When we travel I always follow the same packing list for my son’s travel bag. It contains all of the things that he will need during the flight (car, bus or train journey). I refresh the bag with supplies as needed for each of the major legs of our trip. By packing the same things every time (and keeping it packed for the duration of the trip), I ensure that we always have what we need on the road. Most of the items on this list easily fit into my son’s small Skip Hop pull along bag.
Bring LOTS of snacks and liquids for the duration of the flight, with extras for unexpected delays. Do not count on airlines to provide a meal for your child. Even if they do, it may not be served at the time you need or may not have items your child will eat. Leaving home, we always pack a full meal for our child for the first leg of the journey. On the way home, this ends up being more snack type foods and squeeze pouches rather than a home cooked meal. Most airlines no longer have milk on board, so bring pre-packed milk (we love the horizon organic milk boxes) that doesn’t have to be refrigerated for long flights.
Travel Tip: TSA will allow unlimited food and water for children under 3 yrs old.
If you are traveling on a night flight, make sure to bring all of the necessary items you use in your regular night time routine. This includes pajamas, books, lovey, blanket, pacifier, etc. Remember to include a pair of socks, as flights can often get cold. That said, we have been on more than one flight through Asia that was extra warm, so I always include light legging PJs that work well for all temperatures. Don’t forget a change of clothes for when your child wakes up.
Travel Tip: Snag an extra blanket to use as a tent over your child’s seat to block out cabin lights and create a welcoming sleep space.
Our son is potty trained, so we no longer carry diapers with us (Woo hoo!), but that doesn’t mean potty supplies are no longer necessary. We carry a small portable potty, that has come in handy more than once on our travels! For an extra small, light travel potty, check out the PRIMO potty. However, our favorite travel potty is the Potette Potty, which can be used on regular toilet seats or on the ground with inserts. Don’t forget travel size wipes as well.
For toddlers who are not potty trained yet, pack a diaper for every 1-2 hours of the flight and then add in a few extras for unexpected delays. Smaller children tend to have major blowouts on flights, while older kids just like to visit the bathrooms often for something to do.
Lastly, include a change of clothes for potty accidents or meal-time messes.
Entertainment (Electronic & Toys)
We never travel without our iPad and headphones. Even if you do not have an iPad, bring headphones so your child can plug into the music/entertainment system on the airplane. If they only listen to music, it still gives you a few minutes of downtime!
With the left over space in the bag, I include small pre-wrapped toys as well as a homemade activity bag. I pre-fill one 2 gallon ziplock bag for the flight to our destination and one for the flight home. Items included are: coloring books, stickers, blank paper, glue sticks, kids tape, craft kits from the dollar store, pipe cleaners with pony beads, markers or crayons, water color pages with a paintbrush, popsicle sticks and activity books. In addition to his activity bag, I let him pick out a few toys that he would like to bring on the trip. Items he usually brings are a few hot wheels cars, bouncy balls, bug catcher and binoculars.
Travel Tip: Lay out the toys you are bringing and take a photo so that you remember exactly what you brought with you when you are packing up at your hotel!
And that is it! It seems like a lot when it’s all typed out, but really the items are small and can easily fit in a small child size suitcase. The food we bring is often spread out in all of our bags since we bring enough for everyone to eat, not just our son. Our toddler’s go to travel bag has kept our toddler happy, fed and quiet for many long 15 hour flights! Hope this helps make your journey smoother!
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