International Travel Essentials for Families

We have been so lucky to be able to take our kids on a few international trips over the past few years. There are some certain things that I feel are essentials for families on long flights. Here are some of the things I don't leave without.

My "fight the dryness" kit. Everyone knows that being on a plane for long time really drys you out. My skin will feel dry, my throat feels dry, and sometime I feel like I have a cold afterwards. I started putting together a little travel kit that helps fight that off.


It includes some of my favorite tea bags, a Evian face spray bottle, some travel hand lotion pods, and a small travel size of a basic moisturizer (just grab one from my latest birchbox samples.) I make the kids and the husband use the facial spray and the hand lotion a few times over the trip to help with dry skin.

For the kids - entertainment and comfort are important. They both have little roller backpacks that we use to pack with things they can play with and things they need. Normally - we have a book or two, some small toys of their choice, pajamas, maybe a small snack, their kindle fire, and something new that they won't know is in their until they are on the plane (or at least at the airport.)

Some fun things that we've included as a surprise are card games (like Uno), a small white board and pens, wikki stix, and anything else that I think they might be entertained by.


We aren't huge fans of a ton of screen time - so my kids look at getting to use their kindle fires on the plane as a treat. But at the same we try and get them to do other things -- and if the flight is overnight they know they are expected to sleep.

A little tip for helping get your kids to sleep on a plane - set the expectation for sleeping long before you get on board. We talk about how exciting it is to get to sleep overnight on a plane for weeks before the trip. They pick the pajamas they want. We pick a set time and get changed and brush our teeth and go potty. Just like at home. Sometimes they use face masks sometimes not - but my goal is to get them to sleep for about 4-5 hours so that we can get on track with any time change.

One last necessity for us is lollipops. It helps at take off and landing with their ears if your kids are too young for gum or just don't like it. My kids like the Trader Joe's organic lollipops.

Since we are on our way to Hawaii -- I'm pack as I write this! Even though it's not international -- it is still 5 hours on a plane!

What are your must haves on a long flight?

Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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