I sometimes may come across as a know-it-all, especially on the travel front; but travelling has become my thing!
Well... our thing.... as a family of 4!
I have travelled: alone with the kids, with the husband, and with my parents (!) on flights ranging from 45 minutes to 11 hours. We've done direct flights, and flights with single and double layovers...and we've done this ONE HUNDRED times (or well I stopped counting after that, in the past 3 years between us...with the stamps to prove it!
To defend my self-proclaimed 'traveller know-it-all' title, I have been traveling since my first baby was just 6 weeks old, and then when my second baby was a mere 3 weeks old I took the 7 hour flight sitting alone with him and the 21 month old by my side...! Since then it's been plain sailing!
Today...I share with you my secret...
the life-hack that gets me through these journeys...
Here are the contents of my typical hand luggage that I have with me for a flight or a weekend staycation (my boys are aged 2 & 4). I don't necessarily carry all these items with me at the same time, it all depends on the journey particulars. On night time flights I tend to carry less, longer day flights tend to have more activities (and snacks!)
I did have the Trunki, but I matured to an actual hand luggage! When travelling with two young kids, a backpack is easiest to carry. I chose one from Paperchase that had many pockets and a bottle holder of course. The pockets are essential to separate snacks from toys and everything else in between, I always have a backpack when traveling on a plane as you can keep the bag under the seat in front of you, rather than overhead with normal hand luggage. Having quick and easy access to my go-to bag is absolutely important to stay sane!
- Mini Whiteboards:
I do not embark on any journey without two small whiteboards and marker pens with me! They dont take up a lot of room, and your little ones are able to wipe and start again whenever they wish! No refills and with different coloured pens, endless hours of fun!
- Building blocks:
I carry non-branded ones as blocks are so easy to lose (Duplo are the best of the bunch) I store the blocks in separate ziplock bags for each of the boys (to avoid arguments!) They can be clunky as they can take up a lot of room, so if I don't carry them onboard, I use them in the hotel room.
- Etch - a- Sketch:
Much like the whiteboards, the etch-a-sketch takes up little room, and is fun for kids to doodle, and when they're done they can just wipe the board clean and do it all again.
- Crayons, notebook, colouring book & stickers:
On most journeys, I carry a small notebook, with crayons and stickers, not only is it great for the actual journey but a great way to keep the kids occupied too, whilst waiting around for boarding.
- Magformers: These are quite expensive, BUT the kids love them, and I know it can keep them busy for hours. I store them in a large clear pencil case, once again I have two packs of them, they take up far less room than blocks so can easily be stored in our flight bag. Magformers are great for creativity, fine motor skills and group-play.
- Playdough and cutters:
My boys love love playdough, so no bag of mine would be complete without it. I pack small 20g tubs in a clear make up bag, as well as a few cutters and rollers too. This can keep my boys occupied for a long period of time, and because the tubs are so small there isn't a lot of mess/clean up required after. No brainer.
Yes iPads, plural. We have two. One each for the boys. Each iPad is loaded with their current favourite movie and TV shows. So for Yousuf, today that is Trolls, and Eesa it's Toy Story 3. I also download a selection of their favourite shows via Youtube apps. The iPad is a saviour, I won't lie.
These 8 go-to items will make your life so much easier when travelling. Try them out!
There are sometimes a need for a little extras to make the journey more comfortable, apart from the obvious (nappies, wipes etc) I carry the following to make every journey as comfortable and smooth as possible for the kids and us! Check out my little extras here
If you're looking for ways to keep younger children/babies occupied then check out my other post on baby essentials, click here.