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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

As the summer approaches, it pays to think about hitting the road with kids in tow. Every parents know travelling with kids is always an adventure and not always the good kind. But if you want to know the secret to having a smooth trip, pack their carry-ons carefully and strategically.

It’s common knowledge that for many travellers the most annoying part of flying (apart from the lack of legroom) is noisy, crying, whining kids sitting nearby. No one wants to be that parent with a noisy kid on a plane, who can’t sit still, not surprisingly, for hours on end in a confined space.

The worst parts of the journey are when you arrive at the airport and have hours to wait before you board the plane and when you first arrive at your destination and you still need to sort out rooms and check-in at your hotel.

The secret to travelling with kids and not going crazy? The Entertainment Bag.

Each child has one. Each child packs it, carries it and is responsible for its contents while on the trip.


What a seven-year-old might include in his entertainment bag for a trip abroad:

  • Gameboy or other travel gaming device with a handful of games (max. 5 as they are easily lost)
  • Pencil, multi-colour pen, package of crayons
  • Paper notebook that stays in the bag so you can look back at art from previous trips
  • Earphones for playing Gameboy without annoying fellow passengers
  • Earphone splitter, essential for two kids to watch the same film or listening to the same music on a tablet or other device
  • Activity sheets (mazes, dot-to-dot, word puzzles, word searches, drawing assignments, sudoku…)
  • Baby wipes for spills, dirty hands and just about everything
  • Special snack, perhaps something you don’t necessarily allow them to eat day-to-day
  • Special spending money, aka the “souvenir fund”. £5 is a totally appropriate amount

Mom and dad can pack the checked luggage but why not let your little ones pack their own carry-ons? It can be a special rucksack or drawstring bag to be put away between trips. It’ll be their special travel bag for years and is sure to keep them entertained for hours on long drives, transfers and flights.

Family holidays: the recipe for success

What are your tips to travelling with kids? What else should they bring in their carry-on?

Imgs: ma1974, herownroomorrow / Flickr cc.

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