Carry-on Packing for Kids

I have been traveling with the kid since he was a tiny baby, and what I need to pack has changed over the years. The kid is 8 years old now, and what he needs now is somewhat different this year than a few years ago. Yesterday I shared what I packed with a dad who’s traveling to Alaska with his 9 year old son and he thought the list was great. So I thought I would share with you all the things I think are really helpful when traveling with an active kid like mine.


Now, this would only cover what the kid had on his carry-on and backpack and not what we packed for the trip itself. Once you arrive at the airport, there’s waiting at the gate for the boarding time and then the waiting time you spend inside the cabin while flying, and below is everything the kid had to keep him busy while we waited. If you have an active kid, then you know how important is to keep them busy!


One thing I’ll highly suggest you do, is to set a timer for the flying time if you’re going through time zones. We flew from Texas to California, so we went from central time to pacific time. Regular digital watches or clocks adjust their times, but I was able to tell the kid to check the timer every time he asked me: “are we there yet?!”


The kid took his Disney Cars Lightning McQueen rolling carry-on luggage (his was a gift from the Disney store (, but this is pretty much the same thing: After a lot of begging, I let him pack 4 Hot-Wheels cars and 2 Bey Blades he wanted to play with.


I understand that some parents may not want to pack toys, especially small ones, and for the longest time I also refused. However, the kid hasn’t lost a toy yet, he only took 2 of each in a Ziploc bag, and he put them back in his luggage as soon as he was done. So this one is really up to you.


To keep him busy, I got him a Crayola Color Wonder Stow and Go (  which worked great since he loves to draw and write, so it came in handy on both flights and while we were there. It has a flat surface, plenty of paper and 4 markers, so it’s just perfect.


I also packed a couple activity books ( with word searches, mazes, hidden pictures and connect the dots to keep him busy. I also included a couple of Fly Guy books to read (, a couple of coloring books with a pencil box that had coloring pencils, a pencil and a small sharpener just in case.


The kid also brought his Disney double sided Avengers backpack (see https://www.shopdisney.comfor all the options they have) where he had all the electronics: his mini iPad (mini iPad has Lioeo Case for kids found right here: this screen protector, his Nintendo Switch ( his Avengers headphones (this ones are pretty close to the ones he has


By the way, this is the second trip where we bring the Nintendo Switch, and I think it was one of the best purchases I have made. Not only does he play at home with it, he can play with it in the car, in the plane, at the airport or hotel, and he can even play with a little friend if we meet friends for dinner, which actually happened and it worked out really great. So if you’re thinking about a Christmas or birthday present for your little one, Nintendo Switch is awesome! For the Nintendo Switch, I got this case, this screen protector, and this travel case keeps the Nintendo Switch safe.


The kid also brought his Georgie, one of his favorite monkeys he goes to bed with, to keep him company during the trip. He’s been glued to Pillow since he was a baby, but Pillow was lost, and after a lot of crying Georgie kept the kid company during this trip.


Anyways, what else did I pack? Right, let me keep going with my list:

  • An empty bottle of water. You can bring it empty through security and then fill it up at any water fountain by the gates and you don’t have to pay $5 for a tiny bottle of water at any store.
  • Cards! UNO to be precise ( UNO is perfect to play with the kid anywhere and there’s always room to play with more people.
  • iPad (or any tablet) with plenty of games that can be played without Wi-Fi, and at least 3 downloaded movies in case there’s no Wi-Fi on the plane.
  • I had an extra pair for the kid, just in case.
  • Applesauce (, Goldfish crackers ( and Cheez-it crackers ( We don’t carry any candy around because I don’t need a kid high on sugar inside the cabin of an airplane. I could get fresh fruit in a Ziploc bag, but that gets messy, so I stick to the above snacks.
  • Sanitizing wipes, wet wipes and tissue paper. I mean, hands get dirty, kids touch everything and then want to eat something, they have buggers. I just carry all these three, plus the regular sanitizer.
  • Tylenol, Advil and Claritin chewable tablets plus Similasan Cough and Fever Relief Junior Strength tablets ( in a Ziploc bag along with some band-aids just in case. The kid may get allergies, a headache, an earache, cough, fever, a scratch or something, and mama is ready.
  • We wear socks to keep our feet warm during the flight and at the airport, but Crocs are the easiest to put on and take off, especially through security or if the kid wants to take a nap.
  • Sweater or sweatshirt with a hoodie if possible. We were traveling during cold weather, but at some point the kid can get cold and the sweater may come in handy.
  • Chargers for both the Nintendo Switch and his iPad. Beyond important!
  • Booster seat if you’re renting a car, which we did. This is the last year we’re doing the booster seat. We traveled to CA and while he’s already 8 years old, he didn’t meet the weight requirements. Probably I didn’t need to bring the booster, but it’s CA so I was not getting in trouble.


This is everything I packed for my kid. It covered all bases, made him happy, kept him busy and entertained. I like to travel with everything that we could possibly need, that we can fit in a bag and I don’t have to buy at the airport. We’re going on a long road trip in a couple of weeks, so I have all his stuff still together and ready to go.


Happy travels!!












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