Family vacations not only build lifelong memories but create lifelong connections with your loved ones. That is why you should travel with kids. Studies have even shown that those who travel are more productive and had closer family relationships.
Now, given all the other things you have to attend to when traveling with kids, you would want minimal baggage when you're on the go. Going far and wide or on a vacation for a week does not mean you need to bring everything from your house. Packing smart is one of the best ways to ensure your family vacation is enjoyable. That includes your kids' bags as well. Please visit our article on the ultimate guide to fun and practical kids luggage for some awesome ideas.
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Why Travel Light with Kids?
Traveling light when traveling with your kids has a lot of advantages. At times it may seem impossible, but it will all be worth the effort when you get to your destination. With a little planning, it will mean you will have more time for a day at the spa or a nice afternoon at a cafe' somewhere in the charming streets of Paris.
Going overboard and packing everything you think is necessary will only lead to excess baggage and extra effort in carrying all your bags from point A to B and in some cases from C to D and D to E as well!
Traveling Light with Kids Gives You an Extra Hand
If you only have a bag to carry, your hands will be free to attend to other things. It is a practical consideration when traveling with energetic kids. Parents need both hands to handle and keep everyone together especially in a crowded place.
Having only a few things to carry will save you the hassle of attending to your bags instead of looking out for the kids who might be running around in the airport or touching everything they see. Moreover, having extra hands is always an added bonus if you are a parent of young kids. Just imagine being able to hold your passports, phones, and other essential documents with ease.
Light Baggage Cost Less
Money money money. Of course, it is understood that when you exceed your baggage allowance, you are bound to pay extra for it. Packing a lot of things that you might not need or will never use on the trip is a useless expense. Why not use the extra cash to splurge on experiences for the family instead. Also, you will never have to pay the carrier to help you bring your bags from one point to another.
Traveling Light Will Also Teach Your Kids Lessons
Traveling light will not only benefit you but will also teach your kids valuable lessons. It will teach your kids the difference between needs and wants. It's about instilling gratitude and appreciation for the things they have and about helping them understand how much they do have.
Traveling Light is Sustainable
Traveling with fewer items will motivate everybody to treat gadgets and other belongings better so they will last. They will be easier to find too! Also, traveling light means less trash on the road. This practice has an immediate impact on the environment and it is time to contribute to its rejuvenation than adding to the load which all goes back to the needs and wants. Kids are pretty sure they need toys, video games, and so on. It’s not their fault as your kids were likely born into affluence, by world standards and by comparison to those standards.
Packing Tip - Packing Light
Start With A Packing List
A list is helpful to make sure everything you need to bring is in the bag. With a list, you can double or triple-check it to make sure you are not missing anything. The last thing you want to worry about when traveling is forgetting about your kid's medicines or leaving your important documents behind. Google Keep is a helpful tool if you want to make an organized list. It allows you to create categories so you will know which ones to pack first and last.
Haphazardly throwing everything you can think of in your luggage can potentially lead to the worst-case scenario. You might bring things you don't need and leave important items behind. Apart from the hassle of bringing something you never used, the space it took could have been more useful if you brought something essential for the trip.
Mix and Match Clothes
It's overwhelming when deciding which clothes to bring and what color. Mixing and matching your garment's colors will be easier for you to decide what to wear during your trip. Packing with a color scheme will see everyone matching and well-coordinated for those priceless family photos.
Choose Shoes Wisely
When choosing footwear, limit each member to only two pairs where possible. This decision will largely depend on your itinerary and where you're going. Comfortable sneakers are a must especially if you are going for long walks in the small alleys of Japan or hiking Kakadu National Park. If you have plans on going fine-dining, it would be ideal to pack sneakers that can cater to both day and nighttime events. If it's Florida you're going, of course, a trendy pair of slippers will do.
Packing Tip - Organization
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a godsend when traveling with kids and will literally revolutionize the way you pack! It is a fact that there will be much to bring during a family vacation and organizing each one's bag can be a challenge. What these cubes do is help you stay organized, keep your belongings compact and find what you need, when you need it, and in record time. They come in different shapes and sizes and you will find ones that fit perfectly into your luggage.
