17 October 2016, by Camilla Harrison

Pre-flight checklist for family

We are preparing to go to Hong Kong and I thought I would do a post on packing for baby / children. I think it would help a lot of families who travel and also as a way to finally document this list – which I continually write on paper and lose every.single.time!

I must say it’s really the packing and planning that requires the most energy. Packing well prepares you for any moments during the travel, so it’s super important. Give yourself plenty of time to organise your checklist.

So for my baby who is almost 1-year old, there isn’t much to plan except to make a trip to the PD to ensure she doesn’t have an ear infection. I do this just for a peace of mind as  I once witnessed a poor baby with an earache on a previous flight, she literally cried for the whole flight. So once that’s done, my essentials for baby are:

  1. Diapers
  2. Wet wipes (lots of it)
  3. A portable changing mat (as I’m sure you will agree planes aren’t the most germ free places!)
  4. Layers to keep warm in the plane
  5. Breastfeeding cover* (if you are breastfeeding)
  6. Ready-to-eat baby food pouches (mine is from Ella’s Kitchen)
  7. Bib
  8. A couple of toys
  9. Baby-carrier to walk the aisles
  10. The bassinet seat (While my children never actually sleep in them it’s a great place to simply play and enjoy a lap free moment!)

*If you are not breastfeeding, bring along a milk bottle and formula milk packed in a container or disposable milk powder bags. The airline should be able to provide hot water.

For my pre-schooler who is almost 4-years old, I like to start talking about the trip to prepare her. This time, she is really excited as we are going to Disneyland! But, in most cases, just telling her we are getting on the airplane is enough to get her looking forward to the trip.  I let her know how long the flight is, how we have to remember to sit still in the beginning (iPad will help with that!) and all the loud noises are perfectly normal.  (Side note: I’m secretly proud about the last one as I have not always been the best flyer *insert image of me white knuckled grabbing my husband with any bit of turbulence here.* But the more research I did and the more I flew, I realised it’s actually super safe and I now actually enjoy it.)

A good plan is to always get to the airport early and have your pre-schooler run around as much as possible in hopes that their energy is drained and they can sleep on the flight!  Packing for her is a bit different:

  1. Her favourite soft toy
  2. iPad loaded with shows she hasn’t seen
  3. A little airplane surprise bag: I shop for stickers, Play-Doh, colouring books and only let her open it when we board. It guarantees 30 minutes of quiet time!
  4. Two bags. One you keep in-front of you and one to store overhead. That way you separate the essentials and give yourself a bit more space.
  5. Some snacks as the airplane food isn’t always great. But keep away from sticky and messy ones! And if you can’t…again, more wipes!
  6. An extra change of clothes and a bag to store them in

We always pack enough in our carry-on bags to last us 24-48 hours or so in case our bags get lost. Don’t underestimate the amount of spills and accidents that can happen as well!

I love booking a maxi cab to take us to the airport. It’s a little tradition we have that always signals the beginning of a trip – in addition to giving us more room.  Getting to the airport early also means you can skip the long lines and get through security.  Regarding security: I find being super prepared myself – ie – not wearing a lot of jewellry, having passports organised helps the children move faster too.  To keep our passports organised, we have recently put a little sticky note on the bottom of each of the passports labelling them to tell who’s passport it is.  The time we spend opening passports to figure out who it belongs to can be a waste of time.

We like being the last to board the plane and the last to leave the plane and have a car meet us at our destination – all stress relievers!

So that’s really it – besides packing the essentials and doing the above, all that is left is to relax and enjoy the trip. I believe many get stressed with travelling but, it can be just as enjoyable as the actual holiday. Just takes some positivity and planning 😉

Here are the two littlies looking perfectly sisterly and serene. Don’t be fooled! I’m sure the trip will bring some chaos but with the help of my above points, it should be a smooth-(ish) trip.


Next Post – Disneyland pictures!

Posted on : October 17, 2016

Filed under : Uncategorized

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