Do you have older kids? Knowing what to put in their carry on can be tough. You want to make sure it’s stuff that they will use, but ensure the bag isn’t too heavy because you don’t want to end up carrying it. We take the guessing game out of it with this carry on packing list for kids.
Carry On Packing List for Kids
I have two preteens whose interests change so fast my head spins and I feel like I’m drowning more often than not. I swear one day my daughter was playing with Littlest Pet Shop and the next it was makeup tutorials on YouTube. With them growing up right before my eyes, knowing what to pack in their carry-on can be overwhelming. But after many flights, I think I’ve finally come up with a good strategy to keep them entertained on long flights.
My kids have overly sensitive ears. On my son’s first flight ever he cried each time we took off and landed because of his ears hurting. Then I learned about EarPlanes and we’ve never had that issue again.
2. Portable Battery Charger
With all the electronics kids carry around nowadays – this is a MUST! We’ve been to some airports with no place to charge our stuff and others where it’s a sport to see which passenger can get there first. Making sure you have a charged portable batter is a lifesaver.
This one is pretty obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve forgotten them. The key is to make sure you pack the right ones for each kid. My daughter insists earbuds are the only way to go while my son has to have over the ear headphones.
4. Tablet/Cell Phone
YouTube may not be available, but we download shows or movies from Netflix. Plus, they use it as their e-reader with the Kindle app.
5. Handheld Video Games
This is for my Monster. He loves his video games and this will keep him entertained for a hour or so. Especially, when I surprise him with a new to him game for his Nintendo 3DS.
6. Crossword puzzles, Word Finds, ect.
Keep their minds active with crossword puzzles, word finds and sudoku. My kids take turns with each finding a word and whoever finds the most “wins”… Not sure what they win, but I do know they both are sore losers.
My kids whine when bored, so I may be guilty of letting them eat their boredom on flights. If nothing else, it gives me some peace and quiet for a little bit.
Our go to snacks include:
- Fruit snacks
- Small bags of chips
- Granola bars
8. Hand Wipes and Tissues
Planes are full of germs and kids are messy no matter the age. I always carry wipes in my purse but like to pack a travel pack in the tweens bags. This saves me from having to dig mine out every time they need one.
The Dollar Tree is my best friend when getting ready for a trip. I love the travel size packages of hand wipes and tissues, especially the ones with the Disney and Marvel characters on them.
9. Coloring Pencils and Paper
Move over crayons – it’s time for color pencils! I don’t know if it’s just my kids, but they became “too old” for crayons when hitting their preteens. It’s all about color pencils these days. My daughter will draw and color for hours, so I always make sure there are new color pencils and a pad of paper in her carry on.
My kids enjoy reading, but usually only when grounded or their electronics have dead batteries. Unless they have a new book, that is. My son loves Diary of the Wimpy Kid and Middle School Years while my daughter likes The Warriors series and the Twilight series.
11. Travel Games/Playing Cards
Playing cards on the plane can keep kids entertained, especially when they are winning. Uno is a family favorite along with Phase 10 and a pack of playing cards.
12. Comfort Items
A favorite “plush” and a blanket are always a must when traveling. They may be older, but when it comes to relieving the stress of a long travel day and being away from home nothing works better than a favorite plushy.
13. Just For Girls
Moms of preteen girls have to always be prepared. We never know when “Aunt Flo” will make her first visit and once they start, young girls are rarely good at keeping track of their cycles. So, I make sure we are prepared at all times. that includes packing an extra pair of pant, panties and a ziplock bag for those little accidents.
Plane rides lead to big adventures, but the journey to get there can be exhausting. With this carry on packing list for kids you’ll be prepared and hopefully avoid hormonal meltdowns. Click here for a PDF version you can print off.