Travelling with kids, a survival guide! Part 2

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My top 5 tips when packing for a flight (with babies, toddlers and children)
Last week I gave you my tips on preparing to fly with kids, I hope you found them useful. This week I will give you my top tips on what you should pack in your carry-on bags. Packing effectively and efficiently will honestly reduce your stress levels at the airport and on the plane.

1. Minimise your carry-on bags
My preference is only one carry-on bag per adult, however if this is not possible then the less bags the better. Let’s be honest, you won’t have time to read a book or put your makeup on before landing, so why bother packing them in your carry-on bag! More importantly, you will be too tired to carry more than one bag while also caring for your child(ren).

2. What to pack
Start by writing a list (yes I love my lists!). You really don’t need as much as you think, so pack your carry on bag, leave it and go back and repack…bet you’ll remove some items!!
Put all electronics and liquids at the top as you’ll need to take them out at customs and you don’t want to be stressing pulling your bags apart! I find using Ziplocs Pastic bags (I know not very environmentally friendly but very practical) so convenient and I love that I can easily see what’s inside the bags.
The essentials are: Passports, visas, itineraries, money, credit cards, nappies, wipes, baby carrier, change of clothes (for everyone), panadol (or something similar), bottle and food. My nappy rule is always pack 3 more than you think you’ll need!!

3. Snacks
Pack snacks that your child is familiar with, that aren’t messy and won’t be confiscated at customs. Purchase those individually wrapped snacks – it’s easier!
Pack empty sippy cups so you can pour juice or water into them rather than the open cups that you get in-flight. And most importantly don’t fill your child with sugar or else you are asking for trouble!

4. Entertainment Pack
Whatever distractions you pack make sure there aren’t many little pieces that can get lost, if you’re bringing markers get the stain proof ones.
I recommend colouring books, sticker books and magnet books and for old kids journals are a great idea. You know your kids the best so take along the kinds of things that will occupy them the most. For long haul flights surprise the kids with little flight treats throughout the flight, it’ll keep them entertained for longer and will help to calm tricky situations. If your child has a favourite stuffed animal or other comforter make sure you mark them somehow with your contact info just in case they get lost!

5. Ipad or similar electronic device
I embrace technology and I have to say the Ipad has been a saviour for me when flying. Load the device with your childs favourite cartoons, programs and games. Make sure the devices are fully powered up and that games on the device don’t need to connect to the internet as this will just cause more heartache!!

Finally try and have fun on the flight make it as enjoyable for them as possible. So what is your favourite item to pack and why?

Liz James lives in Sydney with her husband and two girls. She loves all things to do with travel, food, wine and fitness.
Having spent over 13 years in the corporate world as a Business Analyst and Project Manager, Liz has recently started a business providing virtual assistance and specialist services to small and start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.
If you’d like to know more about Liz and her business visit www.love2assist.com.au

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