All things travel
I've been flying solo with my kids since they were all infants and have learned a lot along the way, so here are some of my favorite travel tips. I'd love to hear yours too!
First of all, my very favorite thing for packing for any trip is packing cubes! I love this set especially because it comes in a variety pack of colors- I like to pack one for each child so that it's easy to keep everything together. When we arrive at a hotel, I often put the whole cube into a drawer if available. I throw an extra cube into the suitcase to use for dirty clothes as we go.
In-flight bag- each kid has their own bag to carry at the minimum their tablet, headphones and snacks. Now that they are all bigger, they usually take a backpack but my 6 year old sometimes still takes a little rolling suitcase because it just gets heavy for little ones. For most flights we also pack a hoodie and for longer or overnight flights we pack a thin fleece blanket.
In my bag I always grab a travel pack of Chlorox wipes- the first thing we do when we get to our seats is wipe every surface. I'm not usually a germ-a-phobe but when traveling we up the sanitation! I also always carry gum and lollipops to help with ear pressure. My favorite lollipops are actually made with xylitol so they are good for teeth! Even still I like to pack toddler snacks like cereal puffs or yogurt bites. They are not messy or very filling, but a nice little treat to snack on.
Amazingly my kids are all at an age where they are happy to just read or watch shows, even for 7 hour flights! When they were younger, I loved to pack several little new activities, often from the dollar store. One of our favorites is a travel pack of playdough- fun on its own and as a bonus, it's perfect for keeping small toys from falling off the tray. Things like hotwheel cars or action figures for my boys, mini dolls and ponies for my daughter. Stickers are always a fun treat with a pad of paper to put them on. We also love our boogie board for extra fun drawing. Usborne also has some awesome travel pads and activity books.
For little ones, over-the-ear headphones are the way to go but look out for the "kid-specific" ones. They are designed with a volume control to protect little ears but a plane is already so loud that they may not be able to hear. So I get regular kid headphones and just check the volume before letting them watch. When my daughter was younger and the headphones weren't as comfortable, we had these which were a nice, soft option!