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How to Travel via Airplane with Two Kids and a Layover

Updated on January 11, 2015

Airplane Traveling

The Key to Traveling with Littles

The key is in the preparation, and in packing well. Make a list of everything you'll need a few days (up to a week) before you have to pack and keep adding to it. Run it by others; make sure you don't forget anything.

Check with your airline to find out how much a checked bag costs and how many carry ons are allowed on board. Each airline has different parameters as to sizes and types of carry ons allowed.

We are traveling Delta. One checked bag up to 50lbs costs $25. That will be our parent suitcase. On top of that, each ticket holder (so not our baby, but our preschooler and the two of us) is allowed one carry on and one personal item. Personal items can be purses, diaper bags, briefcases, or something similar to the carry on. Here's how we have it worked out:

Hobbs the Husband: His backpack and our baby's suitcase
Me the Wife: My purse and the diaper bag
Cupcakes the Preschooler: Her backpack and her suitcase

We have this planned out exactly so we won't face any embarrassing or expensive blunders at the airport. I just wish we had a scale so we could make sure our suitcase wasn't 50lbs.

Another tip: pack as lightly as humanly possible. During this trip, we are going to be staying with family so we will, thankfully, have access to a washer and dryer. This is why we are only going to bring half the necessary outfits. The exception is the baby. We're packing 8 outfits because babies go through more outfits than most other people.

Baby Wearing FTW

Packing List for the Baby

We have two bags for our baby, Tootsie Roll: a suitcase and the diaper bag.


* 8 Outfits
* 3 Pajamas
* Swim Suit
* Sleep Sack
* Diapers
* Extra Pacifier
* Toys
* Spoons
* Rice Cereal


(* Ironically, no diapers)
* Travel Wipes
* Changing Pad
* 2 Sets of Extra Clothes
* Extra Pacifier
* Ergo Baby Carrier
* Candy for Bribes
(for the preschooler)

Make It Fun for your Preschooler!

I remember going on road trips with my family when I was very young, and my parents made it so much fun for us! In preparation for our travels, they would give us a little goodie travel bag with all kinds of fun activities and yummy things to eat! I'll never forget those memories and I'm excited to pass them onto my children.

So we went to Target / the mall and got a bunch of new things to put in her little backpack that she's not able to use until we are in the airport / on the airplane. And don't worry, we didn't break the bank. Here's what we purchased:

Hello Kitty Activity Pad with Special Marker $2 at Target, Hello Kitty Sticker Pad $1 at Target, Small Hello Kitty Notepad $2.50 at Japanese Import Store, and we're breaking out the special twistable crayons that we put away after our trips to keep them special.

See? Backpack and Suitcase.

Packing List for the Preschooler

Our daughter, Cupcakes, also has two bags.


* 4 Outfits
* 2 Pajamas
* 8 Pairs Underwear
* Swim Suit
* Toys & Books
* Blanket


* LeapPad
* Travel Pad
* Fun Crayons
* Markers
* Little Ponies
* Motorcycle
* Lovey

Airplane Travel with a Toddler

I wrote a post about our airplane travels when Cupcakes was a toddler, and it's full of some unique tips. Check it out here: Toddler Travel Tips!

Things You Can Buy If Forgotten

Children's Tylenol
Activity Books

But Make Sure You DON'T Forget

Each Other
Favorite Snuggle Toy
Favorite Snuggle Toy
Phone Chargers
Blanket to Feel at Home
Favorite Book
All the Diapers

Packing List for Parents

Pack three bags for the parents: a suitcase for both parents' clothes, wife's purse, husband's backpack.


* 4 or 5 outfits
* Pajamas
* Socks & Undies
* Medicine
* Kids' Medicine
* Swim Suits
* Jewelry
* Baby's Vitamin
* Toiletries: Soap,
Shampoo / Conditioner,
Face Wash, Razors,
Deodorant, Nail File,
Toothbrushes & Toothpaste


* Laptop & Charger
* Phone Chargers
* Book
* Filofax & some supplies


* Notebook
* A Few Diapers
* Travel Wipes
* Changing Pad
* Phone
* Book

TW: McDonalds

I happen to love McDonalds, but I know there are a lot of health-conscious mommies who don't. That's perfectly understandable, and we don't eat at McDonalds a lot, but we love it at airports. This way, it's a special treat. It doesn't have to be McDonalds. Many airports have a lot of options, and most even have healthy food hubs!

Since airports have you get there two hours before boarding, you will have a lot of time to kill, and all those shops are so tempting! Get some grub and chow down; it takes up a good chunk of your wait, and airport picnics are fun!

Tip: Don't put your child(ren) in fleece.  We thought it would be a good idea because it's comfy and it's very cold outside.  However, it is HOT in airports when you're sprinting to catch your connecting flight. So dress your kids in layers!
Tip: Don't put your child(ren) in fleece. We thought it would be a good idea because it's comfy and it's very cold outside. However, it is HOT in airports when you're sprinting to catch your connecting flight. So dress your kids in layers!

Traveled with Kids?

Have you traveled with kids? How did it go?

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Tips for Flying with Kids

In Conclusion

Try to make the best of this. Traveling is fun, and it's no more than a day or two. You can do it! And you can smile through it and help your kids have a great time! Smiling releases endorphins, you know! Have a great trip!!


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    • twoseven profile image

      twoseven 3 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      This is great advice! I especially love the chart on what you can buy if you forget it and what you can't (including each other!).

      I'm also totally with you on making it fun and doing special things you wouldn't otherwise do (such as McDonalds). We have a 2 and 5 year old and we've flown with them a few times a year over the past couple years and with TONS of preparation and work on our parts, it has gone well!

    • Uzochukwu Mike profile image

      Uzochukw Mike 3 years ago from Oba

      Thanks sharing this hub. I can't wait to have my kids to apply these ideas.

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 3 years ago from Chicago

      It's always a great idea to bring things like that when traveling, especially books!! :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      same here except my boy needs to bring his toys and archie books when we travel

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Awesome hub. Love your creative style of writing. Have traveled extensively with kids. Now my kids are traveling with kids. They are leaving a week from Tuesday with a one and 3 year old. They will do just fine. I will pass on your hub to them.

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 3 years ago from Chicago

      @Billybuc oh man DRINK!! Why didn't I think of that?! It should definitely be on the list!!

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 3 years ago from Chicago

      We just did this today and it actually went very well. Even with the baby! Don't be nervous. :)

    • profile image

      greeneyedblondie 3 years ago

      I've never had children, so I don't know what it's like to travel with one or more. I've heard it's a nightmare and I hope someday when I have kids it won't be.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      When I saw the title of this article, all I could think of was DRINK! LOL Great suggestions and yes, I'm speaking from experience. It can be a nightmare, but it can also be a reasonably fun experience if handled correctly.