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What to pack in your flight carry-on luggage

Packing for a holiday, especially with kids, can be stressful at the best of times. How do you bring everything you need and what should you take in your carry-on luggage on the plane? 

When flying with kids, it can be tough for parents to decide what they should take onboard the flight. To help take some of the mental load off of you we have put together a list of essentials for your carry-on luggage, that will hopefully cover the adults and the kids. You should always check with the airline before you travel how many and what size bags you can take.

Items to include in your carry-on luggage

Water bottle

Just to stop everybody feeling too thirsty. A collapsible water bottle that can be filled after going through security or several small ones in your carry-on luggage should help to keep everybody hydrated and quiet during your flight. If you are taking liquids onto a flight, containers must hold no more than 100ml.


If you pack your medications in your hand luggage, there is less chance of them getting lost, especially if you have prescription medication. In addition to your prescription meds, pack any over-the-counter medicines you might want during your flight such as Calpol. You’re allowed to carry essential medicines of more than 100ml in your hand luggage, including liquid dietary foods and inhalers.


Keep your phone/tablet charger with you in your carry-on luggage in case your phone needs a quick boost, especially if all the information you need to get from the airport to the hotel is saved on it. Your kids may also be wanting to watch something or listen to some music, so it is favourable to keep a charger with you.

mum on an aeroplane with a baby

Important documents

Without a doubt you will want your purse, passports and any tickets in your carry-on luggage. It is also a good idea to print out tickets, directions, and itineraries that you’ve stored on your phone just in case.


If you have the opportunity to relax a little you may want a book or a magazine for yourself. For the kids, you could give them a tablet so they can watch some cartoons, some small colouring books with some crayons or a sticker book will also keep them busy for a while.

Underwear/change of clothes

Keep a change of underwear just in case and maybe some lightweight clothes. It is always good to be prepared in case something gets split or a kid has a little accident. A sweatshirt or hoody will help keep you feeling cosy in a chilly aeroplane cabin.

Wet wipes and nappy bags

Wet wipes are so handy for not only cleaning sticky hands and dirty faces, but you can also use them to wipe down the tray table too. And nappy bags are brilliant as little rubbish bags. Plus wipes are useful just for making you feel a little bit fresher after the flight.


Nobody likes to feel hangry so pack some dry, non-perishable snacks such as cereal bars, biscuits, small packets of crisps or maybe some dried fruit or fruit winders. This should keep hunger at bay and will be a boredom buster too. When travelling with a baby, you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey.

If you are heading on your holidays, have a fabulous time and don’t forget to check ahead with your airport if there is anything that you are unsure about taking on board.

How did I do?

If you liked this post, have a look at my Travel Section for other ideas for UK family holidays and days out. These might be handy:

Or if you’ve got something booked but can’t face the packing, check out this helpful list – Packing List For Babies and Toddlers. And if you fancy a giggle but still on the subject of UK family holidays, read this – Five Ways A Holiday Is Never The Same After Kids. If you STILL want more after that head over to my Mum Life section for funny rants about all sorts of parenting things. And if you’re local to me in Plymouth, keep up to date with the latest in my Local Stuff section.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

If you like what you see, how about you check me out on Pinterest Instagram and Twitter too.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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