The essential hand luggage items you don’t want to forget

Tonight we leave for Malaysia on an overnight flight with the 4 year old and the 19 month old.  Who hates being contained.  I’m still not packed, items are strewn everywhere and I’m still working on the theory that as long as I have my passport and credit card I’ll do ok.  But what about hand luggage on a long haul overnight flight with kids?  As the 4 year old is planning on taking his beloved Paw Patrol bag filled with toys all I really need to worry about is what to pack in my hand luggage when taking a long haul night flight with children…

Packing hand luggage for long haul flight with toddler


First up, bag choices.  I take my ever so trusty BabyMule changing bag.  It’s a rucksack allowing me for hands free in the airport to run after said toddler who has a hatred of being contained.  It also has lots of sections and little bags that I can sneak everything into.

baby mule ruck sack packed as hand luggage for long haul flight with toddler

The question is, what is everything required in my hand luggage when taking a long haul night flight with children….


It’s a night flight, for 8 hours.  I’m hoping that he sleeps most of it and to sleep you need PJs!

PJs for hand luggage on a long haul night flight with a toddler

Nappies and wipes

We are still at the age where nappies and wipes are a necessity. Though to be honest I think baby wipes are a necessity at any age because they’ve certainly helped me out of many a pickle! I generally go on a guide of one per hour and hope to overpack rather than not take enough….

nappies and wipes hand luggage on long haul flight with children

Bedtime story

I love taking stories on the plane, I find them incredible for introducing quiet time to my boys and it is a little part of the bedtime routine that I am able to take up in the air with me.

I even have a bedtime story for myself, though let’s see how far I get in reading that one at any point on the flight or holiday….

books for hand luggage on long haul flight with toddlers

Mini medical kit

Though I rarely use it, I think maybe twice in all the flights we have done, I always take a mini medical kit for the boys. Mainly consisting of a thermometer, some Calpol and nappy cream – just as a FYI this Skinfix Inc nappy cream is incredible, I received some over the summer and it is magic. Clears up nappy rash in one application pretty much!  All under 100ml and all carried in a clear plastic bag as per airport regulations.

mini travel medical kit for hand luggage long haul flighy with children


We are still breastfeeding, but it’s winding down and we have introduced a bottle at night.  I take an empty bottle to the airport and then nip to a coffee shop before we fly to buy a bottle full of milk to take on.  No issues about keeping it chilled, no issues going through security.


I’m not sure about you but my boys get HANGRY, and sometimes plane food doesn’t cut it (I don’t know why I LOVE plane food) so I tend to take an easy pack of snacks with me to dole out when they get to that point.

snacks for the plane hand luggage on a long haul flight with children

Small toys

Cars, trains, a digger. Anything which is reasonable small and will occupy him for 10 minutes.

toys for the plane hand luggage on a long haul night flight with children

The iPad

Technology can be a saviour. While my bigger one is excited to be plugged into the plane TV, the little one needs apps and Peppa Pig….

Any rules I have on iPad usage go out of the window whilst on long haul flights, though tonight I’m hoping that these are kept to a minimum and we sleep!

The all important passport and credit cards

Because one you can’t fly without and the other you can use to buy anything you’ve forgotten!

passports and credit card hand luggage on a long haul night flight with children

And that’s it – all packed. Now if anyone has any tips on how to keep a demanding, wanting to walk, sleep-hating, 19 month old occupied for the 8 hours we are flying when he is refusing to sleep. Well then, I’m all ears!

Pin for later

What to pack in your hand luggage when taking a long haul night flight with children

disclosure – some items mentioned in this guide were gifted to me previously through the blog. All items I use and no one has requested to be mentioned in this guide

baby mule ruck sack packed as hand luggage for long haul flight with toddler 2
It all fits!


  1. December 15, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Oh have an amazing holiday and I do hope the flight goes well. I’m sure it will be fabulous, you look totally prepared!

    • Laura
      December 15, 2016 / 12:08 pm

      We have 2 tiny cases… it’s a very small amount, I swear I’ve forgotten something!x

  2. February 9, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Great post , really useful tips, Mini Medical Kit work a treat.
    Hope you had a lovely holiday.
    Tommy Wang

  3. March 19, 2017 / 9:50 am

    Thanks for sharing!

    We have a long haul from London to Hong Kong to Manila next week which I’m super anxious about as my youngest (2.5yrs) haves being confines also so you’ve given me some ideas!

    Hope you had a good vacation!

    How was the journey in the end anyway? Were the kids behaved?


  4. May 4, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing! This is quite a useful list to have. Travel Pillows are also probably another thing that is useful for kids & adults alike on long haul trips especially!

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