Flying with children is not the easiest thing in the world, and anyone who has flown with children should know. However, there are some things you can take with you in your carry on luggage to help make flying with kids easier.
The following are some tips and suggestions of things to have in your carry-on when flying with children:
1. If the child is an infant or toddler in diapers, the number one thing to have in your carry on is a diaper and wipes. What could make a flight more miserable then smelling a dirty diaper the whole trip? Even if your child is on a strict bowel movement schedule, and that does not fall within the time you are flying, bring diapers anyway. Even if your child did their business right before boarding, bring them anyway. In this case especially, it is better to be safe than sorry.
2. Their comfort item. When flying with small children or kids of any age it is important to understand that while it is exciting, it can also be intimidating and scary. So, if your child has a comfort item, such as a blankie, stuffed animal, pacifier, etc. take it with you in your carry-on bag, and whip it out when necessary.
3. Snacks, drinks, and treats. When a child gets thirsty or hungry, they have little patience, and are not good at waiting in lines, or for their turn. While teaching patience is important, an airplane full of other passengers is not the place to do it. So make sure your carry-on bag has some quick snacks, drinks, and treats to appease your child as they wait for the flight attendant to come to them.
4. Headphones or cash. Most airplanes will have an inflight movie if the flight is long enough to warrant one. So help your child get through the flight by having headphones for them to plug into the arm rest so they can watch. If you do not want to bring head phones, bring cash so you can buy a pair that they offer.
5. A note book. A small spiral notebook will fit into your carry-on easily, and is a great resource for keeping kids entertained on flights. They can draw in it, color, play games such as tick tack toe, or connect the dots, or hang man, or they can write in it as if it is a journal, etc. So, if you are traveling with children of any age, take along a spiral bound notebook.
6. Activities, games, toys, books, etc. Children want to be entertained, and most will not sit still, even on a short flight, if they do not have anything to do. So, one of the things you should certainly pack in your carry-on bag is an item or two to provide entertainment to the kids with. This could be a hand held gaming device for an older child, or a cloth book of baby faces for a toddler. Action figures etc. It does not matter what the item is, as long as it will entertain. You do however want to consider those around you. Would they want to hear the noise the toy makes? Would they want to see this item? Could your child hurt or damage anything with this item? Toys like bouncy balls are inappropriate as there is no where to play with them. Think of that when packing your carry-on.