Traveling with kids is a learned skill. We don’t travel much with them. The first time we ventured out with a kid in tow, it looked like we were going on an exotic vacation for months. Hah! It was for one day! Pack-n-play, diapers, boppy, clothes that go on for days, food, blankets, stuffed animals…you name it, we had to bring it.
Today we were traveling light for a 6-day trip. How did we manage only 2 small carry-ons, a purse and an small bag? Simple. I didn’t want to pay for extra baggage fees.
1. Select accommodating baggage: We knew that we didn’t want to check luggage. It’s expensive and we didn’t want to wait to claim our items. With the kiddos, we just want to be in and out of the airport. We selected 2 small expandable rolling bags. Expandable is key! It’s amazing what an extra 2” in height can do for a family of 4.
2. Make a list and check it twice: I’m a list maker by nature. Sometimes I make lists just to see what I’ve already accomplished. It’s nice to cross off, check off or scribble through my list. I made a chart (it so would’ve been done in Excel, but it was too late) that listed our items and who needed those items. I don’t have a picture of my barbaric chart because I’m on the plane as I write this. But you get the idea. Why check it twice? It’s habit, plus, it ensures you don’t forget anything. I usually try to do a “Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes” song and dance to make sure I have thought of everything, but wouldn’t you know, I didn’t think of deodorant till the end.
3. Half the number of days + one: We’re staying for 6 days. So we’ve packed for 4 days with the intention of doing laundry. It reduces the amount of clothes we have to pack AND I get to have clean clothes when we get home. I absolutely HATE doing laundry when we get home from a vacation. It’s so much easier to have it clean and ready to hang back up in the closet…or…let it stay in the suitcase. Don’t judge. You know you do it, too.
4. Purchase disposable items or beg, borrow, and steal (*Please, don’t steal.): If it’s something that I don’t absolutely need to have right then and there, I’ll purchase it at our destination or if we can borrow things from friends and family, it makes things just that much more cost effective. By doing this, it gives me room for other things. When traveling with younger kids, check your destination to see if there are places you can rent strollers, pack-n-plays, and even toys. We have used this service before and it’s totally worth it. You don’t have to worry about lugging all of those things on your back and it frees up your hands to grab a hold of your kiddo while they’re running through security being chased by TSA.
We’re so excited to be able to go on vacation as a family of 4. What do you do to make it easier for your family to travel?