As a former kindergarten teacher, I have had many parents tell me that they are waiting to take a vacation until their kids get a little bit older. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of traveling with kids. I say don’t wait- traveling with kids is fun. After taking many trips with my own two boys I have learned some invaluable tips to make a trip relaxing and rewarding for everyone. As with everything in life, being prepared is half the battle.
It is important to consider what to carry on and how much to check. My role as a packing specialist at Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters is to help you single out the best items for a stress-free vacation. I teach many of the packing classes we offer at Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters and I am always encouraging clients to pack enough for 2 weeks’ vacation in a carry-on. This is possible, even with a young family, but I don’t recommend it! I am going against everything I normally suggest, however my logic is that you need your hands free for other things at the airport when you are traveling with young children. Your child may still need a stroller for those long touring days or tight connections. I’d pack an anti-theft bag that easily hangs off the back of the stroller handles. I like an anti-theft bag any time I am not going to keep a bag immediately on my body. When I am traveling in a busy area knowing I have the RFID protection and lockable zippers gives me peace of mind to be focused on the safety of my kids.
There are a few things that I suggest for your checked bag as well. I love getting different colored Eagle Creek Packing Aids for each family member. That way it is easy for everyone to know what is what and whose is whose. When it is time to go home, the kids can be responsible for shoving all their items back into their own packing cubes. I label mine with a Sharpie. They are easy to throw in the washing machine and dryer. Then, store them in the suitcase so they are ready to go the next time you travel.
I always pack a raincoat that is easily accessible in case it’s raining when I arrive. If I am headed somewhere warm in the winter, I keep my flip flops or sandals in the outside pocket of my suitcase. I also pack an empty compression sac at the bottom of my suitcase for dirty clothes. Not only does it keep my dirty clothes separated from the clean, but I am gaining space in my suitcase if my family discovers something they just can’t live without. I love wearing clothes or jewelry that have a memory of a faraway place. It also feels good to support local craftsmen.
Does it all still seem daunting? Book a complimentary private packing session with one of our specialists. You can voice your concerns and we can help you figure out the best path forward. Stay tuned for my next post about what to carry on the plane with children to help the flight go smoothly.