Are you going on holiday with your family? In this post I share with you the carry-on essentials you need when travelling with kids.
My family are huge travel enthusiasts. Since my toddler has been born, she has been on a grand total of 12 planes and we’re hoping that this number will be a lot higher by the end of the year. With all of this experience of travelling with a young child, we have definitely learnt what carry-on essentials you need when flying with kids and what things can just be left behind.
On our first ever flight with Evie, I definitely didn’t pack the carry-on bag well at all. In fact, I forgot most essentials and only took one thing on this list, that I have written below. I also didn’t realise how much of an impact this would have on our travel and I’m very grateful that our flight was so short. If it had been any longer, I think our holiday would have started off with one very grumpy family.
Flying on a plane with small children isn’t the easiest thing to do. A well packed carry-on, can surprisingly make all the difference. After learning our lesson, I’m now sharing with you 5 carry-on essentials you need when travelling with kids. Don’t make the same mistakes I did!
If you’d prefer to watch the vlog version of this post, here it is below.
5 Carry-On Essentials You Need When Travelling With Kids
1. Travel Wallet
A travel wallet is quite possibly the BEST thing that I ever put into my carry-on. I really mean that. Before every flight, I tuck the newly printed boarding passes into the travel wallet, alongside everybody’s passports. Some airports ask for your bordering passes several times. During one flight we were asked to show ours six times! So, it’s really good to keep them on hand for the duration of time you are in the airport and all the way until you’re strapped into the plane. Here’s when you usually get checked:
- Whilst checking in your luggage
- At the security gate
- At the boarding gate
- As you get on the plane to find your seat.
The travel wallet saved us from fumbling around in bags every time we were asked for our passports and boarding passes. It also meant that I could hold all of the documents and passports safely and securely in one hand, without risk of losing them. We got our travel wallet from a company called Busy B, one of my favourite companies for helping you to stay organised.
2. Hand Sanitiser/Wipes
Why do toddlers insist on touching everything? Evie always wants to touch everything in airports. While she’s walking, she runs her hands along the walls, the doors, the chairs. Or she tantrums and rolls around on the floor. Airports are full of germs and 90% of the time, the airport toilets barely ever have any soap left.
Hand sanitiser and wet wipes are always my two best friends when we go to the airport. I’m all for letting a child build up their immune system, but when it comes to feeding them snacks, or eating yourself, its great to have both of these products on hand.
3. Snacks and Water
On our first flight I completely forgot to pack any snacks. As soon as the doors closed on the first plane, after an already long day of travelling to the airport, Evie announced that she was hungry. It made for an interesting take off when it dawned on both of us that it was lunch time and we were snack free.
If you’re travelling with kids, definitely make sure you have snacks and water on hand. We always find it a lot easier to buy snacks just before getting on the plane, purely because of the hassle of going through the gates, and security, with food. It might be an extra expensive, but we find it much easier in the long run.
Quick tip: You cannot get through the security gates at an airport, with more than 100ml of liquid. But, you can take through your empty water bottle and re-fill it for free on the other side from a water fountain.
4. Play Pack
We bought a themed magazine for Evie for her very first flight, the one thing I was organised enough to remember! The magazine came complete with some little plastic transport cars, stickers and crayons. These toys were played with the ENTIRE six weeks of our holiday, so it was a great investment. Now whenever we fly, we pack Evie a little play pack of toys or entertainment, or we buy her a couple of kids magazines. Lots of parents also pack iPads for there kids, but for us magazines have always been enough.
5. Fold Up Shopper Bag
Possibly the most un-obvious of things to take on the aeroplane, but I 100% recommend taking a fold up shopper bag with you. These are incredibly handy! Going through the security gates with kids (especially toddlers), isn’t the most fun thing to do. You need to take off your shoes, belts, jewellery, take out your electronics and liquids, put your luggage separate and also make sure your kids don’t wander off.
The process of having to pick up all your items again on the other side and pack them away quickly, can be a little too much.
We always pull out our shopper bag at this point and put everything in it, then move to a quieter location to pack everything away again properly. We saw many families struggling at the gates with the same issues. You feel so rushed and stressed, having a shopper bag completely takes this away. It’s also a great place to put your duty free buys for the plane, such as snacks, magazines and books.
As a thank you to all my lovely readers, I am currently running a whole month of giveaways. Today I am giving away my favourite ‘travel wallet’. Simply enter to win via the rafflecopter below. Terms and conditions apply! Don’t forget to also check out the other giveaways I am running. You can find these on my blog giveaways page.
We hope that these tips helped and if you are going on holiday with your kids for the first time, we hope that you have an amazing time.
If you’re looking for further tips about travelling with kids (we have definitely learnt some lessons), then check out our post Tips For Travelling With Children. Or, if you want to know how to keep kids entertained in the airport, check out fellow blogger ‘The Life Of Spicers’ travel tips: ‘10 Ways To Keep Kids Entertained In The Airport‘.