Living away from family for 5 years we travelled a lot. But only 1 year of that time involved travelling with one child who was under 1 and it was only a 2 hour drive to our destination. That was easy and I never put much thought into it.
Our familymoon to Walt Disney World was our first big family trip. Our first time on a plane as a family, first time out of country as a family and the first time we would not have access to a vehicle at our destination. For all these reasons I stressed about packing.
That s why I am now sharing what I learned about family friendly packing tips for travelling, hopefully they help someone to save the stress I had.
Lists are your friend. Don’t laugh. I had lists for what went in carry on, my purse, checked luggage and the diaper bag. Without my lists our passports could have ended up in the diaper bag while our plane tickets ended up in my purse. This would not make getting through the airport easy and when travelling with kids through an airport you need it to be as easy as possible.
Have a travel binder
From the moment I started planning our familymoon I had a binder. The binder had everything we would need. Our itinerary, all my lists, reservations or our destination etc. This kept all the information I would need for our trip in one safe place that was easy to just grab and go.
Have a purpose for your luggage
Airlines are getting stricter and stricter with their luggage policy and like to charge tons of money if you go over your limits. Don’t have a suitcase for each person. Sure it may be included in your airline ticket of one piece per person but you got to drag that through the airport. We had one suitcase that had clothes for everyone in it and one suitcase for everything else. Everything else we needed such as electronics and power cords were in our carry on.
Make carry on easy to handle.
DO NOT use those carry on suitcases for each person. That will make getting through airports and on and off planes a pain in the you know what. Backpacks are your friend. This way each person can just put on their backpack and away you go. Remember though to keep backpacks kid friendly and don’t overstuff their backpacks making them heavier than your child can handle.
Pack Toys/Spare Suitcase
Sure you may have an arsenal of weapons in your carry on to keep the kids entertained but what about at the hotel? Pack some of your kids favourite toys back pack them smartly. Take a small suitcase and fill that with toys. Then put that small suitcase inside a larger suitcase. This way going down you only have 3 suitcases total and coming back you have he 4th suitcase for your souvenirs.
Morning you leave
This is where we go back to lists. There are some things you can not pack until you are heading out the door. Well make sure you have all those items on a list. That way when you are rushing to catch your flight you don’t forget anything. Trust me USE A LIST! Thankfully I learned that on shorter trips so put it to use on our big trip.
Last but not least pack your patience. You are going to need it. Travelling will be much easier if you leave lots of time to catch your flight and don’t sweat the small things. The trip will not be perfect no matter how well you plan it so roll with it and have a great trip.
How do you make travelling with kids easier? Leave a comment and let us know.