Traveling with kids

My husband travels a lot for business, in like manner we travel a lot as a family too! We frequently go overseas and also love short trips with easy flight durations. Traveling this frequent with two kids has made me grow my patience, love travel even more than I thought possible and also pick up lots of tips and tricks along the way!

How to prepare for your flight with kids?

Well that greatly depends on the duration of your flight and the time it leaves as well! There is a very fine line between overpacking the carry on and not having enough stuff. I swear I learn something new everytime we fly!

Traveling on long flights with kids

Below, is a tutorial I made to show you exactly what I bring on our carry on bags for the kids and what I put in their busy boxes for the 16 hour flight to Australia. 

What did I learn after this trip?

Aftering re-watching the video I made above – I would probably make a few slight adjustments as follows:

  1. I would have packed the busy boxes in the checked luggage. Although they were certainly used a lot on the trip during downtime in the hotels, not so much on the flight. The mess free color packs would have been enough and alot less weight. 
  2.  The pillows! They were really nice, I’m not going to lie and the kids slept amazing with them. However, it was such a pain carrying them in the airports, and all the different hotels we stayed at on the trip that I ended up tossing them before our flight home. Most likely in the future I would opt for the lousy in flight pillows just to save the space.
  3. 5 Pacifiers. In hindsight, I could have packed the others and just brought two on the flight. 
  4. Snacks and pouches.. we definitely used a lot of them in particular I didn’t need the oreo cookies but I was happy to be over prepared in the event of needing to bribe them 🙂
  5. Ipads – They wanted to use the in flight TV screens and movies and therefore wanted nothing to do with Ipads! They were a great distraction while in the airport and lounges but next time I would leave them at home or pack in the checked luggage due to the weight and space they take up.  ++ (Read on for shorter flights since this is different)

Traveling on short flights with kids

A shorter flight in my opinion is 5 hours or less. These flights are much easier to manage and you’ll prepare much differently!

family travel items
  1. Make sure you have an Ipad and headphones because most airlines are no longer supplying screens for short flights. They do have free in flight entertainment but you’ll have to connect it to your own device. 
  2. Download the airline app BEFORE you board the plane. cell phone signals are never great once you are on the plane. With this in mind, without the app you cannot access the in flight entertainment. 
  3. FOOD! On shorter flights, they usually don’t provide meals and the ones they do have are not really great nor are they kid friendly. Make sure you eat before you fly and have snacks in your carry on bag. Sometimes we think oh it’s only a 3 hour flight – however in reality you are traveling in airports for 2 hours before and after the flight making it a 7 hour time span for the kids. 
  4.  For the shorter flights I pack as little as possible so we are light handed and don’t have to carry so much!
  5. Always bring a stroller if you have kids under age 5! Trust me, you’ll want it!

General Flying tips for parents with kids

1. I always bring the kids to the airport in their jammies when we do a big trip and leave in the morning or late at night. When we get to the airport we always go into the lounge and that’s when I get them dressed for the plane. It’s seriously so much easier getting out of the house. We all know when leaving for a trip it’s chaos, and not having to get the kids ready takes off so much pressure! Obviously, I pack the carry on the day before!


2. What to bring in the carry-on?

Well, I have learned to pack my own carry-on and two for the kids separate. Otherwise, it gets way to heavy and unorganized. My Carry on is not my regular purse it’s usually a tote with my purse stuff inside it. I always have a pen, comfy socks, neck pillow, makeup wipes, gum, lip gloss, and mascara.

The kids carry on has the change of clothes, headphones, snacks, empty sippy cup (because you fill it up after security) diapers, wipes, orajel, chewable Tylenol, snacks, a thin swaddle blanket and regular blanket depending on how far you are traveling. Oh, and of course some candy for bribes. I never pack the iPads because it’s heavy and there is entertainment on the flight unless we go overseas then I let them have it because they like the games and extra movie choices. 

3. Presents!

I always go to target and buy the kids two really small ($5 or less) gifts and then I take the time to wrap them up so pretty. I don’t bust these out until I need them but when they get them they are so excited and the wrapping paper is a huge deal! It makes it look extra special. It also takes time to open it depending on the age. Then you have just bought yourself a few hours with a new toy. If you don’t need to use both gifts on the first flight DON’T. Maybe save it for a dinner while on vacation or maybe even the flight home. They are so good to have with you.

4. Ear pressure

Depending on the age, always have a paci or gum so they can use at take off and landing. This really helps with the ears and pressure.

5. The Blow up square

 you can buy the Blow up square. here. We bought this blow-up square that you can wedge between the seat and the seat in front of you and it basically creates a lay-flat bed for the kids. My 5 year old loves to put her feet on it as a rest and baby thought it was a really fun game to climb and although nobody was sleeping like the photos it’s great to have and folds up super small in your bag. (buy it here)

6. Snacks

Do not run out of snacks! Kids hardly like plane food if there is any, and they always want snacks on the plane to keep them busy! Chips, bars, crackers, raisins, and applesauce pouches are my favorite since they don’t have to be refrigerated.

7. Seats

if you have a lap infant when you book your seats always book your family leaving an empty seat in the middle. The airline knows you have a lap infant and that’s the last seat they would fill. Therefore we almost always get a free seat / extra space.

8. Stroller

Always bring a stroller! Even though the kids can walk, it is not always about them! The stroller is a fabulous place to put all of the extra stuff you are lugging around. For example, carry-ons, blankets, cups, snacks, purses and stuffed animals. Kids always get tired in airports and want a ride! Additionally, you can gate check it for free, so it’s right there when you get on and right there when you get off.

Lastly, give yourself extra time and don't get too frazzled! A relaxed traveler is a happy traveler and the kids pick up your vibes!! I have to remind my husband of this every-time 🙂

Posted by:ThatOCmomLife

Hi friends! It's me thatocmomlife AKA Megan. I'm here to share with you guys all of our favorite places to go and the things we love! I love to showcase fun things to do with kids in the area, beauty products, shopping deals, and our travel adventures! I am a California girl, born and raised. I am married to an amazing man who happens to be Australian. We have two beautiful kids that we like to raise with the American roots and the Aussie roots too! Everything I share here, I truly believe in and I am a stickler with only working with companies that I have personally tried and am comfortable sharing. This platform has given me the greatest gift, and that is to be able to work from home and raise my kids! I am so grateful for all of the support and THANK YOU for following me and encouraging me every step of the way! XO - Megan

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