What are you packing for your little one? We've got a checklist of essentials that will keep your child entertained and happy for the entire flight. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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There’s only one way to avoid having a miserable experience when flying with little ones: careful preparation.

Every parent knows, bringing the right items on board with you can prevent boredom, and pre-empt any tantrums. With hours to fill, especially if you’re travelling long distances, it’s important to have all your supplies in order – whether it has to do with feeding, soothing, cleaning or entertaining.

Use our guide below as the ultimate checklist for travelling with kids. We’ve curated it after speaking with parents who have become veterans at ensuring their children are comfortable and happy on flights. Get your favourite gear with Amazon Prime, ahead of your next trip.

1. Best Headphones: JBL JR310BT Wireless Headphones 


  • Wide variety of colours
  • Good, comfortable fit
  • Foldable and compact
  • Safe Sound technology


  • No auto shut-off for Bluetooth

Even if you’re not a fan of screen time, you might allow it for a little while on a long-haul flight, to give yourself a break. Pack a pair of children’s headphones to avoid the inevitable frustration of in-flight earphones refusing to stay put in your child’s ears. Available in a variety of colours, JBL’s headphones come in both wired and wireless form. They’re equipped with JBL’s Safe Sound technology, so the audio can’t exceed 85dB. A soft, padded headband and ear cushions, along with a compact and foldable design, make it both comfortable and portable. Reviewers appreciate that it comes with USB-C charging - just five minutes plugged in can get you two hours of battery life. There’s even a sticker set in the box so your child can give it a unique design. Check out other kids’ headphones

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh12, and two-year extended warranty for Dh17.

2. Best Tablet: Apple iPad 


  • Family Sharing makes it easier to monitor more than one child
  • Set up age restrictions, and download and purchase approvals
  • Limit and review screen time from your device
  • 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Battery life of up to 10 hours


  • Parents have to preload content
  • Family Sharing only works with an Apple ecosystem

Speaking of screen time, if you’d like to be in control of what your child is watching or playing, skip in-flight entertainment and opt for a tablet. In terms of durability, versatility and ease of use, the Apple iPad (10th Generation) is unbeatable. Granted, it's a pricier option than most, but mums and dads get peace of mind with Apple's Family Sharing ecosystem. As you set up your child's iPad, you'll be prompted with options to fix age-related restrictions, downtime for apps, communication restrictions and in-app purchase approvals. The 2022 iPad runs on the iPadOS 16, so you can expect Apple's most advanced controls, yet. The A14 Bionic chip has plenty of processing and graphics support. Its large 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display is also a welcome change from small smartphone screens. Even on long flights with heavy use, the battery life goes on for up to 10 hours per charge. Do remember that you can't upgrade the storage, so it's important to pick a model with sufficient ROM (which can be expanded with iCloud, if needed).

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh106.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: ‎Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh86, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh143, and a two-year damage protection plus one-year extended warranty for Dh182.

3. Best Suitcase: JetKids by Stokke BedBox 


  • Light and spacious
  • Ride-on seat with top handle
  • Converts into foot rest


  • Expensive

Both fun and functional, JetKids’ BedBox is an ingenious way to transport your child in the airport, without having to bring along a stroller. This ride-on suitcase meets carry-on requirements in aeroplanes, so you can use it to pack your child’s snacks, books, games and other activities. An adjustable strap allows you to pull it when your little one is seated on it, and there’s a top handle they can hold onto, as they move. Once on the plane, you can convert the suitcase into a comfortable foot rest in five simple steps – it comes with an extendable lid, mattress and soft side panels. Parents in the reviews say it’s practical and incredibly useful for long-haul flights. The suitcase is suitable for kids aged 3 to 7 years old.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh76.58 for 12 months with select banks.

4. Best Suitcase Attachment: Lugabug Travel Seat 

If you’d prefer just attaching a seat to an existing suitcase instead, consider Lugabug’s travel seat for kids. This clever tool attaches to your carry-on luggage and converts into a hammock-like seat that is safe for children aged two and up (it has a weight limit of 22kgs). The seat and backrest are constructed with padded foam and durable nylon. It’s easy to adjust the clips and straps and keep your child secure. The travel seat is lightweight, weighing just 538g, and folds flat, so you can slip it into an external pocket of your trolley bag, once your child is done using it. Do note, however, that it works with standard suitcases that have roller wheels or hybrid wheels, but is unsuitable for four-wheel spinners, where all wheels rotate 360 degrees.

5. Best Travel Pillow: Cloudz Kids Neck Pillow 

For older kids, it can be tricky getting comfortable enough to sleep. Cloudz’s travel neck pillow is designed for young ones, and is constructed with soft and cosy plush on one side, and cool spandex on the other. Filled with Comforlite microbeads, the pillow adapts and moulds to the child’s head, offering comfort and stability no matter which way they turn their head. Happy reviewers say they don’t have to worry about ‘bobble heads’ with this neck pillow, and many take it along on road trips, too.

