The packing, ironing and cleaning prep for holidays seems never ending. Then when all that is done you have to think about flying with the kids…the dreaded plane journey!

Having travelled with my kids from when they were 8 weeks old to 3 1/2 years old, numerous times, we have picked up some top tips for travelling long and short haul on the plane.

Here are my top tips:

  1. Pack a change of clothes for yourself as well as baby for the plane journey – nothing worse than sitting in a t-shirt covered in spew for 8 or more hours!
  2. For spare kids clothes, roll the trousers, t-shirt, pants and socks all together and then you can find them easily and pull out a complete outfit in one.
  3. Lollies/dummies and bottles for take off and landing – to help those little ears. Non spill sippy cups are great for toddlers for obvious reasons and they also have to suck them which helps with their ears.
  4. Let your toddler have their own hand luggage full of toys – a back pack size will do – this frees up your own hand luggage so you are not rummaging through toys to get to important documents – they also think it’s fun.
  5. Got a stop over or late night landing? Pack pjs a few nappies/sleeping bag and first outfit needed for the next day on top of all their clothes so you don’t have to rummage through the bag when you are overtired and jet lagged.
  6. Activity books for toddlers. You can buy small and thin activity books for toddlers, which have colouring in and maze games, spot the difference etc for a couple of dollars. Keeps them entertained for a while and still. Where’s Wally and similar pictures are also great.
  7. Dress in comfy clothes with easy layers. For a baby that means pjs with bottom fastenings so you don’t have to strip them completely to change them. For you, toddlers and other children, wear trousers without buttons that will dig in over time and feel uncomfortable.
  8. If you can hack it – don’t wear make up! You will actually look better without smudged mascara and patchy blusher the next morning – a small bottle of moisturising lotion can help your skin feel fresh and hydrated the next morning.
  9. Kids safety belt – you can buy these online. They act as a safer restraint for young kids and attach to the original seat belt; it can also help younger kids stay more upright in the seat without parental support.
  10. If formula feeding, as soon as your baby has finished its bottle, ask the air hostess to rinse it well and refill with boiling water – then you don’t have to pack as many bottles and the water should be cool enough in time for their next feed.
  11. Probably the best tip is to use a big see-through plastic travel/make up style bag to use on the plane for the kids – put nappies/nappy bags/bottles/dummies/small toy/medicine in there – then when you are ready for take off and throughout the flight you can instantly find then things when you need. It’s quick and obvious to see what is in the bag and where it is.
  12. Try not to pack too much – kids can wear PJ’s more than once without them being washed – if you are worried pack a small hand wash bottle for clothes you can wash pants/socks and PJ’s in the sink and dry them in the sun.
  13. Pack snacks for babies and toddlers, sometimes the kid’s meals are not to your child’s taste, nothing worse than a hungry toddler or baby on board. Try to limit sugary things unless you want them bouncing down the aisles.
  14. Pack medicine – whether it is panadol/allergy or re-hydration sachets – just in case a bug or unknown allergy strikes.
  15. iPad/Phone with apps – love or hate the idea of kids using technology there are so many educational games you can download as well as movies – it’s a good hours worth of entertainment and if it kills an hour or two I’m all for it!

Hopefully one or two of these will prove useful for your journey.  Enjoy and safe travels!

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Please share in the comments below.

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  • Oh if only this was something we could do now.


  • Wonderful ideas, thank you for sharing.


  • Great comments love tip10.. saves having to carry too many extra bottles and plus bottle is clean n ready for next feed.


  • We use all of these tips. Travelling with 4 kids under 5 can be very stressful but as long as I have snacks for them and they have activity books, toys and iPad then their generally really good. I like the tip on rolling up spare clothes all together.


  • This is a very comprehensive list – I’m sure it will help many parents.


  • The one listed at number 2 is something we always do, not just for the kids either.


  • We also found sticker books great as no pens to lose or break.


  • Thank you for the helpful tips.


  • I’d add to bring a carrier if your children are still young enough to fit in one, they were our saviour when we traveled. And also a lightweight pram, our daughter slept in hers when we were walking around the airport and when she wanted to be carried or walk we could put our carry-on luggage in there.
    I’d also say, with the toys, books, etc you bring it’s great to wrap them up because then your child will need to take the time to examine the “gift” before they have to unwrap it and finally start exploring whatever you’ve given them.
    Good list though!


  • Here’s a few more if you are worried about how your child will behave on the flight!


  • So glad this article I wrote is proving useful – if it helps just a tiny bit that’s great – wishing everyone a safe journey and…..good luck! (It’s never as bad as you think really!) he he.


  • great tips I found this very helpful.I Will be flying with my daughter for the first time next year so I will make sure I read this before we go!


  • Fantastic advice. Haven’t flown with our toddler yet


  • fantastic article, ill def save it for later thanks


  • Great advice and I would add that for the 5 to 12 year olds, have some chewy lollies, gums or such like to stop their ears from being affected too. Also a hankie with Vaseline generously rubbed on it can also help with popping ears. We had extremely bad weather leaving Cairns one year, and just about everyone on the flight was affected – the Vicks and gums came in very handy that day.


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