Flying with kids is not easy. We do it because we love to travel, but I assure you I do not think flying with 4 kids is fun. That being said, the tough years of plane travel with kids is quick – before you know it they’ll entertain themselves while you page through magazines and enjoy a drink.
I remember the first time I traveled on a plane with Maggie. It was a “quick flight” of 2 hours that seemed to last an eternity. Fast forward 7 years and plenty of tantrum filled flights…. and now it’s a breeze. Maggie and I recently flew to Chicago, just the two of us, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Sure, I packed her carry on with some of the items below, but she didn’t complain the whole flight. I actually READ A BOOK on the plane. So when we are on a plane with her wild little brothers (1 and 2) and I am ready to sky dive out of there, I try and remind myself how fast these crazy years go. People often ask what we bring on the plane with us.
Below are 10 things that are always in our carry on, based on age. For more tips on air travel with kids, visit this post. Also, most of these are in our car for great ways to entertain kids on a road trip. So the list should helps for car travel too!
The key for any age, is that you want things that are new and exciting. It will keep them interested longer and helps with bribing them to stay in their seats. Plus, if you bring an old favorite on vacation and it gets lost, there could be a lot of tears.
Most important: You want to pack your carry on with things that will take up time on the flight and not take up space in your bag.
Before I get to the fun stuff, here are 10 things I have in my carry on at all times (my kids range from 1-7).
10 things to have in your carry on for babies and kids:
1.Mortin or Tylonol: If their ears pop and they start screaming, you may need something to help the pain
2. Benedryl: my kids have no allergies, but I always fear they are going to try something new and break out in hives mid flight.
3. Change of clothes for the kids
4. Change of clothes for yourself (learned this after my oldest threw up milk all over me on a flight to CA on hour 1 of 5!)
5. Small blanket or something to snuggle with if they need to fall asleep
7. Sweatshirt or something cozy if it’s cold on the plane
8. Zip lock bags (dirty clothes, etc that might need their own bag!)
10. Something for bribing. I know… we’re not supposed to bribe our kids. But if thing get bad and you are over 30,000 miles above ground…. you may need back up: chocolate, special dessert/snack, small toy, etc. When we flew to Ireland over night, Maggie was 2. I told her that everyone on the plan that went to sleep right after takeoff and slept the whole flight got a special prize when we landed. She slept the whole flight, got her prize, and then was sure to check out all the other people as they got off the plane to see if they had earned their prize too ha!
Here are some carry on favorites by age:
1. Baby Carrier
2. Pacifiers, bottles or teething ring (helps ears for take off/landing) Don’t forget a paci clip so you’re not losing the pacifier the whole flight!
3. Teething jewelry: my favorite way to entertain a baby on your lap
4. Your carseat: if there is an extra seat on the plane and you have the seat with you at the gate, you will get a seat (no charge) if there isn’t they will gate check your seat (also no charge)
5. Disposable changing table pads: Airplane bathrooms are SO gross. Everything I take into the bathroom goes into the trash. I do not like putting anything back into my bag. Disposable changing table pads are awesome for plane travel.
6. Formula packets
7. Finger puppet book
8. Lift the flap or touch and feel books
9. Soft toy or lovey
10. Teething biscuits
1. Lift the flap books
6. Water Wow
7. Small cars or toys
8. Color Magic, Color Blast or something similar
9. Lovey or stuffed animal
10. Masking tape or painters tape…. NOT to tape them to the seat ha! But this type of tape is really fun to stick to the tray table and comes off easily. Use it to make a “race track”, shapes, etc. This is fun for any age!
2. iPad, Kindle, Etc
3. Boogie Board
5. Color Magic, Color Blast, etc
6. Markers and paper
7. Melissa & Doug Puffy sticker sets
8. Small toys (animals, cars, princesses)
9. A new book
10. Activity books (I like color by number to take up time)
2. iPad, Kindle, etc
3. Boogie Board
4. New book: Book Series
5. Travel journal
7. Small Activity book (I like this brand)
8. Paper to play tic tac toe and hangman
9. Crayons, markers & pencils
10. Travel book about the destination
See travels everyone!