Traveling with children can be the most rewarding of experiences, after all, there's nothing quite like rediscovering the world through the eyes of the kids. However, it can also be among the most challenging. The sheer number of new situations and surroundings can be quite overwhelming for the little ones—and that's without considering how to pack your bags and ensure you have everything you need.
Thankfully, we're here to help take the pressure off, and by following our helpful hints and tips you can rest assured that you will have everything you need readily to hand. Discover how best to pack your cabin bag or carry-on and get your next trip off to a perfect start—before you've even left the house.
What to pack
Make sure you stow all of the relevant documents in a place that is both secure and easy to access. This might be the front pocket of your cabin bag or, for increased peace of mind, in a waist pack. This includes passports, tickets, boarding passes, visas and any medical documentation you might need to produce when requested. Once you are safely on board, you should store them so you can access them quickly when you pass through airport security at your destination.
- Hygiene products
Keeping the kids free of dirt, germs, and bacteria is always a challenge, and nowhere is this more important than while traveling. Anti-bacterial wipes and sprays are a godsend and will help the whole family to stay clean and minimize any infections. Additionally, pull-up diapers are a whole lot easier to manage while traveling, even if you don't usually use them. Make sure you pack plenty of these items, especially on long-haul flights.
Parents or pharmacists? Sometimes the distinction can be a little blurry with the number of products tucked away in your bathroom closet. However, while traveling, you can cut down your load by sticking to the essentials. These should include decongestants for the flight, anti-nausea medication, fever and pain relief medication, and allergy medication if you know your child has specific issues. This is probably all you will need while traveling, so pack anything else required while at your destination in your hold luggage.
Packing the right items of clothing in your cabin luggage is always tricky. This is particularly true if your destination has a drastically different climate to home. It's a good idea to include many lightweight layers that can be easily taken off and put back on again. This will also ensure you have some fresh clothing for the kids in case of any accidents while on the plane. Additionally, take a thin blanket or oversize scarf to provide warmth while on the flight as the air conditioning can sometimes be uncomfortable for children.
Most parents will have juice boxes to hand on any journey – long or short. However, cramped airplane seats pose a particular challenge, so it's worth investing in a durable sippy-cup to minimize spillages and mess. Baby formula can still be brought onto flights in liquid form, however, you can also get hot water on the plane, so sometimes it's better to pack the required amount of powder. Finally, make sure you pack a few sweet treats and snacks to keep the kids in good spirits.
Keeping the kids entertained while on a long flight can be difficult—particularly when their favorite toys are too large to fit in a cabin bag. Here, technology can save the day, and a few choice apps, movies and TV shows on an iPad or tablet can keep even the most curious child entertained for hours. Additionally, make sure you pack an item with “comfort value”—such as a stuffed toy or blanket—to provide security and help your child drift off to sleep.
About the author:
Parker is a seasoned traveler and editor, currently working for Kaehler Luggage in Chicago, who has always had a penchant for style. As a self-proclaimed luggage aficionado, he regularly provides fellow travelers with his hard won advice on what kind of bags or cases are suitable and how best to pack for any type of vacation. Always in search of a new adventure, Parker has plenty of great travel stories and is constantly looking to create more.