When you are traveling with kids, planning is the key. There are a few essential items to take when traveling with a baby or a toddler. A lot of factors can go out of control while flying, which makes it seems challenging to travel with your kids. But it can become less problematic if you prepare well for all the possible circumstances in advance. Make a checklist of the essential items that you must take with you, and it will make your life easy.
Before the trip, double-check your flight schedule (if you are traveling by air), so you do not miss it. It would be best if you were done with your checklist at least 24 hours before leaving for the airport to make sure you have all the items in your bag. On the other hand, if you are traveling by road, then ensure to have everything ready at least 4-5 hours before leaving so your little one doesn’t have to face any hassle.
Here is the list of essential items to take when traveling with your children:
1. Comfort Items
The plane journey can be scary for some kids, so it would be great if you take some comfort items along with you when traveling. It can be a stuffed animal, a blanket, or just a favorite toy he/she likes to hug, which can make his/her worries go. The comfort items can also make your kids rest well during the flight.
Flight delays are not rare. You may think that you will be home for dinner, but things do not always go according to the plan. So, always bring two to three times more snacks than that you think you will need.
The only way to get through flights without snacks, the airline running out of the boxes of snacks you want to purchase, or long delay on the runway, is with plenty of supply of your favorite snacks.
3. Change of Clothes
You must bring items to entertain your kids during the flight and while waiting for your flight at the airport. But this is not enough; you must prepare yourself for the unexpected as well. Keep the change of clothes because any unforeseen situation can happen. Between bathroom accidents, food, illness, and drinks, it is better to be prepared beforehand with the complete change of clothes.
4. Water Bottle
Flight attendants do not meet the demands of most of the kids and do not come around often, so make sure to add a sippy cup or refillable water bottle into your checklist. The ones that are insulated and keep your drink cold or hot are preferable.
No matter if you are heading to a warm climate or cold, it is crucial to dress in layers due to the chilly weather of the airplanes—plan on taking a comfortable, soft sweatshirt. The sweatshirts with the zips in the front are preferable; they make it easy to get on and off while seated on the plane.
6. Child-friendly Headphones
Several airlines now allow you to bring your headphones to use the seatback screens, so bring along the comfortable, child-friendly headphones. The adorable kid’s headphones offer several features like built-in volume-limiting technology, and they will not fall out or hurt the ears of your kids like other headphones.
7. Childproof Tablet
It is better to bring childproof tablets with you when traveling with kids since you can never be sure about the entertainment options provided by the airline. Make sure that the child’s books, games, and movies are already downloaded onto the tablet. These tablets are easy to hold and come up with attractive and kid-friendly colors.
Reading is one of the great ways to pass your time. You can have books either in eBook or physical form- you can download eBooks for free from any local library. They are easy to carry and will save space in your bag as well.
9. Sanitizing Wipes
Wipe down your tray table, window shade, seat, seat belt buckles, and armrest, to prevent the spread of any viruses on the plane. Use sanitizing wipes to do so as soon as you board. Bringing hand sanitizers and tissues may be helpful as well to use before snacking and wiping up the runny noses.
Airlines do not get enough time for the deep and proper cleaning of the planes since they have to turn around flights right away. Therefore, you must be prepared well.
10. Travel Pillow
If you are traveling at the time of naps or overnight, make sure to bring a blanket, eye mask, and travel pillow. It is hard to have a home-like sleep on the plane, but blocking light and noise and creating a comfortable environment can help. It will ensure that your child gets proper rest even on the plane.
11. EarPlanes for Kids
It would be an excellent choice to invest in a pair of EarPlanes if your kids have a cold. It will help them manage the air pressure during takeoff or landing. You will have to teach your kids how to insert the EarPlanes properly and when to insert or take them off.
Even if all the members of your family are healthy, it is always recommended to bring a set in your bag in case anyone gets sick. It will also save you from buying them in the airport gift shop, which is expensive as well.
Some more (not essential) items that you can carry when traveling with kids:
Travel Activity Books
Too much screen time is not suitable for your kids, so always bring travel activity books while traveling. It will not only minimize their screen time but also keep them busy and entertained—most of the kids like dot-to-dot, coloring, mazes, and sticker books.
The older kids can get into journals and travel-related activity books with crossword puzzles, word searches, and many other engaging challenges.
School-kids enjoy playing and engaging with their parents and siblings. So, a simple card game like UNO, Memory, Skip Bo Jr., and Go Fish, can be the best options. Go for the card games that do not take much space and are not too slippery and are fun to play with the person sitting next to you.
Lollipops or Gum
A plane ride is a time where having a little candy is not something to get worried about. During takeoff and landing, chewing gum or sucking on a lollipop helps you deal with uncomfortable ear pressure. Keep a few of your favorite flavor lollipops and chewing gums in your carry-on, just in case.
These were some of the essential items to take with you when traveling with your kids. Furthermore, there are a lot of items out there that you can add according to your need, such as a diaper bag, baby carrier, first aid kit, travel car seat, harness, travel toilet seats, and much more.