Packing - Entertainment Items


I've included this as a separate category because our family actually uses different bags to contain these items.  Each child has a small, carry-on bag for the airplane (and then later for use during downtime or when resting at the end of the day).  They are responsible for carrying their own bag so we ensure that the weight (as well as how full it is) doesn't get out of control.  This bag generally holds the following items;

  • pad of plain paper
  • journal
  • workbook/coloring book
  • pencil case
  • stuffed animal
  • reading book
  • iPod with earphones
  • a few small toys (figurines, Barbies, toy cars, action figures, etc)

We also pack a small ziploc of 'restaurant toys'.  These toys are kept in a bag in my purse and only played with during meal times in restaurants.  This allows the adults to enjoy a leisurely meal and the kids can play when they are finished eating.  Historically our kids have really enjoyed picking out exactly what toys they want, and only having them available at restaurants makes them a hot commodity.  Don't give in and let the kids play with them back in the room if you can help it!  We have enjoyed and lingered over many a delightful meal courtesy of small plastic animals and teeny people riding around on slices of baguettes.

The idea came to me the first time we traveled to Europe and over the successive trips we've perfected it.  Of course every child is different and what has worked for us may not work for you - but it doesn't hurt to try!

What has changed for us as they get older is that they are now in charge of carrying around their own toys - they have small purse-like/messenger bags that go across their body and can hold their essential items.  The bags are small enough that they can't load them up and make them heavy, but big enough to carry a small variety of items.  You know best what will work for you and your family so have find finding just the right items, and good luck!


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