What Should I Take on the Airplane?

What Should I Take on the Airplane?


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Flying the first time with kids often leads to a lot of questions.

We’ve covered the topic of flying with kids in the past, but the focus of that article was all about the entire experience of flying. What should you do to prepare, what can you expect, and what are a few good tips of items to take with you? These are all important topics for first time flyers with kids, and we’d highly recommend that you check it out. It may save you a headache while in the air.

Deciding what to take with you as you travel can be a tough decision. You want to make sure you have everything you need, but you don’t want to overpack as it’s a real pain to carry all of that stuff around the airport when you have a toddler in tow as well. The number one piece of advice is to remember that most things can be purchased at your destination if needed, so if something’s not critical on the plane, then put it lower priority.

First off, make sure you have diapers and wipes if your child is still wearing diapers (or just starting potty training). Running out of diapers is not fun if you’re in the air or in an airport at a layover. Pack enough diapers plus about five extra for the length of time that you'll be away from your luggage. Diapers can be packed around and stuffed in a lot of different places, so it’s not too hard to add a few extra.

In terms of wipes, you should have some regardless of whether or not your child is in diapers. Planes are pretty gross (although better these days than they used to be), and your child will be touching everything and then eating snacks and other items. Having some disposable wipes is always a good idea to help clean your child’s hands and the areas that they’ll be touching the most.

Have a change of clothes for your child as you never know what accidents may occur. Whether they have a blow out, accidentally pee their pants, or simply spill their drink or something else on themselves, having a change of clothes is also a must for younger children. Make sure you also include a plastic bag to put the dirty clothes into so that they don’t stink up everything else in your bag.

Snacks are a must have as well, especially for flights longer than 2 hours. Sure, you’re going to get something on the airplane, but it’s usually this tiny bag of pretzels and a small drink. These days, it’s uncommon that you’re getting any type of large meal unless you’re flying over 6 hours which would mean you’re flying internationally. Besides that, you simply don’t know if your child will like whatever’s being served.

Bring some form of entertainment for your child as well. While you may be able to entertain them with the in flight entertainment for some time, not all airplanes have screens at every seat, and a lot of times the shows will cost a lot of money - way more than you really want to pay to use them. Bring a tablet or phone that your child can use if things get to that point, but also bring their favorite book or toy.

You can’t use a booster seat on an airplane, but you can carry it on if you want (it’ll just have to in an overhead bin). Harnessed seats are generally fine, but you should check with your airline before planning on it. All of these items can be checked in to your destination as well rather than being brought onto the plane. We generally bring our booster seats and check them, but it is a big pain to do so as well.

For your first flight, try to make it a shorter one to get the hang of what it will be like flying with your child. All of them are different, and you don’t know how they’ll react. Some love the feeling of the plane taking off while others can get quite sick from the motion and feeling. Your child may also be scared of taking off or they may get anxious in the small space. They could also be totally fine.

Make sure you bring the essentials with you when you fly. A tablet (such as a Kids Kindle Fire) are a must have, as well as snacks and extra clothes. Don’t pack your entire house though as you’ll regret trying to carry it all around the airport.


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