Let me start off by saying that I did not go into this trip feeling easy breezy. I love my children more than anything; they lighten my heart and ask interesting questions and love me unconditionally and say the funniest things but honestly, it is easiest to take a trip without them. Ok? ok. It certainly gets better year by year, but it feels like we are still investing in future trips being better by getting them some experience now. That said, my fondest memories from childhood are trips - camping, drives down to Mexico, weekends away to Palm Springs (all this by car mind you). It was not extravagant or expensive, it was fun to get out of the routine, and I want that for my family, even if it’s hard.
My sister got married in Australia a few weeks ago and I was anxious going into it. Unfortunately, I ride the waves of my kids’ emotions (I’m working on it…), and I knew that them being tired, out of sorts, whiny would pull my overly-sensitive self down with them, so we tried to prepare.
With summer around the corner, I wanted to share a few items we had for the plane, in case you find yourself needing to fill your tool bag sometime soon. At the time of publishing, our daughter is 3 and son nearly 5. The former is a light sleeper, the later loves tv, both are hungry ALL THE TIME so I knew these truths going in. I packed them each a generously filled backpack that had a reusable water bottle, iPad, card games, snacks and two toys from the dollar store I let them pick out a few weeks prior. We also had neck pillows which I’m not sure were necessary because they are so bulky and the plane gives you their flimsy ones anyway which are fine for kids.
The amazon links are affiliated, but all purchases were made by me and I hope you trust I wouldn’t mention it if I didn’t like it.
I don’t mind however you feel about screen time, but I believe it has a time and place, and that place is certainly on a 15-hour plane flight. Since everyone has their own screen on a flight that long, the ipads actually lost out to the novelty of their “own tv” but still, having these apps came in handy when we were sitting at restaurants for wedding festivities and such.
Duolingo (I have to do this language app with my son, so probs age 5+)
Thomas the Train
GAMES + BITS
Zoob Traveler: If you have a lego loving kid, these were great for keeping my older child busy and they come in an easy-to-pack bag.
Melissa and Doug everything: The tape book, water wow deals and felt pad specifically.
Melatonin Chocolates: I bought these from Good Day. They make a kids version too but it’s the same 1mg dose per chocolate, and the kids eat one and adults eat four so it doesn’t really matter which you buy, just alter the dose. Melatonin is natural and harmless. This from Zarbees is the same dosage and less expensive.
Nut Butter packets: All four of us ate these. I can usually find carrot sticks and apples no matter where we go, and having some nut butter to squeeze on makes those things more exciting for my kids. We buy the ones from Justins or Wildfriends has some. Speaking of, the oatmeal and nut butter packs came in handy too and the plane does have hot water available to cook the oats. Most markets have those on the go deals now.
Cut apples and carrot sticks: These can sit for hours without refrigeration and not get weird. I packed them in reusable bags then was able to reuse these throughout the trip.
Coconut Chips: Trader Joes makes a low sugar one near the trail mix.
New Primal Turkey Sticks: they make kids and adults sizes. You obv can get turkey jerky anywhere, but it was nice to have a protein for them since I brought a lot of carbs and that is what the airline offers them too.
I packed myself a salad on the way over. It was mostly composed of the last bits in the fridge I needed to use up, but if you’re planning ahead: these soba noodles, this salad, or these wraps or oh! or the winter salad from SKCC. I made the kids a turkey and hummus sandwich that got consumed before we even took off but whatever.
Dates, pretzels…yes, my entire personal item was full of food