Last Updated 12th November 2020
With a seemingly endless list of 'essentials' required when travelling with young children, it often feels like most of it is needed as part of your carry-on luggage.
Once bags are checked in, the mountain of belongings that still remains is daunting for even the most seasoned of travelers. Usually included is a stroller to take to the gate, carry-on luggage, nappy bag, handbag, for the independent toddler their own bag (which parents inevitably end up carrying), the list can go on. It is amazing how many parents manage this juggling act. Add to this the needs of young children, many of whom are experiencing air travel for the first time. All this means a potentially stressful experience for all.
We have made these mistakes for you, learnt from them, and have shared here our three most useful ways to help minimise your carry-on luggage.
1. Minimize the bulk
This may go without saying, but once the packing process is underway, it is amazing what is then deemed 'essential' as carry-on. Below is a list of necessities for your carry-on bag when flying with young children.
● nappies and wipes (easily accessible in a zip lock bag)
● new chewable or rattle toy for baby
● baby food, bottle, spoon, bibs
● plenty of snacks, some chewable nibbles, and a drink bottle
● change of clothes (for you and the kids)
● swaddle or blanket
● small travel pillow
● new activities, IPad/earphones (and charger!)
Thankfully airlines and airport security are flexible when it comes to food for your baby or toddler. Flight attendants are happy to heat baby food and milk with hot water. For the flying toddler, snacks are crucial. Some airlines offer numerous snack options for young children, but some have absolutely nothing, so plan ahead. Chewable snacks and a drink bottle will help release pressure in the little ears during takeoff and landing, a must to avoid potential pain and screaming. Flight attendants are always willing to fill them, and airport security allows children's liquids through.
A comfortable toddler is a happy toddler, so include a light packable blanket and a compact pillow. Most long haul flights will provide blankets and pillows, but it pays to check with the airline.