10 Travelling Essentials for Young Families

In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be embarking on a trip from Papua New Guinea to Sydney, Australia. I’ll be travelling alone (one way) with my 3 children. I’ve been thinking about the travelling essentials – especially for my carry on, since I’ll have my hands full.

Here are some travelling essentials for your carry on when you’re travelling with children:

1. Passports & other important documents – Since I’m travelling internationally, the passports are definitely essential. I also need my plane tickets and hotel and car rental information handy.

2. Diapers – I use cloth diapers at home, but I think I’ll take the pathway of least resistance and use disposables on our trip. I will be sure to have a few extra in case we have a delayed flight or lost luggage.

3. Wet wipes and toilet paper/tissues – I rarely go anywhere without toilet paper in Papua New Guinea. It comes in handy for many circumstances when I travel as well. Wet wipes are a travelling essential if you’re travelling with children who are bound to end up with sticky fingers.

4. Plastic bags -If something gets wet or soiled, you’ll be glad you have a plastic bag to put it in. Just stuff a couple of those plastic shopping bags in the bottom of your carry on; they don’t take up hardly any space or weight.

5. Small Toys/Books – I don’t want to take a lot of toys in my carry on, but I may take a couple of things to help keep my children entertained on the flight. It seems like the children are usually entertained by things on the plane instead of the toys I pack anyway.

6. Extra change of clothes – In case of lost luggage, a spill, or an unexpected diaper blowout, it’s nice to have a change of clothes (or at least a shirt) for you and your children.

7. Valuables – Cameras, laptops, and other valuables shouldn’t be checked. I don’t plan to take a laptop, but I need to remember my camera to help capture some memories of our family vacation.

8. Money – It’s best to carry your cash with you instead of packing it in your checked bags. In my case, I will have PG Kina and Australian dollars that I need to keep close to me.

9. Novel – I don’t think I’ve ever been able to read on an airplane since I’ve become a mother, but I’ve always enjoyed a good read on the plane at previous stages of my life. If you have free hands, I highly recommend entertaining yourself with a good book.

10. Contact solution and prescription medication – You’ll be so glad you took these things carry on if you end up at your destination and your checked luggage doesn’t meet you there.

I’m hoping I can get these things in my carry on backpack without it being too bulky or heavy. I’ll probably let my 4-year-old take her own backpack, so she’ll be able to take a few of these essentials off my hands.

Am I missing anything essential in my carry on?

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