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Tired of Juggling Kids and Carry On Luggage

With a seemingly endless list of 'essentials' required when traveling with young children, it often feels like most of it is needed as part of your carry on luggage.

Once bags are checked in, the mountain of belongings that still remains is daunting for even the most seasoned of travelers. Usually included is a stroller to take to the gate, carry on luggage, nappy bag, handbag, for the independent toddler their own bag (which parents inevitably end up carrying), the list can go on. It is amazing how many parents manage this juggling act. Add to this the needs of young children, many of whom are experiencing air travel for the first time. All this means a potentially stressful experience for all.

We have made these mistakes for you, learned from them, and as part of our family travel secrets, have shared here our three most useful ways to help minimize your carry on luggage.

father at airport with kids juggling luggage

Table of Contents

1. Minimize the bulk

2. Reduce the number of items

3. Luggage and child carrier combined

1. Minimize the bulk

This may go without saying, but once the packing process is underway, it is amazing what is then deemed 'essential' as carry-on. Below is a list of necessities for your carry-on bag when flying with young children. ● nappies and wipes (easily accessible in a zip lock bag) ● new chewable or rattle toy for baby ● baby food, bottle, spoon, bibs ● plenty of snacks, some chewable nibbles, and a drink bottle ● change of clothes (for you and the kids) ● swaddle or blanket ● small travel pillow ● new activities, IPad/earphones (and charger!) Thankfully airlines and airport security are flexible when it comes to food for your baby or toddler. Flight attendants are happy to heat baby food and milk with hot water. For the flying toddler, snacks are crucial. Some airlines offer numerous snack options for young children, but some have absolutely nothing, so plan ahead. Chewable snacks and a drink bottle will help release pressure in the little ears during takeoff and landing, a must to avoid potential pain and screaming. Flight attendants are always willing to fill them, and airport security allows children's liquids through. A comfortable toddler is a happy toddler, so include a light packable blanket and a compact pillow. Most long-haul flights will provide blankets and pillows, but it pays to check with the airline.

2. Reduce the number of items

Airlines are accommodating when it comes to families traveling with small children. They allow all kinds of paraphernalia as carry-on luggage. However, the added stress of numerous individual items may not be the best option. Try packing the non-essentials of your nappy bag in your checked luggage. Consider packing your handbag in your checked luggage and place anything you will need for the flight in the outside pocket of your bag. Unless your toddler is determined and able to carry their own bag/backpack, try to incorporate their belongings into your bag. Busy flights often have limited room in overhead lockers, so avoid having to store items a distance from the seat by having only one bag to consider.

3. Luggage and child carrier combined

Air travel with young children can be a trying time, but there is a way to simplify your carry on luggage while still having all the essentials for a stress-free flight. Compact yet spacious and easy to manoeuvre, TernX Carry on may be the carry on solution that changes your life. Learn more about TernX Carry on.

Brothers waiting at the airport with lots of bags


We have had plenty of learnings and been through a mountain of challenges, all the exhaustion, the sleepless nights, the fear of flying with kids and more... For these reasons we wrote The Travel Book: A Guide To Traveling With Kids for you to share our experiences, to minimize all the stress and anxiety we went through whilst traveling with kids. In this downloadable ebook, we cover:

✔ Saving and budgeting for Your Next Holiday ✔ Tips to Make Any Flight Fuss-Free ✔ How to Help Your Child Sleep Anywhere & Adjust to a New Schedule ✔ Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling with Children ✔ Travel Games Kids Will Love ✔ Plus much more...

The Travel Book: A Guide to Traveling with Kids

Stay well, be well and stay social.

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