1 PACK LIGHT
OK 'light' is a bit ambitious with children in tow, but after 30 lights with my children I think I have streamlined our necessities just right. You don't need everything in the world and honestly if you can get off and on the plane with minimal bags you will feel way calmer.
2 Pack a Change of Clothes
Imagine the horror of being vomited on minutes after takeoff, on a six hour flight, and realising that you are stuck in your seat in stinky soggy clothes until you retrieve your bags at the carousel! Yep we have learned from our mistake. So be prepared , but remember number one, keep it to the minimum I find leggings and a tee will roll nice and small.
3 Be Smart About Luggage
If it doesn't fit under the seat in front it's going in the overhead locker, this means it could be way down the plane if you are unlicky enough to be seated under the cabin crew lockers or the food store or if the flight is busy, so keep it smallish. Also think about opening your luggage in the small space you have. Big cute hardshell kids cases are fab, but they are a nightmare to open in a cramped plane seat! Check out our short list here
4 Divide and Conquer
Put your stuff in seperate pouches, zip lock bags, pots and purses. That way everything is easy to find and the bags come in handy for rubbish or as a wet bag if needs be.
5 Snacks and Entertainment
These two vital ingredients can ensure your kids are occupied for hours. Remember to pace yourselves though one thing out at a time or you will find yourself in that cinema situation. The popcorns gone and you're not past the trailers!
6 PMT !
Passports, Money, Tickets.... Keep them safe, keep them handy, you are going to need to show tickets, boarding passes and passports several times before you get to your seat so it's nice and easy if they are together and easy to grab, so in a secure front bag pocket or at the top of your bag
This sounds really silly and a wee bit old fashioned but it's handy to have a pen, you may need to fill in an immigration card, write something down, fill in a hotel form. All of this is easier and quicker if you don't have to ask around for a pen.
If you are travelling with young children I find it best to be prepared, earache, teething, headaches it all going to make a small plane very unpleasant if you can't do anything to help. Little bottle or sachets are great and also allowed through customs so long as they are in a clear pouch. Our most top tip for adults and children alike is to pack a pack of Karvol it is a fool proof and amazing way to clear ears that are refusing to pop!
I'm not a great fan of kids using iPads etc but I think there are good uses and suitable occasions. Plane travel is definately one, if you have a tablet of some type or you can borrow or buy one, definately pack it in your hand luggage. Load it up with movies, downloads from bbc I player and suitable apps and games and you can play together for a good chuck of time. I can also highly recommend an earphone splitter bought cheaply from eBay. These mean two or more
Sweets, chews, lollies, whatever you and the kids will enjoy its worth having a little mixed bag of goodies in hand luggage it helps during takeoff and landing with equalising ear pressure. Our favourite are sugar free lollies for the big two and mint humbugs for mummy and daddy.
And this isn't something to pack but an airport tip...
But not so much you miss your flight! There's no need to rush into the plane as soon as the gate opens, infact all you are doing is confining the kids longer than necessary. Let others board first be chilled and then by the time you are sat down it'll be take off time.
For a list of what we carry on board read our packing guide.
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