We just got back from a family holiday to Los Angeles.
That’s right: we spent 26 HOURS stuck in an aeroplane with an almost-2-year-old child.
Travelling with a toddler is NOTHING like travelling with a baby, but it is completely do-able. Don’t postpone that well-deserved family holiday till your kids become teenagers!
So get ready! Here is what you should try to pack for a toddler on a 13 hour flight.
Entertainment & Toys
Some airlines provide a toy or craft set to kids, but you cannot count on it for a long haul flight. Pack new entertainment and toys to keep your little one occupied and preserve your sanity.
I budgeted AUD$50 for stuff to entertain the Little Mister. You’d be surprised what stores like Big W, Target and KMart have to offer.
We ended up getting:
- A colouring book with a set of crayons – $4
- A sticker book with stickers – $4
- Two matchbox cars – $5 each
- A new storybook – $8
- Matchbox Pop-Up Rig truck – $9
- Lego Duplo My First Plane – $7
- A Finding Dory MashEm – $5
We had also been gifted a tube of plastic dinosaurs ($3) and another friend generously gave us the Little Mister’s birthday present (a set of mini Thomas the Tank Engines) early.
I even wrapped each item (even the individual dinosaurs!) to stretch the discovery for the Little Mister. It helps his motor and problem-solving skills, trying to rip off the wrapping.
I also recommend:
- loading up a device with your kid’s favourite shows
- purchasing headphones suitable for children
Food & Milk
While most airlines provide kids meals, it does not hurt to provide a little familiarity and variety. This is especially important if your child has dietary restrictions and you’re not sure if the airline can accommodate.
Snack sized ziplock bags are perfect for holding a handful of your toddler’s favourite treats:
- Small pieces of fruit (how about grapes and apple slices?)
- Banana chips
- Arrowroot biscuits
- Graham crackers
If your toddler is still drinking from a bottle, don’t forget to pack it! I put individual servings of formula powder in small sandwich ziplock bags in our carry-on. If you are super prepared, you can request for free toddler formula samples.
And of course you should not forget the essentials.
- Changing pad
- Pyjamas (especially if you’re on a night flight)
Let’s start packing
Backpacks are a great option, but most toddlers won’t carry one for very long and Little Mister is no exception.
Even the smallest suitcase on wheels is still too big for the Little Mister to drag behind him.
Instead we got a Trunki at a David Jones using credit card points.
These ride-on suitcases are perfect for:
- hand-carrying on the plane
- getting your kid to ride it through the airport
- holding your kid’s stuff for the plane ride (and a spare set of clothes)
The Little Mister loved riding his Trunki through the airport as I pulled him along. Carrying or chasing after him became less of an issue, thanks to the suitcase.