Staying Organized When Flying With Kids

Let’s be totally honest, packing up to go on a trip is always a bit of a “do to,” but when you’re flying + adding kids into that equation it really takes planning to a whole different level! After years of trying different techniques and products, we’ve broken down our top 5 must haves for getting the whole family packed up, and making the process as stress free as possible.

Mom and kids waiting for the airplane.  Going on vacation

  1. All the Lists

    The sooner you start writing down what’s needed for your trip, the better organized you’ll be. Make a list for each member of the family, and think ahead about what you’ll be doing, what the weather will be, and plan for inclement conditions as well.

  2. Edit and Edit Again

    The biggest key to packing up the family is to pull out everything that you think you’ll need, and then look at each piece to decide if you “really” need it. For example, if a clothing item won’t be able to be worn multiple ways or times, it may be a good idea to leave it at home. This especially holds true for kids clothing, how many times have you thought “now, why did we bring this?”

  3. Packing Cubes

    We can’t stress enough how much easier family packing has become since we discovered packing cubes. Each member of the family gets 1 large cube for clothing, and one small cube for little items and accessories. Not only do these handy cubes keep everyone’s clothing separated, but because they only fit so much- it becomes obvious quickly if you’re over the allotted limit.

  4. The Right Suitcase

    When choosing a checked luggage a medium size lightweight suitcase seems to work best. You won’t be as tempted to overload it, as with a large one, and you’re less at risk for going over the standard 50 lb weight limit.

Little boy with a backpack looking at an airplane

5. Backpacks

These are the ultimate workhorse of travel accessories. Backpacks give everyone a dedicated personal space, plus they fit under the seat - so you won’t be charged a carry on fee. For kids backpacks, make sure they don’t get over-packed, so they’re light enough to carry through the airport. If you’re lugging car seats with you, a car seat backpack cover is seriously life changing.

Little boy pretending to carry a car seat travel backpack

-Backpack Essentials Packing List-

  • ID and health insurance cards (while it doesn’t happen all the time - don’t get stuck without a copy of your kiddos birth certificate in case your asked to show it)

  • An extra layer like a zip up or fleece for air conditioned areas

  • For little kids a backup change of clothes is crucial

  • An empty water bottle (fill this guy up once you’re through security)

  • Snacks (make sure to put these in a separate baggie due to new TSA regulations).

  • Sunglasses and hat

  • A mini first aid kit

  • Books

  • Tech gear (headphones, charger, iPad)

  • Comfort items (blanket or stuffed animal, games and small toys to keeps kids occupied by air and car. Some of our favorites include: water coloring books, pipe cleaners, and learning activity books.

baby sleeping on an airplane
little boy with headphones on coloring on an airplane

Here’s just a few of our favorite items that make packing up oh so much easier.

We realize that traveling with kids is never an easy task (and believe us when we say we’ve been there with tantrums, inconsolable babies, and messes galore). Best of luck with your next trip, and we hope you’ve found our guide to getting everyone out the door, on the plane, and on their way helpful.

Happy organizing!


Ashley and Lindsay