Traveling with kids is not an easy task whatsoever. I should know. In 2019, my husband and I took a small family trip to Panama City Beach with our two girls (at the time we were just a family of 4) and travel day was not easy at all. In many ways I felt like we overpacked and yet underpacked, and were definitely completely unprepared for how hectic airport travel can be with kids.
For one, we took a double stroller, which was definitely convenient for when we had to run across the entire airport just to get to our next flight. But the problem was that the stroller we had was very bulky and difficult to put into the stroller bag when it came time for boarding the airplane.
Another huge issue we had was the carry on bags. We had two. I had one and my husband had one. We thought minimizing on carry on bags would be the way to go, but looking back now, I wish I would’ve had my then 3 year old, carry her own bookbag. We literally stuffed my husbands bag with a bunch of toys and snacks for both of the girls to the point that the bookbag ended up breaking right as we were running to catch our next flight. I cannot tell you how embarrassing it was in that moment (even though we crack up about it now) and how much stress it added to our day.
Because of what we experienced, which was to be expected because it was our first time traveling with kids, this time around, we’ve prepared so much better.
We have another family vacation coming up this June, now as a family of 5. I’m not gonna lie, I am a bit nervous about travel day but at least I have an idea of what to expect, what to do, and what not to do. Which is the reason for today’s blog post! Keep reading to find out what to pack in your child’s carry-on’s to make travel day a little easier for you and funner for them!
If your kids are old enough and know about this trip, believe me, they’ll be excited to strap on those backpacks and walk around the airport flaunting their vacation ready brand new gear. Consider taking them to the store or let them help you shop online for ones that they like and would be a great option for them to easily carry around.
Why you should let your child have their own bag
- It will teach them responsibility
- It will empower and give them a sense of independence
- It will free up some space for you in your own bag
Of course, if you have younger children, like me, you want to make sure that their bag is practical for them. Lightweight and easy to carry. For my kids, I personally like those backpacks with the front clip because it prevents it from slipping off their shoulders and it ending up in my hands to drag around the airport.
What to pack in your kid’s carry-on
Now. When packing up their bag, you want to have a few new things that they will enjoy playing with either in the airport or on the plane. Just, don’t be like me, and overstuff it. Believe me, they probably won’t even touch half of it, but its good to have 2-3 things anyway just in case.
One of my favorite things to pack is… DUN, DUN, DUN.
A tablet for each of the kids. No screen time moms, don’t @ me! Yes, my kids have tablets that we let them use for either educational purposes (which is limited) or for travel days! I, by no means, will be limiting screen time on this trip because, hello, it’s a 10 hour travel day and kids get antsy. Download Netflix, Disney+, and some educational games and you’re good to go. This is part of the reason why I don’t pack a bunch of toys.
Oh! And since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, make sure you pack all the real important stuff like sanitizers, antibacterial wipes, travel size lysol spray, tons of masks, etc. You can never be too safe in this area! Protect your babies just like you protect yourself from covid!
Here’s a short list of links to some pretty cool items you might want to buy for their bag! Remember, I do get a small commission if you end up buying one of these items, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra!
- At least 2 coloring books: One of to go and one to come back.
- Triangular crayons to prevent them from rolling off the tray on the airplane.
- One or two books to read
- A children’s tablet with parental security
- A water bottle or sippy cup, obviously depending on what they drink from
- Their favorite blanket to stay warm and comfy the entire trip
- Snacks, snacks, and more snacks
- Disposable Toilet seat covers
- Sanitizing wipes
- Lots of extra masks