It’s easier than you think to over-pack or improperly pack your child’s carry-on bag for a flight. You may think you need to put as much as possible in their bag so that they don’t get bored and become fidgety while in the air, but as long as you keep the following things in mind while packing, you should be able to keep them calm and occupied for a few (or more) hours on a plane.
Electronics Only Work if They Have Power
Phones, tablets, and handheld gaming systems can all work great for keeping your child occupied during a flight. These items take up less space than physical books, coloring books, crayons or toys. But electronics require power to stay working, and if you forget to pack chargers and/or batteries you may regret it. Make sure when filling up your child’s carry-on bag that you include charging cables, battery packs, batteries, and even solar chargers if you can. Some airports and airplanes provide outlets for charging that you can use if needed. These may need to be shared with other travelers, though, so it’s always good to have a portable charger.
Don’t Let the Kids Go Hungry
Once upon a time, most airlines included meals or snacks with every flight. Nowadays you often have to pay extra for food or drinks if you want them. In-flight snacks are often expensive, and may not be things your child wants to eat. To save money and to guarantee your child will eat what they are given, it’s a good idea to pack snacks from home in their carry-on. Be sure to include a bit of a variety, such as something salty, something sweet, and something healthy. You should also pack some napkins, paper towels, or wet wipes, so your child can clean up after eating.
Safe Space for Napping
Some people can sleep anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s loud, crowded, or brightly lit, they’ll close their eyes and be out almost immediately. Unfortunately, not everyone has this ability. If your child gets grumpy on planes and needs to take naps, you should make sure they have the best environment possible for that. Pack them a favorite small blanket, an eye mask, and even earplugs. This way they can block surrounding distractions and hopefully get some sleep.