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Carry-On Essentials When Travelling With Children

It doesn’t matter which class you’re travelling in or how quickly you glide through check in, if you are travelling with children it’s the carry-on essentials that can make or break your in-flight experience.

The mums and mums-to-be on the Citizen Femme team are seasoned travellers, who regularly fly all over the world with children – from babies to teenagers – in tow. Here’s what’s in our hand luggage when travelling with children.

For babies and toddlers


I have a newborn and a toddler and before having them – rather unknowingly of the extra baggage required – was adamant I would keep up my travelling lifestyle. My husband and I have managed to keep it up, and have taken our daughter all over the world. Although we can’t keep her still on a plane, we have managed to get the packing element down. Firstly, our foldable Joolz Aer pram was absolutely essential when she was younger; we wouldn’t go anywhere without it. It’s easy to open and close with one hand and fits perfectly in the overhead locker. With a newborn in tow now too, my Artipoppe is my number one accessory. It looks good, plus it’s comfortable to wear for me and for the baby. The toddler requires endless snacks, not always to eat, but definitely to hold, and a sippy cup. She loves to draw so pens and paper and a couple of sticker books are a big help too. And let’s not forget the trusted tablet with some pre-downloaded Cocomelon and Peppa Pig, along with her own headphones.


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For Young Children


My children are two and five, and snacks are probably top of my carry-on essentials list. I always carry an assortment with me from veggie crisps to biscuits – and then when things turn bad I bring out sweets. Having a lollipop or two in your back pocket will be the saving grace you never knew you needed! Stickers are a big hit too: my girls are obsessed with them, and finding a book that has lots of little stickers is amazing entertainment. Dejeco have a great range of sticker books. My eldest daughter loves to pack her own unicorn backpack and bring a cross-body bag with nothing useful inside, but it makes her very happy. Comics are great for little kids and a couple of Paw Patrol or Princess magazines are amazing entertainment (they also often have stickers inside them too, which is a double bonus). I try to delay iPads for as long as possible, using up all the games and toys before we settle into some movies, but having a well stocked iPad is always a winner.


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For Older Children And Teenagers


My eldest son is 15 now so I’ve been packing my hand luggage with children in mind for a long time. There’s no doubt it gets easier as kids get older – no more bottles and nappies to think about – but there are definitely things you can take to make flying with older children and teens easier. Gadgets are both a blessing and a curse when it comes to travelling with kids: they’re great to keep them entertained, but I also don’t want my boys to be glued to a screen for seven hours straight… on a plane or anywhere else. My youngest son is eight and has a Kids Kindle Fire, and my older boys (twelve and fifteen) have their iPhones, but after a while I’ll take them away and produce some travel games like Travel Cluedo or the Cards Against Humanity Family Edition. Colouring pencils and paper still come in handy for my two younger sons who love to draw, and a little set such as Design and Draw Animals from Petit Collage is just the thing to pack in a child’s bag. It’s a great idea to get kids used to carrying their own hand luggage as soon as possible – not least because it lightens the load for parents! Mine have these great LL Bean rucksacks with their names monogrammed on the front so they don’t get mixed up. Lastly, my own carry-on bag has to be big enough to fit all my own bits and pieces, plus the kids’, so I go big. The Lisbon Tote from Demellier is perfect for the job.


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For Mums-To-Be


As a mum-to-be I have a new routine when it comes to flying – pregnant women are at a slightly higher risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) so on the advice of my doctor, I take a low-dose 75mg aspirin and wear my compression socks. On a more luxurious note, I’m obsessed with the brand My Little Coco and love using their Baby Mama Refreshing Facial Mist which is blended with vitamin E and aloe vera to help revive and hydrate skin from the dry cabin air. I also love Mama Mio’s products and pack a tub of their berry flavour Pregnancy Gummies, formulated with eight essential vitamins and minerals including folic acid.

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