Toddler Carry on for Long Haul Flights

The key to packing a toddler carry on for a long haul flight is to keep it light and still be completely prepared. Follow my guide for stress free packing.

Oh the days of child free traveling! I would get on to a long haul cross country or even cross continent flight with nothing but a handbag. Tickets, some moisturiser and a good book was all I really needed when flying. Now of course when I travel, I often feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulder, quite literally. I have mentioned in an earlier post that I prefer a backpack when traveling to keep my hands entirely free when traveling with my son. Everything other than the necessary tickets and my wallet is my son’s stuff.

So when packing for our recent trip to Orlando, I figured why not post what I take as a toddler carry on. As a first time mom, I was so nervous of what to take along on our first, or sixth or even tenth flight together. Now that I have logged some flyer miles with my little one, I am able to pack a toddler carry on without getting the jitters.

Things for Toddler Carry On For Long Haul Flights

Basic Necessities:

  • If your toddler is not potty trained diapers are going to be the first thing you should keep in your bag. My rule of thumb is to keep the number that Adi generally goes through in a day + 3 more.
  • Wipes of all kinds. Wipes for diaper changes, boogie wipes , hand and face wipes.
  • A change of clothes. Don’t skip out on these thinking oh my child has not dirtied himself ever. They WILL do it when you least expect it.
  • Also good to carry is a change of clothes for yourselves. Kids are unpredictable and have small bladders and not the hardiest digestive systems. ‘Nuff Said.
  • This one is THE most important. Medications. I don’t travel without medicines, in fact all the medicines and the times I do, I regret it. Also a thermometer is a also a good idea not just for flights but even during your vacation.
  • A couple of plastic bags or ZipLoc bags for when things get a little messy.



  • I don’t tend to carry a lot of food on international flights because they generally have decent kid’s meals. But domestic flights around lunch or dinner time warrant you to carry food or buy something at the airport. There are options on the flight too but I know my child isn’t going to touch that.
  • Adi likes egg salad sandwiches, rolled parathas (stuffed flatbreads). If we’re catching a really early flight, I just pick up a slice of banana bread for him on the airport.
  • Carry a lot of snacks. I like carrying crackers, raisins, fruit snacks, mixed nuts or trail mix. My toddler is a grazer and likes to eat something every two to three hours. Plus snacks tend to entertain children and keep them busy. Entertained, fed children tend to not scream in their neighbor’s ears. Win, Win!
  • Carry an empty water bottle and fill it after security check. Most toddler don’t like waiting when they want something, so depending on inflight service for water isn’t the best idea.



  • Some thin books. Beware of anything hardbound, your shoulders will thank you later.
  • A coloring book with some colors and some stickers tends to keep my child busy for a short while.
  • Some new small toys are also great. I usually go to the dollar store to pick these up.
  • Of course screen time. I try to not get worked up about the screen time during flights especially the ones with inflight entertainment. Everyone around my kid is watching something, he has sit in one place (which is pretty tough for him) and we have pretty regulated screen time for him when he’s at home.
  • Headphones to use with either the inflight entertainment console or your tablet.

The idea is to not overpack but to definitely be prepared for all situations. Being prepared helps immensely with your confidence and those pre-flight jitters. So take a deep breath, pack your bags and go travel the world.

Until the next time!


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