We’ll be packing up our bags…and car seats…and strollers…and heading down to Hilton Head Island soon for a much-needed vacation. For the second year in a row, my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew will be meeting us there, and we’ll all be staying in a rental property near the beach.
But first we have to get there.
Obviously, we’ve never flown with Asa before, as he’s only 11 weeks old. So this will be our first time flying with both boys. Traveling with kids is never easy, but I imagine that traveling with a toddler who can’t sit still and an infant who requires your full attention is harder than, say, two school-age kids.
I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to brainstorm what we’ll need to carry on the plane with us for both kids. Make that planes, plural. We have to connect in Chicago each way.
Two kids plus four planes equals a Hemingway Mojito for me as soon as we land in South Carolina.
Luckily, we flew quite a bit with Levi starting when he was around Asa’s age, so I have a pretty good idea of what to bring on board for them. If nothing else, we’ll need an abundance of diapers and wipes, especially for Asa.
Here’s a tip: Always, always bring more diapers than you think you’ll need!
Stylish baby wipes were never on my must-have list — until now. I’m excited to try new Huggies Clutch ‘n’ Clean Wipes on this trip. Yes, the refillable packages come in three trendy designs, but, more importantly, they feature a strap that can attach to the outside of my carry-on bag.
Between Asa’s frequent diaper changes and Levi’s attempts at potty training (and general messiness), having easy access to our wipes will be so helpful when we’re mid-air. Or when we’re, inevitably, rushing through the airport.
Besides diapers and Huggies Clutch ‘n’ Clean Wipes, here’s what I’m planning to carry on the plane for the boys:
- A change of clothes (or two) for Asa. I like to dress babies in footed pajamas when traveling so I don’t have to worry about socks falling off.
- My nursing cover and several burp cloths for when it’s time to feed Asa. My favorite burp cloth for traveling is this one because it can double as a bib. I also prefer to wear a nursing tank with a cardigan when we fly so I don’t have to lift my shirt and risk exposing my entire midriff to my fellow passengers.
- Extra pacifiers. It’s always smart to have a clean one handy.
- Our Baby K’tan Baby Carrier to wear Asa around the airport since we’ll be checking our stroller, and it’s easier to stash the K’tan under our seat than our larger and bulkier Ergobaby.
- A toy and some art cards to entertain Asa.
- The iPad and toddler headphones for Levi. He gets to watch significantly more TV shows (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Yo Gabba Gabba,” and “Sesame Street”) when we’re traveling because he’ll actually sit quietly and pay attention to them. Whatever works, right? He also likes to play games on the iPad, and Toca Boca has a great assortment of toddler-friendly games.
- A black and white composition notebook that Levi can decorate with stickers and color with crayons. We like these because they won’t roll of the tray table.
- A couple of issues of Highlights High Five. Levi loves flipping through the magazine, and I think the variety of activities in each one will occupy a good chunk of time.
- Snacks, including applesauce pouches, baggies of cereal, and granola bars, plus a non-spill sippy cup that we can fill up at the water fountain before boarding the plane.
Finally, instead of my diaper bag, I use a duffle bag or weekender tote as my carry on. A diaper bag is great for day-to-day use (and I always pack one in my suitcase), but I prefer a larger bag for the plane to fit all of the kids’ travel necessities.
Got any summer vacation plans? What are your essentials for traveling with kids?
PS – The difference between a vacation and a trip, plus three vacation memories.
Thanks for posting about this! I was JUST thinking about this topic. I’m super nervous to travel with our new baby as I’ve never done it and it seems like there is so much stuff that needs to go along with us now as we travel. This is advice is great – thanks!
It looks like you’re pretty well prepared! We’ve recently discovered Melissa & Doug water coloring books and plan to pack those on our next flight. Asa is at a great age for flying (as in: not mobile 😉 ) I hope you have a relaxing vacation! We hope to make it out to HHI to visit my MIL after we make the move. All of the good vibes you have for flying across the Atlantic with a 3 & 1.5 year old this summer is much appreciated!
Especially as our kids got a little older we found that having certain art supplies, or certain special snacks just for travel helped a lot. We do a lot of long car trips, and having parts of that be something special to look forward to made getting them ready to travel easier. And in airports we would do hunts for foil wrapped chocolate eggs (we mostly flew at Easter time) to keep the kids entertained and busy and moving around which was handy during long delays.
Good luck with your trip!