I often find myself amused when I read what celebrities pack in their hand luggage;
‘A chic cashmere blanket’
‘Organic Face Mist’
And when I say amused, I really mean envious. I want to be wafting around in a cashmere blanket, snorting essential oils and slathered in a face mask. Instead I’m usually covered in something sticky (medicine, vomit, juice) and sitting on vast amounts of crumbs. As your kids get older, it’s easy to become more complacent about what you pack. No nappies, no bottles, no teething snacks. But you still need stuff. The trick is not to overpack or you’ll never find said ‘stuff’ but always, always have the following essentials in your hand luggage, no matter how old your kids are:
- Baby wipes (my favourite are Pampers New Baby Sensitive). These are just brilliant and the only thing that will clear up that juice mess (I’ve actually stopped allowing my kids having those stupid plastic juice pots as they always spill them). You can also up the ante and bring dettol wipes to wipe down the table, chair etc as planes are full of germs.
- A change of clothes. Doesn’t need to be a whole outfit but bring a versatile top that could fit all your kids.
- Plastic bags. From vomit covered clothes to a leaky medicine bottle, plastic bags are indispensable.
- Comfortable flying paraphernalia. The Fly Tot inflatable flight cushion was a real game changer for us in 2015 and my kids love to stretch out on it. We also love the Travelsnug and I cannot live without my J-Pillow, especially when my kids are sprawled out all over me and I have very little space.
- Snacks. For you, for them, for the whole family. Food fixes everything from a tantruming toddler to a sleep deprived adult who wants to drown their sorrows in a tub of Pringles. Now my kids are older, I had stopped packing as many snacks. But I’ve realised that you can’t rely on decent plane food, or an airline providing a substitute snacks if you missed the meal. Try to pack healthy snacks – my favourite is home made popcorn. There’s a great list here