special toy that helps soothes them.
- First aid kit- Although there will be one on the flight, I always like to take my own infant/ child pandadol, nappy cream and teething gel.
- Snacks - I don't recommend anything sugary. Even though it may feel like a great time for some special treats, the start of a flight is not ideal. Trying to keep your child confined in their seat while on a sugar rush is not fun. I pack a full meal and some extra snacks. That way if they don't like what they are serving on the flight they will still be able to snack on something. Foods that will last non refrigerated on long flights like sandwiches, protein balls, biscuits, crackers, sultanas, fruit and anything convenient and familiar. Be prepared that in some countries you may be required to bin this uneaten food before passing through quarantine.
- One familiar or favourite toy- Something from home that they like to play with, this could provide some extra comfort whether its a teddy, truck or a doll. We once took a teddy bear for my son to Japan. Our son insisted that the teddy bear needed socks and carried him everywhere. I think he really wanted to involve him in our family holiday and show him all the sights.
- Special airplane only toys- This is for your toddlers and older. I find it best if it is something that they don't play with at home or in the car so that it is kept special for the plane journey. Every flight we get something new for our eldest son. We started with lego, which was a terrible idea, but he was our only child then so we could both give him some good undivided attention. After its built which can take a good hour the pieces come apart and before you know it your crawling on the ground searching for that little piece that went missing. Our son likes sticker books on planes, which is something he's not even interested in when we are at home. Mini diggers and trucks have been a hit too. One trip he spent a long time with some sultanas and some mini diggers playing building site. you could even space these toys out depending on the length of the flight. While we are on holidays I put the sticker book and sometimes the toys away. That way when we get back on the flight he knows they can come back out and he gives them his full attention.
- Ipad, cables and headphones- Put some new aps or movies on the ipad. Get some children age approved headphones. you can buy these at the airport if you cant get any beforehand. In my experience my kids dont like to turn these devices down and headphones made for kids have noise control so they cant get too loud in their ears. Some planes will have USB ports so you can keep your ipad charged on long flights.
- a book - a book about your destination or flying on an airplane is great to have and a good keepsake. Write on the inside of the book the date and where you went for them to keep in their bookcase at home.
Please comment below if you have found anything else helpful to have onboard