What's in Cally's Carry-on? Cally is our American mom in Sydney, so this is her go-to kit for the 15+ hour flights from Australia to the US (or to practically anywhere . . . let's be realistic, Oz is in the middle of nowhere so any flight is going to need preparation!).
Food & Drink:
- snacks, snacks, snacks. I swear we have gone through half of our snacks before the plane has even taken off. Airlines will usually have a supply of fruit, cheese, and crackers for kids that you can ask for at any time. If your child is particular, I would definitely bring your own. My favorites, that create less of a mess, are rice cakes, fruit snacks, cookies (without chocolate, it just gets everywhere), carrot sticks, rice crackers, cheese slices, some breakfast bars, and dried fruit. The key is to think ahead to what will be the least messy food you can bring.
- bottled water (some airlines make you get rid of whatever you bought in the terminal before you get on, so just ask at the front desk when you get to your gate).
- beverage no-spill sippy cups
- emergency "please stop crying" treat. Usually this is where the fruit snacks come in for us
Cleaning Supplies & Toiletries:
- Clorox wipes (I just read an article that said the dirtiest places on airplanes are the fold down tray tables and personal air vents. Sanitize those suckers!)
- lavender water spray (for the fabric cushion seats). Lavender is a natural anti-bacterial agent. Just add a couple drops of a lavender essential oil to water in a small spray bottles. Plus it smells great!
- hand sanitizer
- hairbrush (and extra rubber bands)
- overnight diapers
- baby wipes
- favorite shows and movies
- any favorite children's books on app. You can look for your favorite series and a lot of the books have interactive "pop ups" while you read the book, or have the program read to your kids (if you're feeling lazy). I have "Curious George Camping" and "Hairy McClarry ShowBusiness".
- LunchBox- it's a monkey game that involves matching and simple problem solving
- Bus HD- it does the wheels on the bus song and you can move different parts of the bus
- Disney's Small World- such a cool app! It goes through the "It's a small world" song and takes you to different places all over the world where you can make the characters move
- Charlie Brown Christmas- seriously, I love this app. It tells stories, you can play games on each page, and it's so sweet
- Elmo ABCs
- Crayola DigiTool FX- drawing, coloring etc.
- Piano Free
- Kid headphones (you can find these at most airports. Ask for the converter piece that lets you plug it into airplane sound systems)
- sleepy-time toy
- slippers (for those bathroom trips when you don't want to mess with shoes)
- change of clothes for each child
- passports, because if all else fails, you just need to be let into that other country and taken somewhere to eat and sleep :)
The most important thing you can pack, though, is the right attitude and energy. If you go into a long flight with the attitude that this will be a fun and exciting adventure, your kids will pick up on that and have the same mentality. Long flights are a mental game on a parent. You just have to put on your game face and look for the special travel moments you can have. No amount of items in your carry-on will determine whether your trip is good or bad, but it does help to be prepared!
What did I miss? What are YOUR carry-on musts or favorite apps and games??