6. Best Flight Bed: JefDiee Inflatable Travel Bed 

Night flights can get a whole lot more comfortable for your little one if you buy an inflatable foot rest. Neha N., a data analyst based in Canada, swears by this useful tool. She used it when she travelled to Dubai on a 14-hour flight with her two-year-old daughter Zara, earlier this year, and said: “ JefDiee’s foot rest pillow perfectly lines up with the aeroplane seat, virtually converting it into a bed for toddlers. You can adjust it to three different heights and use it anywhere, even under your desk or in front of your couch. Soft and tear-resistant, it folds up quickly and can be packed into a drawstring bag for easy portability.

7. Best Baby Carrier: TushBaby Hip Seat 

Whether it’s colic or ear pain that’s causing your baby to cry nonstop on a flight, it can be difficult carrying your little one for extended periods of time, as you try to shush and soothe them. TushBaby’s hip seat is an ingenious solution in such situations. The lightweight and versatile baby carrier is also a mini diaper bag – it has large storage pockets, so you can store essentials like diapers, wipes, your phone and passport. Ideal for newborns and toddlers up to three years old, the ergonomic seat puts your baby’s hips in the M position, which is paediatric-recommended, and distributes their weight so you can carry them for longer. The hip seat includes loops in which, you can attach toys and sanitisers. Useful not just on flights, but when travelling too, it’s something that can virtually change the way you travel. Do note, however, that it’s not completely hands-free – you’ll still need to keep an arm around your little one.

8. Best Snack Container: GoBe Kids Snack Spinner 

Packing your child’s favourite snacks is always a good idea, no matter where you’re going. The GoBe Snack Spinner is a fun way for your child to manage their hunger pangs on flights. It includes five snacking compartments, with each holding a quarter cup of solid food (that’s about 20 Goldfish crackers). An interactive button allows your child to spin the contents, until their favourite one appears behind the door. They can then lift it open and start snacking. Over 4,000 reviewers have given this no-mess snack container 4.5 stars for its compact form, portability and ease of use.

9. Best Water Bottle: YETI Rambler Jr. Kids Bottle 

A reusable water bottle is a must-have when travelling, and it doesn’t get better than YETI. Rambler Jr. is ideal for flights, since it’s leakproof, spill-proof, and can easily withstand drops thanks to its stainless-steel construction. The bottle’s double-wall insulation keeps drinks cold or warm for hours, and a straw cap makes it easy to sip on the go. An added bonus: both the bottle and cap are dishwasher-safe.

10. Best Colouring Activity: Melissa & Doug Water Wow (4-Pack) 

A favourite for parents everywhere, Melissa & Doug’s Water Wow colouring books have garnered over 15,000 4.8-star reviews for good reason. They’re completely mess-free! Amina Hussain, a mother of two based in Sharjah, said the books kept her five-year-old occupied and happy when she travelled to India last year: “I love that there’s no clean-up involved. I used to bring along crayons earlier, but they always fell below the seats or broke, and left both my daughter and me frustrated. That’s not a problem with these water books.” Each book includes four reusable pages and a refillable water pen. With every stroke, the book reveals hidden colours and pictures, leaving your child engrossed for a long time. The water pen is chunkier than regular pens – ideal for little hands still learning to perfect their grip. The activity pad is suitable for kids aged three to seven years.

11. Best Craft Activity: Craystatic! Stringamajigs Art Wax Craft Yarn Sticks 

In an inspired move, Afzal Hussain, a Canada-based sales executive, bought Stringamajigs with the hope that it would occupy his five-year-old daughter on a long flight to Dubai. It worked. He said: “She played with it for hours, making her favourite animals and cartoon characters. Other passengers who walked by stopped and spoke with her about what she was making, and it became a really unexpected but engaging social experience for her.” Since these yarn sticks have a waxy feel, they don’t roll away as easily as crayons or markers. There’s no mess or glue involved, either. This set comes with 48 packs, each one containing eight sticks in four different colours.

12. Best Puzzle: Ubongo The Brain Game to Go 

If your children love puzzles, this set by Ubongo will keep them busy for hours. Fast-paced and addictive, the game involves geometric puzzles and encourages players to use interlocking shapes to find the perfect match. With 200 puzzles, and difficulty levels ranging from easy to hard, the puzzle can be played solo or in a competitive style, with multiplayer challenges. This portable set comes with a convenient carrying case, and is best suited for children aged eight and up.

13. Best Book: Where's Waldo? The Magnificent Mini Boxed Set 

A challenging book is an entertaining one. Perfect for children aged five to nine, Where’s Waldo? can have little ones staring at pages for minutes at a time, even if they aren’t able to read yet. The aim is to find Waldo, in his iconic red and white striped clothes, in pages filled with entertaining illustrations. Parents and children can embark on the challenge together, and enjoy some quality time while travelling. This boxed set will serve you well, whenever you need to pull out a book for a road trip or flight. The paperbacks are lightweight and small, and can slip into your bag or backpack without any hassles.

14. Best Sticker Set: Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Bundle 

A great option for kids aged three and above, this sticker set contains three activity pads, ranging across themes like jungle and savannah, farm scenes and life under the sea. Sakina Khan, a mum of three, said: “Melissa and Doug stickers are our go-to travel essentials! As a mom who limits screen time, I'm always on the lookout for engaging activities to keep my girls occupied and entertained. These stickers are a lifesaver, providing hours of creative fun and keeping my little ones happily occupied during our travels.” The best part? The stickers are reusable and offer endless opportunities for fun.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.