This is a guest post by Linda Andersom from Mums on the Go
You are travelling on a crowded plane with two small children. Your toddler manages to spill juice all over the front of his clothes only seconds before your baby pukes on hers. You are rummaging through your carry-on bag with one hand, trying to find some wipes and spare clothes for them both. Unfortunately, what you thought was a neatly packed bag this morning, resembles utter chaos as your toddler has already rummaged through it on the plane looking for his favourite toy. The kids are crying and you wish you were anywhere but on this plane right now. Does any of this sound familiar? I have travelled a lot on planes with my children and have discovered that some extra organising of what it is in my carry-on luggage makes a huge difference in those crazy mid-flight moments.
Here are a few of my sanity saving packing tips:
NAPPIES AND WIPES:
I always make sure I have more than enough packed to cover travel to the airport, the flight itself and the travel to accommodation. I split my supplies into two compartments in my carry-on bag:
- My b.box which contains 2 nappies, some wipes, 2 “stinky nappy” plastic bags and a change mat. This is easy to find in my bag and perfect to just grab hold of with one hand on the way to the toilets when a nappy change is required.
- A large zip lock bag with the extra supply of nappies for the day prevent them falling out in my bag and makes them easy to find when I need them.
Depending on the length of trip, I will always carry a spare change of clothes and sometimes even two for each child. However, you want it to be as easy as possible to get your hands on them when you need them.
- I have a supply of large zip lock bags. Each child’s clothes goes into one bag. You could also label the bags to make it even easier to tell which clothes belong to whom (helpful if asking your husband to find the clothes!)
- Having clothes in zip lock bags achieves a few useful things: keeps them together and easy to find; prevents them getting wet/dirty if something else spills in your bag; easy to see what is in the clear zip lock bag, which prevents opening lots of things when looking for the clothes.
- Pack light weight, non bulky clothes, as the spares to minimise the space they take up.
Endless supplies of snack food are my lifesaver on planes. Snacks create a distraction on take-off when my youngest does not want to be buckled in on my lap; ensures kids eat something during the flight because they rarely eat the meal provided on the plane; and, of course, may contain a very useful bribe or two!I pack the snacks in a clear takeaway container, which allows kids to choose what they want without any rummaging. Keeping it all in one container also ensures it is easy for me to find with one hand!
TOYS AND BOOKS:
- I use the same principal as when we camp… Keep them small (but not tiny) and multi-purpose. Kids have wonderful imaginations so let them use it.
- I always have a few new things packed as a surprise, such as stickers, new colouring book or small toy.
- If you are willing to hand them over to your kids iphones (on flight mode), iPads or portable DVD players can be worth their weight in gold.
Next time you travel try out some of these tips and hopefully the journey will be easier and more enjoyable for you.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR PACKING WHEN TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN?
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Linda Anderson is the founder of Mums on the Go (www.mumsonthego.com.au) – a directory of child-friendly businesses that help mums look after their own needs, even when they have kids in tow. Linda is Mum to two gorgeous girls and has her third baby on the way in August. For more helpful hints on travelling with children, visit Mums on the Go and connect on Facebook and Twitter.