How To Travel With Your Crew - My Tips and Tricks for Packing and Traveling with Kids
Traveling with kids is no joke. The amount of things one needs to pack to travel with just one kiddo is mind-boggling, and that just increases the more children you add on to your entourage.
As my family is about to embark on our first real big ski holiday as a family of four, I am streamlining this process and would love to share with you my tips and tricks for simplifying this all and also some of my favourite things to bring on a flight with kids of all ages - links included!
ORGANIZING BEFORE YOU GO
- Take out your smart phone and open a new page of notes and write down everything that is essential that you use in one day for each kiddo, like a diary of sorts. This can include their favourite cups, snacks, blankets, bath toys, anything that is essential to mitigating a tantrum and for optimal happiness when in a strange surrounding.
- Look at that list, and delete anything that is NON ESSENTIAL.
- Depending on where you are traveling too, see what can be shipped (aka amazon’d) to your hotel, residence etc.
- Make another list, this time of ALL the things you need to arrange before the trip, your ride to and from the airport, your rental car, baby gear at your destination (hotels provide cribs if you call ahead, and there are a multitude of baby gear rental places that service most big cities), food that is essential if you are staying at a house or Airbnb (some services can deliver food ahead of time and co-ordinate with the home owner), activities you can pre-book, literally anything and everything you can plan out ahead of time and book, do it!
- Don’t forget about yourself, make a list of all the things YOU need including a first aid kit (you never know and who wants to be searching for a pharmacy in the middle of nowhere at midnight), electronics, plugs for all those electronics etc.
WHAT TO BRING
- I love to lay everything out and then I edit and re-edit. Most people tend to over pack and when you are traveling with little ones you are already very limited with space and who wants to be lugging extra stuff through an airport while pushing a double stroller and wearing a baby?!
- Count the days you are going be away. For YOU, try to find outfits that can double up, jeans you can pair with a few looks, a sweater you can wear twice, one or two pairs of shoes to wear that can be dressed up or down, simplify. For your kiddos, I like to play it safe and assume they will have to do multiple outfit changes (depending on their age) so allow them to have at least 2 outfits a day. If you have laundry where you are going this isn’t as essential but if you don’t, definitely allow for the (most definite) spill, or blowout.
- I love to give each kiddo their own “backpack” filled to the brim with new Melissa and Doug Water Wow books, Wiki Sticks, kids size earphones, tablets, snacks in little ziplock bags, and any other favourite little crafts and toys you don’t mind losing or getting ruined. These are a huge hit and sure to give your kiddos hours of fun in the car, on the plane or at your destination.
- Bring each kiddo a water bottle they can use in transit and at your destination. I love the Klean Kanteen ones because they are portable and don’t spill
- If you are flying, buy a bag of organic Lollypops made with real fruit to combat those plugged ears at takeoff and landing.
- My kids each sleep with a lovey and blanket and I make sure to bring these along to recreate their cozy and safe sleep environment and have some familiarity for them.
- If you have a little one that can fit in a toddler carseat, I can’t say enough great things about bringing a travel one. The Lilly Gold Sit and Stroll car seat has wheels that come out and a handle that pops up so you can literally strap your kid in and not let them out till you reach your destination (half kidding). This has been a game changer for us on flights and then serves as a car seat at our destination! If you have a kid that likes to roam while on an airplane this is a MUST!
- If you have a kiddo that still can be “worn” I love the Ergo Baby carrier. It takes weight off your hips and back and is so easy to take the kid in and out of for security at the airport. It also folds up easily into the overhead compartment. This carrier is great on a holiday because you can wear it for a long amount of time and go on hikes, walk cities and not break your back.
HOW TO PACK
- Packing Cubes. There that’s it, all you need. These cubes have been a life-saver. You can divide up little socks, underwear, bathing suits, ski accessories or even have multiple children’s stuff in one piece of luggage already separated and this makes unpacking a breeze.
- I love using the Le Sports Sac system of zippered bags (you can get a set of 3 in different sizes) and I use these for cosmetics, toiletries and first aid stuff for me and the kids. It keeps everything clean, organized and easy to find.
- Shoe bags. Shoes are dirty, you don’t want them touching all your clean clothes in your luggage so use these, trust me. I mean, who has plastic bags anymore?
- Dirty laundry bags - Again, a great idea to separate what’s soiled, sweaty and non-wearable and not have it mixing in with all your other clean things.
- Zip lock bags in a few sizes - trust me, these will come in handy, whether it’s a dirty diaper, wet clothes, or a shampoo that burst open in your bag, you’ll want these! Put some in your carry on bag too.
WHEN YOU GET THERE
- Unpack the kids first, take out those well organized cubes you packed everything in, and it’s that easy!
- Next unpack toiletries, and then lastly your stuff (of course!)
- A big trick I’ve learned, which makes unpacking once you get home SO much easier, is put all your dirty laundry in that dirty laundry bag you packed and as annoying as it is, put everything bag in the cubes they came in, and when you get home it makes putting all the clean stuff away so much easier, I promise!
- And because you have a place and bag for everything, packing up to go home and unpacking once again are so much easier and streamlined. I’ve kinda got it down to a science now.
- Leave the almost empty travel size toiletry items behind and fill up your kiddo’s snack bags for the ride/flight back!
Happy Travels and thanks so much for stopping by samsomuch.com