Hand Luggage for a Five Year Old

Colouring for five year old on a plane

As our children get older, their travel needs change and adjust. Here’s what we’re packing in our hand luggage for the plane now we are travelling with a five year old.

Their own carry on bag

Older children can usually manage their own carry on bag, giving parents a bit more room back for their own things!

Make sure you choose a bag that your children can carry easily themselves, and that they’re excited about being in charge of. At the Family Travel Pro, it’s all Super Mario at the moment, so we picked up this great value Super Mario back pack at Primark for this trip. Easy to carry and fun, perfect hand luggage for a five year old!

super mario back pack

Snacks, snacks and more snacks

Even for the shortest of flights, we pack a lot of snacks! They can keep children occupied and happy throughout the flight and are useful in case of long delays.

Bringing your own will also help to save money on buying items on board. Airline menus can be very limited and we always prefer to make sure we have our favourite snacks already packed.

Make sure you avoid anything with any kind of liquid content over 100mls as you won’t be able to bring these through security in the UK. For full advice on what you can bring through security, please see the UK Government’s advice.

We try to get lower sugar versions of some of our usual treats for the plane, just to keep sugar levels down as much as possible! These are some of our favourite lower-sugar treats.

Snacks on a plane

Colouring and Activity Books

Colouring books and activity books are a great, easy choice for older children on an aeroplane. Reasonably mess-free, and compact, they can provide a quiet activity for kids of most ages.

This year we’ve found some great Toy Story 4 books (in-store in Home Bargains) and the ever-popular Super Mario versions too.

Activity books for 5 year olds

Educational Books and Magazines

A plane is a great place to catch up on some practice for school, without it seeming like work! We love the CBeebies Numberblocks magazine series and these super phonics fairy tales books from Home Bargains, which are perfect for 5 year olds.

Educational books and magazines

Tablets and Technology

We wouldn’t be without a tablet or some kind of technology on a long flight, and this year we’ve packed the Amazon Fire for Kids again. Loaded with games and videos, this will keep children occupied for hours.

We also pack headphones to keep the noise down, but these aren’t vital.

We’ve written a full article on tablets and technology for travel, which gives more information on our favourite technology choices for family travel, including portable DVD players. These are great on planes!

Amazon fire for kids tablet


We love toys for the plane that are small and keep little fingers busy. Two of our favourites are squishy toys and lacing cards.

squishy toys
lacing cards

Emergencies Kit

Calpol sachets, tissues, wipes and hand sanitiser all find their way into our emergencies kit. The Calpol sachets have travelled around the world with us – they are light and only 5mls each so no problem with liquid restrictions in security. We wouldn’t be without them!

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