Day Pack Packing Tips
Items to have in your “Younger Kids” backpack:
Pack items in a small wheelie bag with a few pockets which can be taken onboard and stored under the seat. Something that is easy for the kids to wheel themselves, but light enough for parents to pick up and carry if required. The pockets make it easier to find everything and for packing up as the kids know where things need to go.
- Comfort item (favourite Teddy, toy or blanket)
- Small pencil case or ziplock bag with: Wind Up Crayons or Retractable Coloured Pencils, children’s scissors & glue stick (for holiday journal pastings)
- Colouring book or Activity book
- Blank paper for drawing
- Stickers to provide hours of entertainment creating pictures
- Sticker Activity Books – kids can do them and then toss away to lighten the load
- Scrapbook – for holiday journal. Write in at the end of each day, draw pictures of the days activities and paste in any items gathered throughout the day such as entrance tickets, postcards or any treasures that may have caught your children’s eye.
- Small tub of Playdough, a roller and a couple of cutters. This is great on planes, no mess and lots of fun.
- Magnetic Create a Scene sets – hours of fun creating stories
- Magnetic Doll Dress Up Sets
- Small Cars, animals or dolls (in zip lock bag or in a backpack small pocket)
- Small transformers (hours of entertainment re-making them into characters/machines)
- Small lightweight books
- Leap Pad or similar electronic laptop/game (preferably one that works with headphones plugged in!). Although this takes up some room and adds to the weight of your luggage, they are really worth the effort with 2-5-year-olds if you are doing a number of long flights, bus or car journeys.
- Portable DVD Player (with headphones) – particularly for car, train or bus journeys.
Tip: Have a supply of mints, lollies or something that children can chew on to help ease ear pain with air travel especially as planes start to descend for landing.
Extra items to have in your big kid’s carry-on:
- Books – a bit of a pain to carry, but if you have an avid reader then it will keep them amused for long periods. (Maybe you could look at swapping them for other second-hand books at your destination to keep a fresh reading supply), or consider an e-book reader or iPad!
- MP3 Player/Ipod
- Electronic Games – Nintendo DS, PSP, GameBoy etc
- Portable DVD player & favourite movies if going on long car or train journeys.
- Most International route airlines have fantastic onboard entertainment systems in each seat these days which keep kids entertained for hours.
Items to have in your carry-on/day pack:
- Surprise Toys. Pick up a few cheap toys at the dollar store and pull them out only in times of need.
- Water/Juice in a spill proof cup or bottle. Get it ready for take-off. This will help your child’s ears. Will need to take empty cups or bottles through airport security areas and then you fill before boarding plane.
- Bottle of water – with a sipper top, less mess & easy for younger kids to drink.
- Small pack of tissues. Buy pack of 6 and put others in main luggage to replenish day pack as you go.
- Pack of travel wet wipes. Double as toilet paper when there is none available.
- Medical items: Panadol (Children’s and Adults), Travel sickness medication, Band-Aids, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent with Deet in it (especially if travelling to high risk mosquito areas), Anti Diarrhea, Demazin type medication for colds, Antiseptic type cream- Dettol or similar, Rehydrator sachets in case you are affected by vomiting or diarrhea and a thermometer. Also any prescription medication you require.
- Doctor’s phone numbers.
- Anti-Bacterial hand gel. Great for all those times there is no water available & to use before every meal.
- Recent photo of your child (in case you lose them in a crowd)
- Small, lightweight sheet/blanket – I find a large flannelette baby wrap is perfect. It is warm enough for those freezing, air-conditioned bus/train/plane journeys and can be rolled up for a pillow and easily squashes into your backpack for those journeys.
Tip – wrap some new surprise items as presents for younger children. This entertains them and takes up some time whilst unwrapping items.
- Sandwiches when you leave home – saves money for hungry kids at airports and also good to have on hand if the airline food is not so appealing to the fussier eater.
- Dried Fruit; apples, apricots, sultanas (eat before arriving as may not be allowed to bring in fruit to your destination).
- Fruit such as apples, bananas, mandarins – need to eat before arrival to avoid any customs hassles.
- Crackers in zip lock bags.
- Muesli & fruit Bars.
- Small water or drink bottles.
- Individual packs of rice crackers/cakes, dried noodles, biscuits (Tiny Teddies etc), rice wheels etc.
- Pack enough snacks to last the first day of travelling and 1-2 days when you arrive in your destination so you don’t have to worry about finding supplies immediately.
- Check with your arrival destination as to any food restrictions on arrival.