What do you take on a plane?

Not for yourself! I’d hope you were old enough to know what you’d like to do on a plane but for your children. Last year we took our first long-haul flight to Orlando. First time on a plane with two kids and first time on a plane for them. I looked at Trunki and other posh kids suitcases, and opted for a cheaper one with wheels from Sports Direct. Had to be Disney going to Disney! First mistake. It broke on the way out: somewhere in Heathrow airport is a tiny screw that held the handle on.

Now this blog is going to concentrate on my 3 year old. It was her I was concerned about being disruptive and getting bored easily. What lightweight, easy to transport and fun activities could I take for her? What toys are good on planes?

Colouring: obvious and relatively lightweight. Pick a small enough book to fit in your hand luggage easily, pack some crayons and off you go. It didn’t get used. There was no interest in colouring.

Play Doh: I have lost count of the horrified faces of people when I said I took Play Doh in my hand luggage, only a small pot and some shape cutters. I must admit I had some last minute worries about being pulled aside and questioned. I put it in the clear bag you put your liquid in. Nobody was concerned. Waste of time. I forgot how messy it was. In the end I hid it in my own hand luggage to stop her playing with it.


Books: Mr Men books are the ideal size to travel with. We took a couple in each carry on. Best thing I packed! Perfect for distracting the 3 year old with at take off. Big hit. Books are a definite for next time.

Surprise bags: You will have seen them in the pound shop for £2-3. They are usually aimed at boys or girls. One each to stop arguments. They were fairly successful; not that they ever contain much to hold a child’s attention, but they were new enough to be fairly exciting. I’d take them again.

Top Trumps: Now these are for older children primarily and they also need some input from yourself. However, my daughter had a Ben and Holly set for her birthday aimed at pre-school children. Excellent. Well worth packing, they are small and the games last.

Character toys: We took the smallest Doc McStuffins and the stuff that comes with her. Kind of useful, kind of embarrassing having a 3 year old insisting you do the stupid voices you usually do at home.

Disney travel agents brochure: only a small thing, not the huge book with every hotel under the sun. Something to get them thinking of the holiday and what they would like to do. A huge success. And they remembered things they would like to do in the parks as well.

So if you’ve been searching google for ideas on what to take on a plane and stumble across my blog, I hope these help. To be honest we flew Virgin and the in-flight entertainment was so good they didn’t look at anything in their bags really. The internal flights the packed activities were more useful for, the flights were shorter and had no kind of entertainment at all, apart from asking stupid questions about the passengers sat around us much to my shame.

Good luck on your journey! Oh and if you are flying from Heathrow terminal three. Find the family room with a small soft play area and let them rage around it before your flight. Our journey outbound was much less stressful because they had burnt off a lot of energy.

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