One of the most common questions I get asked about travel is how to survive a long-haul flight with kids.
One of the downsides to living in this great country is that it takes A REALLY LONG TIME to get anywhere.
Travelling with young kids can be a bit stressful for parents to say the least.
But after dozens of flights and a lot of trial and error, I feel we have got entertaining the kids down pat.
Below are the go-to items that I always pack for the girls. They are of an age now too where I make them carry their own backpack as I find it gives them a sense of independence and responsibility.
They seem to enjoy what is in them so much more knowing it is “theirs”.
I have also shared my “avoid” items as well, more specific to younger children.
These items would be fine for older kids but learn from my mistake if you have babies and toddlers.
1. Good Sized Backpack
Make sure it fits an A4 sized book and iPad etc. Nothing worse than trying to shove things that don’t fit into a bag and having to rummage around for things.
I got these license backpacks from Kmart for $15. Seemed fitting for Disneyland 🙂
Make sure it also has good solid straps that can be adjusted so your child can carry it comfortably and has drink bottle holders on the side so you don’t have to put water bottles in the bag.
We recently bought a new iPad for Annabelle and got a case with a stand and handle.
I make sure I have working offline apps and downloaded movies on Netflix and Stan all downloaded before we leave home.
The WiFi in the airport is never decent or quick enough to do a last-minute download so make sure it’s done well in advance.
Make sure you always keep a pair of headphones handy for each device. No one wants to listen to Paw Patrol at top volume for the entire trip 😉
I prefer over-ear headphones for kids because they’re much easier to keep on and harder to lose.
If you can afford it, invest in a set of wireless headphones as cables are super annoying on planes. These Friendie Audio ones are super cute,
Otherwise, these Kmart headphones are great and have lasted me years with the kids.
4. Zip-Up Hoodie
I know I’m being specific, but it’s much easier to get on and off in small spaces when it zips up than pulling jumpers on and off.
It means if you need you can also throw it over them if they fall asleep.
These Bonds ones are my go-to as they always have 40% off 😉
Kids always take their shoes off on the plane. ALWAYS. And then when they are busting for the loo, it’s almost impossible to get them back on.
I always pop cute fuzzy socks to have on them for toilet trips and keeping their feet warm.
These Disney x Bonds ones are so cute!!
6. Activity Books
My go-to are the Reading Eggs activity books as the girls LOVE them and they cannot use the app on a flight with no WiFi. This way they’re doing something educational and engaged for hours.
7. Magic Ink & Scratch Books
I think because they are something we don’t use at home the girls LOVE when they get them on the plane. I grab a few sets from Kmart which are around $3-4 each, a few packs for each flight.
Find them here from Kmart.
I always get the girls a new pack of pencils or crayons. They love the novelty of opening a new pack for some reason and they only cost a couple of dollars.
I avoid lollies because no one wants a crazy kid on the plane. We pack things like muesli bars, nuts, fruit sachets and fruit.
Anything that’s individually wrapped is good as you can just take one thing out at a time and easily repack it for your flight home.
Trust me, kids will act like you’ve never fed them before on a plane. The more snacks, THE BETTER!
And avoid spending $8 for one cookie otherwise.
10. Drink Bottle
An essential for any kids carry on. Just make sure you buy a good quality water bottle so it doesn’t leak if you need to throw it back in the bag.
These Camelbak ones are great and available from Woolworths.
11. Toiletries/Emergency Stash
I have a pencil case I fill with the absolute essentials for the front zip of their bags. Anything of this size is great and you just need the essentials in case of emergency. Which is always a given 😉
- Spare Knickers
- Nappy Bags (for cleaning up rubbish or wet knickers)
- Melatonin (Night Flights)
12. A Suprise
I always get something different each time we travel, usually relevant to the trip we are going on!
For this trip, I got them each a small lego box!
Things To Avoid
I have learnt a few lessons the hard way and depending on your children’s age will determine what is a good idea to pack and not.
For younger kids, I advise against texta because kids draw on EVERYTHING and they lose the lids. Pencils are much easier and you’re not missing lids.
Stickers are also a no-go for me with Ted as she sticks them to everything. If you’re going to do stickers then get the ones that can easily be peeled off and let them use them on the windows.
Card games are another I avoid because you end up playing 52 pick up and losing them under all the seats around you.
Another big no-no is playdoh, you hate it at home for a reason, you’ll hate it on the plane even more!!