Airplane travel checklist for Toddlers of Different Ages
An easy checklist of airplane essentials for children + activities that work well for both young and older toddlers so you can keep your sanity!
We recently traveled from Iowa to St. Pete Beach in Florida for a family vacation. Each time I travel with both of my kids, it (for the most part) gets easier and less stressful – but it’s ever changing depending on their ages! Below I’ve compiled everything we brought for our flights and all of the activities that actually kept my kids occupied for most of the 3 hour flights (both ways!)
4 Year Old
- Backpack – He carried his own school back pack and it held all of the following items
- Water bottle
- Snacks, lots of snacks
- Amazon Fire Tablet and charger – Charged, loaded with content and games. Shep got this one for his birthday a couple of years ago and it’s lasted so far!
- Change of clothes – For early flights, I always put my kids in COO BABY pajamas the night before and then leave them in them / bring day time clothes for later. I love the bamboo fabric for flights because it’s soft, not itchy, temperature regulating (so it’s great if the plane is hot or cold), and they’re cute 🙂
- Car seat to check under the plane for when you land (if you need it)
- Sanitizing wipes
1.5 Year Old
Even though Scottie could technically get by as a “free” lap child, we ended up finding really inexpensive plane tickets, and so we booked her her own seat, and we brought a lightweight car seat to strap her into. She is so busy and mobile, we knew if she was on our laps for three hours, we’d be screwed. 🙂
All of Scottie’s items went into my large purse tote — which is my carry on for the flight. I have this “diaper bag organizer” that I keep in the tote/purse and it helps everything stay in their own compartments, which is totally necessary.
- Car seat (here’s the exact one we have for travel – it’s great because can be used for either the 1 year old or the 4 year old on the flight + in the car)
- Water bottle / Sippy cup
- Snacks, lots of snacks
- Amazon Fire Tablet and charger – Charged, loaded with content and games
- Headphones (here are the “baby” ones we bought for her – they worked well!)
- Change of clothes – Like I said earlier, for early flights, I always put my kids in COO BABY pajamas the night before and then leave them in them / bring day time clothes for later. I love the bamboo fabric for flights because it’s soft, not itchy, temperature regulating (so it’s great if the plane is hot or cold), and they’re cute 🙂
- Diapers + wipes
- Sanitizing wipes
Toys / Items that both kids were able to play with on the flight
- Both kids have an Amazon Fire Tablet – Scottie is a little young but we queued up Encanto and it kept her occupied for a good 15-20 minutes at a time (a few times)
- This Montessori Busy Board – both kids were into this – which was great – they could swap it back and forth
- This two pack of push pop bubble fidget toys (one for each kid)
- Alphabet Water Cards – This kept Shep occupied for 20 minutes or so – and while we were sitting in the airport, which was a huge win
- I bought two of these pill organizers – it sounds weird, I know, but I put Goldfish snacks in each compartment and the kids loved having to open each section to get their snack. Scottie liked opening and closing this even after the Goldfish were gone
If you want more information on traveling with littles, here’s my post from last year’s St. Pete trip with all the essentials we packed / how we organized when we got there!
Also, here are some photos of the kids in the airport – as you can see – I’m very glad we had lots of activities for some of the lines we had!
I hope this was helpful- if you have anything to add, please leave a comment below!
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