5 Carry On Essentials For Travelling With Kids

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Travelling with kids means a whole new set of things to consider and chances are, packing light is no longer as easy as it was before you started family travel.

One of the worst parts of travelling with kids is the time spent going to and from destinations. That boring in between time that often ends up with your kids driving you a little crazy.

Are we there yet?”. “I’m hungry”. “I’m bored”…. And so on. I’m sure it sounds familiar if you have experienced family travel.

Even travelling with kids in our local area is enough to teach us there are a few things you should always have on hand to minimise the disruptions, mess and potential child meltdowns.

So we have put together our top five carry on essentials for your hand luggage, nappy bag or day pack when travelling with kids, either abroad, interstate or even to the local shopping centre.

5 Carry on Essentials for travelling with kids - save your sanity and pack your carry on luggage with kids in mind


Wet Wipes

The top of our carry on essentials list! Kids are messy. Like really, really messy. You give them a tiny treat thinking it will go straight in their mouth, but somehow they manage to smear remnants of the food all over their hands, face, clothes, surrounds, everywhere. Save yourself a lot of trouble by having wet wipes on hand no matter the destination or occasion.

Change of Clothes

Like we mentioned above, kids are messy. You know even at home how often sudden outfit changes may be required so save yourself the stress of being caught out, and keep a change of clothes for your child in your carry on. If you are short on space, even just a spare shirt can make the world of difference when travelling with kids.


A happy tummy = a happy kid. There is no worse moment than a hungry and bored child, so keep some snacks in your carry on back. The kind you know they like and will actually fill them up if you are a while in between meals. Snacks can also cure boredom briefly by giving kids something to do while in transit, and if you have been travelling for a while already, a familiar snack can also provide a little bit of home comfort for the little travellers.


Try and save everyone’s sanity by packing something fun and entertaining in your bag for the kids. While many international flights these days have onboard entertainment systems, that won’t be the case for domestic flights, trains, buses or cars, so come prepared knowing you child is going to get bored. Choose wisely so that the entertainment items you pick are travel friendly, provide a lot of entertainment and won’t make a mess.

First Aid Kit

Kids can be accident prone so a first aid kit definitely forms part of carry on essentials for family travel. Even though you will be able to access basic first aid supplies in airports or on planes, when you are in between transiting or want to deal with minor cuts and scrapes quickly, having your own first aid supplies is a great help. You will at least want bandaids and antiseptic wipes at a bare minimum, but consider adding some extra stuff as well, like tweezers, saline, bandages etc.

Do you have any other carry on essentials for travelling with kids?