Once you have your itinerary and set your departure date, it’s time to start packing. It’s an exciting time but also very stressful if you’re going on an international trip and especially with children, who need extra clothes and toys at all times of the day or night. So how can you fit everything into your suitcase? Here are nine tips to help you pack light while travelling with kids!
1. Carry Comfortable Shoes
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget in the midst of packing all the other things you need for your trip. Comfortable shoes are a must when you’re traveling with kids because they’ll be doing a lot of walking. And, if you’re traveling to a place with lots of cobblestone streets or hills, you’ll be glad you packed comfortable shoes for your little ones. If you know that your child is sensitive to foot pain, pack extra pairs of their favorite socks and/or liners so that they can switch them out during the day and feel more comfortable. You also want to make sure that your children have sturdy, closed-toe shoes with ankle support. These will help prevent injuries while exploring new places. Of course, don’t forget anything else they may need: sunscreen, bug spray, hats and sunglasses, ponchos or raincoats (depending on the climate), etc. You want them to have fun on this family vacation!
2. Let the Kid Choose (and Own) Their Favorite Toys
Kids always want to bring their favorite toys with them when they travel, but this can quickly lead to an overstuffed suitcase. A great way to avoid this is to let your child choose a few of their favorite toys to bring, and make sure they understand that these are the only toys they’ll have while on vacation. This will help them be more selective and appreciate their toys more. Plus, it’ll free up some space in your suitcase for things like clothes and souvenirs. As a bonus, if you’ve gone through the effort of getting their favorite toy all ready to go in advance (wrapped up), you may even get points for being thoughtful. The other option is to let your child pack one bag full of toys and then just have them rotate which ones they play with during each day of the trip. Or give each kid one bag, filled with items they might enjoy playing with together (extra set of blocks, watercolor paint set).
3. Waterproof Everything
When you’re packing for a trip with kids, it’s important to pack smart and be prepared for anything. Waterproof everything from your phone to your child’s clothes and shoes. This way, if there are any spills or accidents, you won’t have to worry about ruining anything. Plus, it’ll make clean-up a breeze.
When you don’t have enough room to carry all of your kids’ clothes, it’s a good idea to take them out of their closets and fold them flat on top of each other. This way, even if you end up having to wear wet clothes for a little while, at least nothing will be wrinkled or get damaged. Plus, it’s much easier to put everything back into their drawers when you get home.
4. Check Out Airline Policies
Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking the train, it’s important to know the baggage policies of your chosen mode of transportation. For example, most airlines have a limit on the number of bags you can check, as well as the size and weight restrictions. If you’re traveling with young children, you may be able to bring a stroller and car seat for free. It’s also a good idea to find out if there are any fees associated with bringing along extra luggage. There is usually a fee per bag and that fee can increase depending on how much you exceed the allowance. Sometimes these fees vary by airline carrier, so be sure to ask before packing too many items in anticipation of future air travel plans.
If you plan to drive rather than fly during this holiday season, make sure that you keep all your vehicle’s documents (license plate numbers, registration) in one place ahead of time – just in case they’re asked for at security checkpoints.
5. Minimize Electronics
If you’re trying to pack light, minimize the number of electronics you bring. That means packing only one device per person, if possible. Consider whether you really need a laptop, tablet, or smartphone with you. One of each should suffice. And remember to pack chargers and adapters as well. The bulk is an added weight that will weigh down your bag or luggage. Make sure that any electronic devices are in protective cases to ensure they stay safe during transit too. Plus, it’s always wise to have extra chargers on hand just in case one doesn’t work anymore. And don’t forget to take care of those pesky little cables that can easily get lost! They might not seem like much, but they can really add up over time.
Whether you’re packing for a beach vacation or a cross-country road trip, these tips will help you travel light with kids in tow. First, make a packing list and involve your kids in the process. Then, pack versatile items that can be mixed and matched, and choose clothing that can be worn more than once. Don’t forget to pack essential items like sunscreen and insect repellent, and consider renting larger items like car seats or strollers at your destination. By following these tips, you’ll be able to travel light and enjoy a stress-free vacation with your family. Also, to have the best items for your kids, don’t forget to check the kidslifeclothing.
main photo: unsplash.com/Boxed Water Is Better