Travel Blog with tips, guides, reviews and inspiration for family travel

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Carry On Essentials for kids

In my evolution as a mom who travels, I've started to make the conscience effort to pack light. Not only do luggage fees add up for a family of 5, but I've learnt that taking the extra time to plan and pack can save us from lugging around all sorts of unnecessary things that never see the light of day (I'm looking at you Barbie and family with your full wardrobe and accessories).

So after surviving our 12 day tour of India that consisted of going to 10 different villages, towns and cities,  I can confidently say that none of us really need as much as we think we do when travelling (wanting, however, is a different post!) After surviving a 14 hour flight with 3 kids in economy, I've got it down to the basics for what my kids really need to survive (and for me to keep my sanity). But if you are a mom of smaller children, I'd probably pack a mini version of my house just to keep my sanity. Because at the end of the day mama - you do whatever you need to make it work!
  1.  Wipes and personal sized hand sanitizers because germs. Shop here
  2. Refillable water bottles - each has their own labelled that we fill up after security. The Swell bottles do a swell job (pun intended). Shop here
  3. Travel pillows are great for long haul flights, and we like cute fun ones that have machine washable covers and clips to keep attached to their backpacks. Shop here
  4. Card games such as UNO take up little space and offer hours (ok maybe minutes) of entertainment. 
  5. Treats such as mints, gum and lollipops all help with alleviating cabin pressure in their ears. I like to try to minimize their sugar whenever possible so these lollipops make me feel slightly less guilty. Shop here
  6. Activities and Books - I get each child a new book that they are excited to read (or pretend to read). I also like to get them each a new, fun activity book that they can draw and doodle in.  Don't forget to pack them some pencils or markers too! Shop here
  7. Devices. Yes. The end. So while my kids most certainly do NOT have their own I-pads, there are enough devices in our house for the kids to be entertained with on long haul flights (or any flight!).  Sometimes the have to share an ipad (ugh - the struggle is real kids!), so we use a headphone splitter like this one. Tip: Make sure the battery is full and that you've downloaded more than the kids could possibly watch!
  8. Flying is dehydrating so each of my kids has their own new hydrating lip balm and mini lotion too. Part of the excitement is the newness of these little things. It'll give you about 5.3 seconds of peace and happiness. Shop here
  9. Headphones for each child is a given, so that they can get comfy and start watching a movie as soon as they settle on board. Shop here and these are super cute here.
  10. We don't count on airlines passing out blankets anymore, so we love these lightweight micro fleece blankets. Shop here


Each of my kids has their own carry on that they can carry and keep close to them for all the things they need. They all always include a change or clothes and/or PJ's for overnight flights in a large Ziploc bag. The bag can double to hold any dirty items if they need to change. They all also carry snacks that they like since sometimes the meals on the long haul flights aren't all that kid friendly. Tip: request a kids' meal when booking your flight

What do you absolutely have to pack to make travel easier for your child (and you!)
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