Packing List – What to take on the plane, bus or train


Packing List – What to take on the plane, bus or train

The information I am about to share here to help create your packing list is very much similar to what you will get from luxury travel experts. My family travel tips are however more geared towards single family travel, a nitch in which I fall as a single mum.

Get yourself a good backpack each with lots of pockets and load up with:

Blanket and Pillow:  Get a blanket and pillow as soon as you are on the plane, or bring your own. You can get both of you a blanket and pillow as soon as you get on the aircraft – yes they do run out. If you are cold you will not sleep.

Books and Magazines: Remember something nice to read for yourself! Joke books, a novel, child’s reader, magazines, comics. Art books for the child, crossword & puzzle books, school work etc.

Camera: Keep hidden or safely tucked away. You don’t want to get to your destination and realize that it is gone.

Chargers: Label each cord and place in a soft zip-up bag

Chewing Gum:  For flight ascent and decent, chew and don’t swallow. Pop those ears – give your child a few lollies if too young for gum, or a drink.

Clothes including spares: Suitable for arrival temperatures. There is no point leaving the motherland in a warm turtleneck pullover, only to land in the tropics in a bath of perspiration. Take some spare items. Dressing in layers or zip off or roll cuff cotton trousers are great for travel.

A spare top and pants are really handy should your child spill food, drink or vomit on you – yes gross!

Drink bottles – roll up / flat: Can fill with aircraft drinks for use when you get off. I take 2-3 each. You can fill up one with water, one with juice, and one with wine for a nice nightcap on your arrival. (Not filled from the restroom water tap!)

The flat roll up bottles can be purchased at Big W, House & Garden, or online and can vary in price from $3 – $20.

They can be frozen, and pressed flat when not in use, and have a clip to hang off your bag or belt.

Earphones/plugs: Comfortable for the child and yourself – one set each

Earphone 2-jack: You can both then listen to the same song or watch a movie together. No one wants to hear your dulcet tones bellowing out, so do remember, you have them on in public. 

Feminine hygiene: Tampons or pads. Remember, travel is great for getting your cycle out of sync, so expect the unexpected.

First Aid Kit: Medications, Puffers, The Pill etc. Don’t forget Panadol, Band-aids, anti-nausea, and diarrhea.

Food – Snacks: Take sealed packets of snacks. Sealed cookies, natural sugar lollies, muesli bars etc are sometimes allowed.

Food – Tins: Take a couple of tins of food that can be eaten cold. My son will eat cold baked beans, tinned fruit etc. This comes in handy if they don’t like the airline meal or for late arrivals where there is no food at the other end, or when you are taking connecting flights.

Kids need to eat every two hours. (Babies need to be fed hourly).

Also if refueling at airports etc, you may not have that currencies cash to get a small snack or drink.

Last flight they ran out of food – miscalculated, but when you are taking poorer countries, this can easily happen as communication breakdowns occur more frequently.

A starving child is not a happy child.

Hair: Hairbrush or comb. Hair tied back (if you have long hair)

iPod or iPad: This will help you fight off boredom particularly during long flights.

Jackets & Wraps

  • Rain jacket or disposable poncho
  • Cardigan or jacket (non-crease – suggest black)
  • Pashmina (doubles as a blanket)
Journal: Carry one for each since each will need personal time to concentrate on a journal. Sharing might be very strenuous. 

Laptop: Have one for each. Again, you might want to do your personal stuff on the laptop and therefore, have your child glued to his own laptop will allow you to concentrate on what you are doing. 

Lollies/candy: Use with caution – a ‘sugar frenzy’ can be a right pain on a flight for all, including the child – nowhere to go to let off all that energy.

Money: Have enough cash to swap when you arrive for a couple of days living, taxi or bus ride etc. – swap at the Bureau de Change on arrival.

Try to buy a few US$ or the currency of the country you are traveling to early in advance. You may discover that it is at times not always easy to access your card or traveler’s cheques.

 Mints: Keep that breath fresh – for the sake of your fellow traveler.

Sanitizer Gel: Best to use on hands after every loo visit. Alas, they do say the exit door handle and other surfaces are a perfect breeding ground for many a nasty germ.

Socks: Preferably in summer not to be worn on the plane, so those pinkies can breathe, and no-one wants to smell cheesy feet!

Stationery: Pencil case with Coloring pencils, textas, eraser, pencil sharpener, plastic scissors, ruler, small roll sticky tape, glue stick etc

Beware of pencil sharpeners and scissors since they are likely to be confiscated at the security checkpoint. they are considered to be dangerous tools.

Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss: Floss doubles as a string. Please keep your halitosis to yourself – nothing worse than having a long trip next to a stinker! 

Toys: Small movable or interplay. Pack of cards is also a good option.

Travel Sickness Bands: You get 4 of these for about $2.50 including postage when you buy on eBay. Reusable, washable, One size fit all.

Works by applying pressure on the Nei-Kuan acupressure point Put the button facing downward over the Nei-Kuan point, and press the button for 1-2 minutes.

Must be worn on BOTH wrists, so as you get two sets, perfect for one each.

Underwear – spares: Handy for plane delays, breakdowns, and childhood accidents

Valuables: You have to take control. Do not let your children carry their own passport or valuable items.

Other items include

  • Refresher /antiseptic wipes / towels
  • Lip moisturizer
  • Electronic Games, DS etc
  • Face Moisturiser
  • Connect the Wrist Strap: (see child safety)

Questions and Comments

  • What other packing list tips do you have?
  • Kindly share your opinions and comments below.

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