As a family of five that was traveling for two weeks, we had A LOT of stuff to pack. Clothes, toys, shoes, swim gear, sweatshirts, & more. I really tried hard to keep our packed items to the essentials for two weeks with a few extra items that would help keep our kids entertained and content for the weeks that we were away. We managed to fit all of our packed items into two checked bags, but we still had to prepare for a full day of flying, layovers, and more with three kids, five and under. So when packing for the airplane, I tried to keep our items as minimal as possible with three kids including only our tried & true travel favorites with the basic necessities of flying with children!
If you are going to bring a carseat along, check out this post on “How to travel with car seats (without losing your cool)”. It’s a big help.
OK, now let’s start with packing the baby’s bag. Thankfully now that she is 15 months, I am out of the breastfeeding and bottle stage which means no more need of bottles, nursing covers, formula, & more which makes it a lot easier to pack. Here is the following printable packing list that I created as well as a little more details about each item:
To Print: Right click on the image below open in a new window. You can either save it or print it from there. Make sure you scale it to the size you would like when printing!
Packing List for Toddlers
1. We used our Urbini lightweight stroller for Abby and also brought along a super easy & cheap umbrella stroller that our boys could use as needed. We tried to keep our strollers as lightweight and small as possible because we knew that on the other end that there wouldn’t be much space in Grandma’s and Grandpa’s car after all five of us and our luggage were in there.
To pack Abby’s gear, I used the fun super cute new Hedgehog Skip Hop backpack which is small and light enough that even her big brothers could help carry it through the airport or could easily slip in the stroller basket or hang on the stroller handlebars.
2 and 3. You always need diapers and wipes. Just pack a few extra diapers and make sure your wipes case is loaded. Wipes also come in handy for spills in the airport, messy faces after lunch, wiping down the airplane trays, and more. All else fails, my little one just likes to pull and put back wipes in the case and it will provide a few moments of entertainment.
4. Changing Pad. I recently received the Aden & Anais portable changing pad. I think that it’s perfect for on the go. Lightweight, super portable, and soft for changes out and about. I love that it can be easily thrown into my daily laundry to be cleaned.
5. I usually just throw in a one piece romper which is compact and easy to pack.
6. Pacifier & pacifier clip. One of my life-savers for traveling (if you have a paci-loving kid!).
7. Thankfully, Abby’s lovey include three very precious things: her beloved Wubbanub, a pink knit blanket that Grandma gifted to her when she was born, & her beautiful soft and cuddly first doll, the Corolle Babicorolle Babipouce Doll. This doll is her absolute favorite & is the perfect first doll for little girls. This doll comes from my favorite doll brand, Corolle, made just for little hands. Soft body, machine-washable, & of course with the infamous light vanilla scent. Her three favorite things are a MUST for travel!
8. Some of my favorite snacks for toddlers that portable and easy to travel with are: yogurt melts, fruit snacks, fruit pouches, and leather strips. Better to be prepared with more than not enough!
9. Sippy cup of choice. Right now, one of Abby’s favorites is the Evenflo Triple Flo tumbler. Since she is recently tranistioning off of bottler, the Evenflo Triple Flo tumbler features an adjustable valve that grows with your child with three different flow rates. It also has a “close-off” position designed for leak-free, on the go use which was perfect for the airplane.
11. A small book of stickers from the $1 section at the craft store or Target can go a long way. We peel them off and place on paper. And repeat. And repeat. Great and simple entertainment for toddlers.
12. Ziploc Bags are super easy to bring & you never know when you may need them.
13. Hand Sanitizer for ALL of those germs!
Now for the boys, it’s a lot easier to pack & honestly Aiden is old enough at five that he will read a list below and do most of the packing himself! Finally, life with kids is starting to get easier. Below, I am featuring a sweet and simple airplane packing list for children:
Again to Print: Right click on the image below open in a new window. You can either save it or print it from there. Make sure you scale it to the size you would like when printing!
For my husband and I, we kept our carry-ons simple. My husband had his work bag. In that bag, we also packed our iPad & Kindle which we knew would come in handy. And remember, we also packed a headphone splitter that we had in case the boys wanted to both watch the same show or play the same game. I carried my own little “travel” bag that included a few extra snacks and my small purse.
Now for a few simple tips for the airport and airline:
- Keep a few small “secret” snacks for those almost meltdown moments. Some of our favorites include: M & M’s, lollipops, chewing gum (for older kids).
- Download a few new apps, shows, or movies before flying. The kids will be excited to try out a few new things. With the Kindle, I was able to download a few new free shows & games at home before we left, so one kid could watch a new show while the other was trying out some of the “free” iPad apps that I had downloaded!
- Try hard to schedule flights that you know your kids can handle. I’m all about watching deals but when the best deal on the flight out was at 6 am, I knew that was not doable. We have to get up, drive to the DC National airport, park, & get checked in for the flight. We spent a few more dollars just to have a flight start a few hours later.
- Dress yourself and kids in comfortable clothes. For a full day of flying, don’t go for major style. Go for comfort, trust me you won’t regret it!
- For a restless toddler, take a quick break to walk to the bathroom. Just a little change in scenery & moving their legs will help.
- Keep tummies full. Nothing makes my kids grumpier than a hungry tummy. We made sure to grab breakfast & lunch before heading on the plane and packed snacks for “hungry” moments on the plane.
- Look at it as an adventure & don’t be intimidated. Honestly, the flying and traveling with three kids wasn’t any tougher than a normal day. I find most people very patient & often find our family humorous as they watch us navigate the airports & juggle three kids’ needs on the airline.