We are just over a week out and the scariest part of traveling with children? The flight of course. The fact that you're trapped with nowhere to escape or take your child for time out if it all goes to hell and they meltdown - pretty much guaranteed with CB.
I have no concerns for flying with E, with the ipad, snacks and a few surprise new Star Wars toys, I won't hear a peep from him. C on the other hand ... he's two, a typical two year old with short attention span and is completely egocentric expecting his demands be met instantly or pay the price for his dissatisfaction.
Needless to say, I have researched the heck out of flying with children for tips, tricks and advice. The key seems to be preparing for the worst, accepting that the flight part will eventually end no matter how bad things get and a properly stocked carry-on could be the difference in at least 20 minutes of peace.
I'm going to let them pack their own little Skip Hop backpacks with a few treasurers (nothing too precious for fear of loss) and based on the boys' likes, ages and the trip, my Carry-On(s) is going to look something like this:
- Mini fishing magnetic game - I played this as a child and bought 2 off ebay for $3 - it should buy a good 15 mins
- Pipe cleaners for craft - they take up no space and the boys have never used them before
- Wrapped toys from the dollar shops - maybe mashems or blind bags or cars
- Star Wars micromachines playset for E - it will be a surprise and should keep him occupied for at least an hour (I got a Storm Trooper head set for $7 on clearance down from $35 and have stashed it for the flight)
- Thomas mini trains - maybe ... they take up no room and are fun to zoom around
- Mini puzzles - E loves a good puzzle so I might surprise him with 2 different mini ones - they cost all of $2 so can be given away or tossed if need be
- Snap/fish/memory cards/Magnetic tanagrams/Mini Guess Who game
- Plasticine & mini cutters - C loves playdough so this could be a lifesaver
- Crayola colour wonder books - no mess, I love love love these sets!
- Smiggle triangle crayons - because triangular crayons don't roll (great tip from fellow mums)
- Busy book/quiet book - we have a few of these but they are bulky so might not make the cut
- Ziploc bags - for everything, dirty clothes, snacks, toys, rubbish, you name it (Ikea do great ziplock bags and one box comes with 2 sizes of bag)
- Pullups for C & a change mat & a pack of wipes
- Uniqlo parkas (fold down to nothing & change of clothes which will likely be PJs for once we land and clear customs
- Both ipads loaded with games and movies - S has discovered a hard drive with bluetooth capability so we will just fill this with their favourite TV shows and movies
- Headphones x2
- Country Road blankets - they have both had their CR blankets since birth and I figure they're perfect for travelling being small, lightweight and something familiar from home
- Drink bottles of course
- Child nurofen - goes without saying
- Snacks – fruit pouches, tiny teddies, gummy bears, pre-cooked cheese tortellini, shapes biscuits, skittles/m&ms, baked beans, cereal fruit/muesli bars, strawberries, mandarins, yoghurt buttons, pretzels, frozen yoghurt squeezies, dry Star Wars cereal, cup noodles and Star Wars lollypops for take off and landing (you cant have too much food I figure)