Gadgets, Gizmos… And Good Old Fashioned Bribes! Five Hand Luggage Essentials For Smooth Family Travel

Let’s be honest: travelling with young children can be challenging at best, with tantrums, tears and lost teddy bears all threatening to derail the most carefully-laid plans. Here are five must-pack items to make everything run just a little more smoothly, and get your holiday off to the right start.

For Reluctant Sleepers

A true stroke of genius that’s perfect for kids that struggle to wind down on planes, the Jetkids BedBox is a three-in-one product that will have everyone feeling well rested at arrivals. The design is reminiscent of a certain other famous ride-on suitcase, and allows ample space for kids to stash their toys, books and coloring for the journey. But the real magic happens once those cabin lights are dimmed. The case is designed to fit the vast majority of economy class seats, transforming them into a cozy flat bed that will have kids lulled to sleep quicker than you can say “business class”. Suitable for kids from newborn all the way up until seven, this is a savvy investment for families that love to travel.


For Screen Time

When faced with a long-haul flight, even the most diligent parent will often relax a little on screen time. But as well as being pretty uncomfortable, standard-issue airline headphones usually have poor sound quality, which can result in kids turning up the volume to potentially dangerous levels. Enter Buddyphones, who produce ultra-safe, volume-limited and thoroughly kid-proof children’s headphones, which fold neatly into a drawstring bag for travel. The entire range limits volumes to levels approved by the World Health Organization, and are built to be twisted, sat on and generally abused by kids without damage. Squabble-free sharing is made easy with a built-in headphone splitter in the cable, and the headphones all come in bright colors, with fun stickers to personalize their cans.

  • Available in the USA via Buddyphones; US$24.99-89.99

  • Available in Australia via Try & Byte; AU$35-65

  • Available in Hong Kong via Baby Central; HK$199-249

  • Available in Singapore via Stereo; SG$39-59

BuddyphonesWave Buddyphones

For Little Legs

Picture the scene: A late-night connection in an unfamiliar airport. Everyone is tired and grouchy, and your gate-checked stroller won’t reappear until your final destination (and even if you’ve asked for it to be delivered at the plane door, it’s quite likely to end up on a baggage carousel, what feels like kilometers away from your arrivals gate!). Save your sanity and some backache too by investing in an ultra-lightweight, travel-friendly stroller that can be stowed in the overhead bin, ready to deploy as soon as those seatbelt lights are switched off. The innovative Goodbaby Pockit is the world’s smallest stroller, folding in two easy steps to a handbag-sized unit that weighs less than 5 kilograms! Suitable from six months (or newborn, if combined with a suitable infant capsule as a travel system) up to four years, you will more than get your money’s worth out of this stroller.  

Pockit Stroller

For Freshening Up

When filling your hand luggage for a trip, it’s important to consider worst-case scenarios. Spillages, smears and – let’s be honest here – travel sickness can easily render outfits un-wearable, so ensure that your carry-on contains spare clothes for everyone in the family (Moms – make sure you pack a soft bra, as spills easily soak through outer layers… our Easyfit Sleep and Nursing bra is perfect as it’s super-comfortable, and packs into a tiny space!). Pack plenty of wet bags to seal off any outfit emergencies – these can be re-purposed as laundry bags later on in your trip. Super-cute Planet Wise wet bags are designed for reusable diapers, so you know they’ll keep everything well contained, making laundry a cinch at the end of your journey.

Planetwise wet bags 1]

For A Little Bribe

It’s always amazing just how many snacks kids will consume, and with airplane meals often of questionable quality, it’s essential to pack a few tasty treats that can be distributed little and often, keeping hunger at bay and behavior at its best! But sugary snacks plus young kids can be a recipe for disaster, and so stealth health is the key to success. Ella’s Kitchen was founded by a UK dad who wanted to feed his children healthy and appealing food – without the junk. The range now includes baby food purees, cereals, sweet and savory snacks, and even gluten and lactose-free options, meaning you’ll find something for even the pickiest eater here… without fear of a sugar crash tantrum at 36,000 feet.

Available worldwide from all major supermarkets and health food stores; costs vary by product.