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The Carry On: 10 Things I Pack For My Kids On The Plane

The Carry On: 10 Things I Pack For My Kids On The Plane

Just as a soldier going off to war carefully analyzes each item placed into his pack, this is how I prepare my “Kid Pack” for a carry-on.  I overthink and overanalyze everything I place in my “Kid Pack”. I need these items to be useful, light, easy to access, and mostly I need them to work. Let’s face it taking two small kiddos on an airplane can make the most composed person worry.

One of my biggest requirements is more than one use. I pack items that can be used while on the plane as well as on the trip.

Another tip I have learned is I no longer let my kids have their own carry on bags. It never fails, my kids are always excited to have their own bags and five minutes into the airport I end up carrying both of their bags.

I do suggest if your child responds well to deep pressure then having them carry their items in a backpack before the flight would help calm them and decrease sensory overload. These are my tried and true items that make a recurring appearance in my carry on and have proven successful with our family.

*Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve used every single product listed on this page and they all have provided immense value to us. So much value that I am recommending them to you. While I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, it does help offset the cost of continuing to provide valuable content to you.*

1. Tablet

We try to limit electronics time with our kids. However… Flights get to be the exception to the rule. We try to use them only when absolutely necessary and have them pre-programmed with our kids favorite apps and movies.

I keep this quickly accessible because I carry that fear in the back of my mind that Logan will meltdown. Since electronics are limited at our house this is an easy motivator and meltdown deterrent. There are many different tablets that can be purchased.

I am a huge Amazon Prime mom, hey taking kids out to the store is rough, Amazon is heaven sent.  I got both kids these tablets off Amazon they have held up many trips and I have been happy with this purchase. You can purchase a Kindle tablet here:

I also got these shock proof cases with easy kid handles. There are a couple different colors but both my kids have dropped their Kindles in the airport, on the plane, and on the street while in these cases and they were perfectly ok afterward.

You can purchase the cases using the link below, they have a couple different fun colors to pick from. I like the double handles which make it easier for both kids to hold their tablets securely.

2. Lots Of Their Favorite Snacks

Liv loves a good snack or two. Logan, on the other hand, tends to be a lot pickier.  Making sure I have something that he will eat prevents us from running around the terminal before our flight trying to find something.

Apples, grapes, fruit loops, and goldfish can go a long way. Plus I have found that my kids fly better with happy tummies.

3. Window Clings For Plane Windows

Easily found at Target in the dollar section as well as the dollar store. Generally, around holiday times, you can find holiday-specific ones. These can keep our kids entertained for some time also while looking out the window.

They are light, easily packed, and easy to clean up. If you have a hard time finding some at your local stores there are some fun educational ones available on Amazon that are educational and can promote some learning and interaction. You can check them out by clicking here:

4. Small Playdoh Containers

Liv loves play-doh and can entertain herself for a good hour. Once in the air and the tray table down we can roll out the doh and practice our letters or a sizzling snake. I buy the smaller size ones and we only take two.

5. Melissa and Doug Paint Books

Logan loves these books. They come with a paintbrush that fills with water. He paints the page and the picture changes from white to a colorful scene.

Reusable, no mess, no cleanup, and less than 5 bucks, and worth every penny. Amazon has an amazing price on them and I got the double package. You can get it too, by clicking here:

We also throw these in our day pack while we travel, this is just one of the simple books Logan likes and can entertain him if we are at a restaurant and he is a little overwhelmed.

6. Change of Clothes and Warm Socks

Let’s face it kids are messy. An extra change of clothes is always necessary. Logan doesn’t tolerate messes so well so having that change of clothes can come in handy if something were to spill or occur.

During the flight, I dress my kiddos in layers of comfy clothes and warm socks. Logan loves to sit back and kick his shoe off whenever he gets seated. Little sister always follows suit. Flights tend to be cold and warms sock are a must for their little piggies.

7. Lovey Or Blanket

I usually use a lightweight blanket. Liv is a blanket kid and depending on our flight time she may still be clingy or sleepy. Her blanket gives her a little extra comfort and can be used if she naps on the flight. Logan’s lovey is 4 small Super Jet planes.

I can also use the blanket to place over the top of the front and back seat to create a safe area for Logan to decompress if needed.

8. Gum and Lollipops

Gum and lollipops can help with ear pressure while landing and taking off. Once we get on the plane I give my kids a lollipop while my husband and I get everything loaded in the overhead compartments and get everyone situated.

I give both my kids a piece of gum as we are about to take off to help combat air pressure.

9. Headphones

Noise canceling headphone are great especially if your kid is sensitive to sounds, it also can help with changes in the cabin pressure. In addition, there is something about Peppa Pig’s voice that just gets to me.

I love these soft headband style headphones. The kids enjoyed picking out their favorite animals. They are soft, comfortable, easily adjustable, and super cute. They have several different types and you can grab them here:

10. Workbooks And Coloring Books

I love the dry erase workbooks. I get a lot of use out of them while at home and while traveling. It also gives Logan the chance to work on some fine motor skills and a little education while having fun.

Olivia is able to work on letter recognition, fine motor skills, and it is reusable! I have been able to find this in-store at Walmart and Costco, but they were cheaper on Amazon. These are the ones we use, you can check it out by clicking here:

I bring along a small coloring book and twistable crayons. Logan peels the paper off his crayons and makes a mess with them. Twistable crayons prevent the mess and do not break as easily and from Liv chewing on them.

You know your child more than anyone else, my list may be different from yours. This is a great place to start and personalize for your family. I suggest utilizing items that your child enjoys and brings them comfort.

I try to have many different items so I if something doesn’t work I can pull out something else. Sometimes we use only one item, sometimes a couple of items, and sometimes only one item. 

What are some of your successful flight items? Comment below and share your ideas and strategies to get through those sometimes grueling flights.

About The Author

Dana Burriss

I am a mom, a nurse, a wife, a lover of travel, good food, good coffee, and wine embracing the world of travel with my family and the journey of autism with my son, Logan, who always says “Mom, let’s go on an adventure.”

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Run Wild for Autism 2018




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