How I Pack for a Plane Ride with Small Children

Snacks. Snacks. And more snacks. But honestly, I’ve never heard a child ask for so many snacks at 6 in the morning! After many flights with my kids, I have a system down for what I pack for the plane. I like to think of myself as a modern-day Mary Poppins.

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Those rare occasions that I’m not traveling with kids, I get to take my purse!

My first stop is usually some combination of the Target Dollar Spot and the Dollar Store. There are so many great little toys, activity packs, stickers, etc that I stock up on. Variety is the spice of life here because with my daughter, her attention span is limited when she knows what lies in our destination. My main Mouse, Mickey!

I’ve also had some serious luck with the Usborne supplies I’ve brought along. Is this a shameless plug because I sell Usborne Books? Kinda? Not really though. I usually bring some Wipe-Clean books and cards and lately she’s been digging the Little Transfer books and any sticker book she can get her hands on!

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Wipe-Clean cards for the win!

Once they get their own seat, then we pack a backpack for them as their “personal item.” Meryl is 3, so she’s more than capable of wearing her own backpack and she likes to feel part of the packing process. The key here is I don’t let her see anything that I got so it keeps things fresh on travel day. I let her pick 1 or 2 things she wants to bring in her backpack while we are packing and then the night before we leave, I put the new goodies in. That way, once we’re onboard, it’s a good surprise and distraction.

Backpack Rundown (for the kid)

  • iPad- fully charged with content downloaded. We got this great case that is awesome for little hands and has withstood so many drops!
  • Headphones- These bluetooth headphones were a great investment and they are made specifically for little ears so the sound won’t blow out their ear drums! I promise, I did the research!
  • Activity packs, Wipe-Clean books, Crayons, Stickers, Melissa & Doug Water WOW, small puzzles
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Snacks- you know the things they like. I always try to pick up a “treat” snack as well which I keep in my bag as a last resort distraction.
  • Ring Pops– This has been a recent addition. We’ve been struggling hardcore with takeoff and landing and ear pain. Now, we let her pick a Ring Pop before we take off (yes, even for early flights) and she’ll suck on that until our ears aren’t popping any more. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than a toddler meltdown and the sympathetic stares or blatant eye rolls from strangers.
  • Extra pair of pants/shorts and extra pair of underwear- You just don’t know when they’re going to decide to have an accident! Airplane bathrooms are scary!
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You just can’t get any cooler when you rock headphones like that.

Mom Bag Rundown

Technically, since I’m traveling with an infant these days, I can bring a diaper bag AND a personal item- but for sake of sanity, I just bring a backpack and call it a day.  So what’s inside?

  • Diapers (usually 5) & wipes
  • Change of clothes for each kid (usually a dress so that it takes up less room! Ah…girls!)
  • FuelRod- this is a portable charger that you can change out for a freshly charged on at tons of locations on Disney property. So useful! I also usually bring a second portable charger because…kids.
  • Chargers- iPhone and microUSB
  • AirPods & case- I’m obsessed with this new Minnie case! Can’t wait for our trip!
  • 2 bottles with milk (I’m pumping) and my pump and extra milk bags. I’m going to shoutout my Freemie Independence here. If I didn’t have this pump, it would be so hard to travel!
  • Pouches of food for the baby and these ChooMe covers have been a lifesaver so she doesn’t squirt food everywhere and they give her some independence with eating.
  • Tissues- Someone always has a runny nose.
  • Ibuprofen, Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Benadryl, Bag Balm, Sunscreen, Diaper cream, bandaids, floss & Tums- a nurse is always prepared for whatever calamity is coming.
  • Extra hair elastics & comb- I’ve been burned by an elastic breaking mid-flight. Have you seen what airplane air does to a child’s hair? Please see example below.
  • Extra snacks & empty water bottle- because someone is always still hungry and I can fill up my bottle after we get through security.
  • Gum- this is purely because Disney World doesn’t sell gum on property and that’s usually always where we are going!
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Airplane hair. You just can’t buy static electricity like that.

 

Basically my backpack is usually filled to the brim, but I try to be as prepared as possible because you just never know what chaos will ensue!

Generally, I wear the baby onto the plane. Our first ever Disney trip we used an Ergo and then I smartened up when I saw a woman wearing a far lighter/smaller carrier and we ended up buying one as soon as we got home and haven’t looked back! We use an Infantino 4-in-1 carrier and honestly, it doesn’t take up much room and it’s super easy to put on/figure out. Since we’re always traveling to the tropics of Florida, I enjoy having a carrier that isn’t extremely bulky and sweat producing. Those little furnaces called babies are hot enough as it is!

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Please note: Carrier & Ring Pops- we are ready to rock ‘n’ Roll!

So that’s it! It’s not super fancy or rewriting the book on traveling on a plane with kids by any means, but it has worked for us and no ones complaining!

The ride home is usually filled with whatever new toy or doll has weaseled it’s way into our lives, so I just do my best to repack her backpack so that the stuff that wasn’t on heavy rotation on the first flight is on top. Thank goodness it’s not a long flight! 🙂

Do you have any special tips and tricks that have kept your kids occupied on a flight? I’d love to hear about it!

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Well, what do you think?

 

*Linked items are through my personal UBAM site and my Amazon affiliate link! Thank you!

 

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