Carry-on Packing List for Flying with Kids

Does anyone else also get excited about flying? Well, I have flown a number of times but it still exciiiiites me. Not really sure if it is the flight, the airport or the escapade or all of it! Believe it or not, I even enjoy the preparatory elements of travelling – packing my bags, choosing travel outfits, etc. (crazy!! I know!)

Well, when you travel with a kid, you end up carrying a subset of almost everything that the kid owns 🙂 From clothes to diapers to their favourite toys to the food they like to eat.. you end up carrying a lot more than what you used to carry. (Adios, light travelling days!)

Remembering things to pack is something which I am not really good at. So, I usually keep noting things down in my phone, as and when I remember. With time, these scribbles have shaped up into full-fledged packing lists. These lists help me pack quickly without having to scratch my brains too much! I feel these lists will be useful for anyone planning to travel with a kid.

So, sharing one such checklist with you today. It basically has all the items which you may choose to carry in your hand baggage when travelling with a kid. I have attempted to make it exhaustive so as to suit most kids, you may pick and choose items based on your kid’s liking, duration of the flight, space/weight constraint, etc. You can even print this list.

So, here it goes:

One thing which is more important than any of the above things is to – carry loads of PATIENCE. Remember that you are travelling with a KID! They will feel constrained sitting at one place and may get fussy / upset / super excited / screamy or all of it in on a short 1-hour flight as well! This is completely NATURAL. Please do not get stressed or anxious. I assure you that it’s not just YOUR BABY who cries or runs around. We all have been there so just take it easy!

Some final thoughts:

  1. Feed your infant baby during take-off and landing. For older kids, give them a candy to suck on. The swallowing will help prevent that uncomfortable ear popping.
  2. You would have noticed “Toy – new” in my list above. This has been a saviour for us on many occasions since a new toy is the easiest thing to keep them occupied.
  3. Don’t fret about the screen time on flights (especially during take-off/landing/turbulence). At times it’s better to have them sit patiently watching their favourite show than struggling to make them sit peacefully minus the screen.
  4. On occasions that I have travelled alone with Junu, I have found the cabin crew, fellow passengers to be very helpful. All you need to do is ASK FOR IT. Also, parents with infants can skip queue. This is something we really really miss now 😀
  5. I usually wear something comfortable on long haul flights. Lounge pants with pockets and slip on shoes work best for me.
  6. Baggage weight does not include stroller and car seat. So, you need not worry about excess weight because of these.
  7. We feel night flights work better for long hauls with Junu. He usually sleeps off for most part of the journey. What we do on such days is, we do not put him to sleep at his usual time. We wait and let him sleep off naturally. Most of the times, it is on the ride to the airport or just after take-off. So, it works well for us.
  8. Every airline has different provisions, and it is really important that you know what your airline can offer and what you need to carry. Some flights provide bassinet / baby cot. So, find out beforehand. Also, research on the travel rules of the place that you are going to. Car seats are mandatory in many countries. So, you might be better off carrying your own than renting it out there.

Hope you will find my list and tips useful on your next travel. Do let me know, if you found any important item missing. Will be happy to add…

The airport look 🙂


  • Ramkumar | Oct 6,2017

    Very thoughtful and useful

    • momdadtravels | Oct 30,2017

      Thank you so much!

  • Shreya Nitin Narke | Oct 6,2017

    Hey Esha. …superb stuff…will be helpful to new moms like me…keep writing and posting fab pics…do visit us once u guys are in nag purchase. .

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