Carry On For Kids

We often choose to travel with carry-on luggage only.  The risk of the airline losing my luggage makes me nervous, and no one wants to be around me when I’m anxious and grumpy!  There’s also the matter of unloading your luggage from the car, carting it into the airport, waiting in line, picking it up, heaving it off of the baggage claim carousel, lugging it to your hotel, and then doing it all again in reverse. Whew!  It’s not so tough on me when my super-strong husband is around to do the heavy lifting but it’s another thing when I’m traveling solo with the five-year-old.  I need both hands-free to keep up with her!

One way we have found to manage all of the luggage when traveling is to have Anna carry all of her own stuff.  She helped pick out her bags and plays “we’re going on a trip” at home.  She packs her own backpack with anything fun she would like but she has to prove to us before we leave that she is willing to carry it the entire time herself.  Things we usually include in her backpack.

  • A thin blanket or scarf.  I prefer the Aden and Anais brand.
  • A few stuffed animals.
  • Tablet preloaded with movies and headphones.
  • Snacks.
  • Empty water bottle to fill up after going through security.
  • SipSnap silicone lid for airplane cups and an extra stainless steel straw.
  • A few small toys or crayons.

All of her clothing goes in the rolling suitcase.  For this trip, we also added pool floaties and a Bubble Bum booster seat for the car at our destination.

With Anna managing all of her luggage herself, I can carry all of my own on as well.  And her suitcase is light enough that I can pick it up if needed for those extra long airport walks.  Most of the time she’s pretty proud of her luggage and won’t let us touch it!  Packing and traveling are life skills we started teaching her at a young age.

How do you make flying with kids easier?

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