Here is a more organized list of things that I bring along when we fly. This doesn’t include my personal belongings but focuses more on what helps me with the kids. If anyone is interested in what I put in my own carryon, leave me a comment and I’ll think about a blog series on traveling as an adult! ?
A lot of snacks. Snacks that may be somewhat of a treat. Snacks that have some sort of protein content. A good assortment of snacks. We don’t skimp on snacks.
We always pack as many snacks as we can because our kids love snacks. I think most kids do. Having something to munch on is a good way to pass the time and keep kids happy. It’s pretty simple.
Packing tip for snacks: Many airports now require you to take all of your snacks out of your bags for security. This past trip I put all of the snacks into gallon-sized Ziploc bags, then I put all of the Ziploc bags into my “personal item”, which is the purse or laptop case that you’re allowed to carry in addition to a carry-on. This way I knew where all the snacks were and it saved a lot of time that we used to spend digging out granola bars and whatnot. Just grab the Ziploc bags out, put them in a tray, and you’re done!
2) Child Headphones
We bought our kids their own headphones a couple of years ago. The ones they give you on the airplane don’t fit the kids’ heads very well (honestly they don’t fit my head either 😛 ), and they don’t have super great sound quality. Most international flights have free movies available onboard and the kids have enjoyed watching them much more since we got them their own headsets.
3) A Few New Things
I always try to have a few new small toys or a new book/coloring book for the kids to play with along the way. My mom often buys them things like this before we fly and that has been a blessing! You know your kids’ personalities and you might be able to choose something special and unique to them that they could enjoy throughout the trip.
4) A Jacket
I bring a jacket along for my kids because you never know when you’ll be somewhere that the A/C is cranked down to ridiculous temperatures. On one trip recently I decided not to pack jackets and see what happened. Let’s just say I regretted it.
5) Their Favorite ________.
I left a blank up there because some kids are attached to something. For a while my kids were obsessed with having a blankie, so we traveled with it. My son has a bear that he really likes right now so we stuff it in his backpack. If there is something that can bring comfort when they are tired and out of it, by all means, BRING IT.
6) Extra Set of Clothes
For the toddlers/kids, I bring two extra pairs of underwear and a full extra outfit. If they are not completely potty-trained, I bring a couple extra pull-ups. You never know when you might have a spill or even an unexpected overnight layover.
For babies, I bring around five extra outfits. It’s always better to have plenty of clothes when you have a baby in diapers. You never know when you’ll have a mess on your hands.
7) Disposal Bags for Diapers
8) Baby Carrier
I highly recommend babywearing. The three carriers that I like the best and still use are the Baby K’tan, Lillebaby, and Tula. Babywearing has been such a huge help, especially while traveling with multiple kids!
Picture this: Kid on the front, backpack on the back, one hand pulling a rolling-carryon, and the other hand is free for…coffee. Talk about winning!
9) Double Stroller
If you have more than one kid, it is nice to have a double stroller. My husband has a backpack that converts to a rolling carryon, but he usually just keeps it on his back so that his hands are free to push the stroller. Our stroller has a space under the seats that we can put two of the kids’ backpacks into, which is nice for when they are tired of carrying them.
We have had to walk a couple miles to get to another gate. It’s unreasonable to expect a jetlagged toddler to walk that far, and it is even worse to try to carry them that far (unless you are wearing them). On our last layover in Frankfurt, I am not sure if we would have made our next flight without the stroller!
If you have multiple stops, be sure you tell the airline at check-in that you will want to have your stroller at each stop along the way. This way your stroller will not be checked to your final destination. If you get off the plane and your stroller is not sitting right outside the door of the aircraft, ask airport personnel where you should pick your stroller up from.
The double stroller we have is a Joovy. We have had it for almost five years, but I have included a link to the one that seems to be the same as what we have (apart from the color): https://www.amazon.com/Caboose-Graphite-Stand-Tandem-Stroller/dp/B01N4S1U2I/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=joovy+double+stroller&qid=1566463824&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFIRkI3QlpSQzJPMzcmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3OTc5OTVQVTdDQVBFM0FBQ0gmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDMwNzc0NTNSRkkwSElQRU1BVTkmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
This stroller was gifted to us and it has been a well-used blessing! It folds up easily and isn’t a hassle when we have to collapse it right before boarding a flight.
10) Cleaning Wipes
I try to travel with some sort of sanitizing wipes for cleaning surfaces along the way. Anyone who has flown knows how disgusting the bathrooms can be on planes and in airports. It is nice to have something on hand to wipe off a gross toilet seat before your child uses it.
These are ten things that I consider to be necessities. There are other obvious things that you would also pack if you have a baby, but I wanted to emphasize the things above in order to explain how they have helped us. If you have any specific questions, I am always willing to chat some more! I am also reminded that as the years go by, the kids will be able to do more for themselves as we travel. This is simply a stage of life that will be over all too soon.
Let me just conclude this blog series by saying how grateful I am to the Lord for guiding our travels. I don’t know if I will ever love the long flights, but I know that they have been bearable and smooth by God’s grace alone! He always gives you the strength to do His will. – India