Packing for a trip can prove a bit challenging, especially when packing for a family. Making sure you have everything everyone may need proves a monumental task, especially when it comes to the flight. To make sure you’re prepared for whatever may arise, follow our helpful guide so you can get the hard work out of the way and sit back and enjoy the trip.
PERSONAL INFECTION CONTROL KIT
COVID-19 changed the way we travel; and while airlines do a lot to ensure your safety, don’t rely on someone else to keep you and your family protected during the entire trip. By arming each member of the family with kits packed with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, you can ensure they have the necessities if and when they need them. And don’t forget the disinfectant wipes! Cleaning crews will give the cabin a cleaning before the flight, but it’s a good idea to give high-touch surfaces like tray tables an extra wipe-down.
Bring along some environmentally friendly, reusable water bottles you can fill in the airport prior to takeoff. This cuts down on plastic waste and ensures everyone stays hydrated during the flight. The drying effects of cabin air do a number on the body, so have everyone drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and fatigue.
A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones prove especially important on longhaul flights. Sleep doesn’t come easily on an airplane; but with a lot of hours to pass as you cross time zones, it may be in your family’s best interest if everyone gets some sleep during the flight. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones will help block out the sounds of other passengers and the background hum of the engine during a flight, leaving everyone relaxed and able to sleep peacefully.
COMFORTABLE SLEEP MASKS AND NECK PILLOWS
Paired with your headphones, a comfortable eye mask and neck pillow will make the elusive sleep much more attainable during a long flight. Try out a variety of neck pillows before the flight to make sure each member of the family finds one comfortable for them. Fun options for kids include playful colors and animal designs that help take the stress out of sleeping in an unfamiliar environment.
Sleep masks for kids available in fun designs like plush unicorns and googly eyes also make the experience more fun for little ones. Opt for thicker, softer masks that will be more comfortable and keep out light better than the ones offered by airlines. For extra relaxation, consider masks infused with lavender to ease you along the way to restful sleep.
Plane rides, especially long international flights, give you a lot of unoccupied time. In-flight entertainment helps, but there is no guarantee it will suit everyone’s varied interests. This creates a recipe for disaster when traveling with children, so bring along books, magazines, comics and fully charged devices loaded with plenty of movies and games for the whole family. Coloring books and activity sets for little ones keep their young minds occupied and entertained, while card games and travel-sized games like magnetic chess and checkers let you add variety to your entertainment plans and get the family to interact during the flight.
CHARGERS FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES
With a wide range of electronics and tech devices that go with us everywhere, chargers and cables for each device prove a must. A handy pouch keeps them all organized and easy to access when you need them.
Long flights generally include meals with a few snacks, but short flights don’t — and what happens when you get a craving in between meal service? And what to do about allergies, picky palates and sensitive tummies? To stave off hangry cravings, pack plenty of healthy snacks to tempt the whole family’s taste buds. It saves on buying expensive airport food and ensures your family doesn’t overload on sugar.
Plane rides have the unfortunate side effect of leaving you feeling grubby and in need of some pampering. Bring along a kit of travel- sized toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant to freshen up in flight and before your plane lands. This helps you keep up with routine hygiene like brushing after meals, especially important when teaching small children the importance of oral hygiene. A little primping during the flight leaves everyone feeling refreshed and ready to go when the plane lands at your vacation destination.
COMFY CLOTHES FOR LAYERING
Packing a few extra clothing items in your carry-on helps everyone maintain a desirable level of comfort. Aircraft cabins, though temperature-controlled, may not be set at a temperature ideal for everyone. No longer does every seat on the plane get its own blanket and pillow for warmth and comfort. These days those luxury items are hard to come by and not always a model of comfort even when available. To ensure everyone in the family has the best chance of being comfortable, pack a lightweight shawl, scarf or sweater that can come on and off easily.
COMFORT ITEMS FOR LITTLE ONES
Traveling can be stressful, especially for little ones out of their comfort zones and thrown off their normal routines. Being confined to a small, cramped space with a bunch of strangers for an extended time isn’t easy for anyone, but to help your little ones cope, bring along a few items from home to put them at ease, such as a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.
Keep your prescription medications with you in your carry-on while traveling so you don’t risk losing them, but also bring along a few basics that may come in handy during a flight. At 30,000 feet you won’t have access to a drugstore; if something like a headache, fever or motion sickness arises, you’ll want to treat it right away.
DON’T FORGET THE INCIDENTALS
If you have an international destination, you might have to fill out customs forms at some point during your trip. While the flight crew will hand out the necessary forms during your flight, they seldom have pens to pass out with them. Don’t get caught off guard; slip a pen into your bag before leaving the house.
Last but not least, don’t forget a pack of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum provides a great way to help combat the effects of cabin pressure changes on the eardrums, which can leave every- one — especially little ones — uncomfortable and miserable until the pressure in their ears stabilizes.
Armed with all the necessities to make the flight comfortable, fun and hassle-free, you and your family will arrive at your destination well-rested and ready to go. Well-stocked carry-on bags let you and your family focus on enjoying the trip and your time together instead of letting the long, uncomfortable hours on an airplane derail your fun.
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