Roll The Clothes To Save Space
Here is an interesting fact! did you know that rolling your clothes gives you much more space than laying them on top of each other flat? Also, you can roll one outfit together so it will be easier for you to grab it when you need it, what an absolute bonus! Additionally, if you roll your kid's clothes together, you need not micromanage them when dressing up for your next activity. You can just simply ask each one to grab a roll and wallah! one dressed kid. No more arguments of what to wear or where is this and that.
Maintain Organization When Traveling
Another thing that often comes up when traveling is laundry. You don't want dirty clothes to be mixed up with clean ones, so, it is ideal to bring a laundry mesh for each person. You can ask each member of the family to place their dirty clothes in the mesh and put them back in their luggage before your flight back home.
A separate laundry mesh will come in handy wherever your destination is. be it in the snowy mountains of Colorado, or swimming on the mystical coast of Bali. Remember those packing cubes? they can definitely double up as laundry bags too!
Packing Tip - Toiletries
Packing Toiletries for Kids
If you have two kids or more, it is also a great idea to separate their toiletries from each other. You can place each toiletry to a small mesh where your kid's toothbrush, shampoo, soap, and all the other hygiene essentials are in one bag. You can use small containers to pack a small volume of shampoo and other essentials mentioned above. By providing them with their own little toiletry bag it will encourage them to take responsibility and look after their own belongings.
For adults and keeping in mind that most hotels and resorts provide toiletries, packing small tubes or containers will do for your body wash, shampoo, and other hair and body essentials.
Packing a First Aid Kit
First aid kits are essential when traveling especially if you have your little ones with you. It is not ideal to opt for buying during your travels in cases of emergencies. So, packing an essential first aid kit with items such as medicines, ointments, and other must-haves will save you the hassle of finding a pharmacy at the most inconvenient time. Ibuprofen, Tylenol, bandaids, Dramamine, and ointments are a few of the essentials you need to bring apart from the specific medicines your family needs.
Packing Diapers and Wipes for Kids
Depending on the length of the trip you are planning, diapers and wipes are essential when traveling with kids, don't get caught without them! However, bringing a whole pack of diapers can be quite a drag and very space-consuming. So, it is best to pack only enough until you get to your next destination. That's when you restock.
On a different note, when you are road tripping with your family, it is best to bring enough for the whole trip. You can add extra storage spaces in your vehicle for your kid's necessities. Diapers and wipes are vital during your journey and when you get to your destination because kids will be kids!
Packing Snacks and Feeding the Family
Going to restaurants can be challenging at times if you have kids. Packing snacks and food is ideal when going on an adventure with your kids. Apart from saving you cash from visiting restaurants, you will be free from any complaints from your little ones because have their favorite food. It's a win-win situation as it will also give you the chance to pack something healthy for your kids.
If you are going out and about the whole day it's important to stay energized. How you pack your family's snacks and food will depend on where you are going and the activities you will be doing. Of course, the most vital of all regardless of where you are going is water. As an example, if you are going on a walk with your little ones, it is best to pack some health bars. They don't take up too much space in the bag and they taste good too.
If you are going on a road trip, pack as much as you can and put them in separate containers. Kids tend to be impatient when asked to sit in a car for hours. One of the things that can help kids cope with boredom is food glorious food. Balance your snacks and try to bring some comfort food and healthy selections. You can stop by some grocery stores along the way to restock, but make sure your little ones have enough to munch on during the journey.
Packing Tip - Entertainment
Packing toys and more toys will only take up valuable space in your luggage. There are other things you can opt for if you want to entertain your kids. You can give your kids a small backpack of which they can carry themselves, and ask them to put the toys they want to bring along with them during your family vacation.
You can also bring along your kids' favorite books, coloring books, and or activity books which takes up a lot less space than bulky toys. Headphones and one small soft toy will also come in handy for your little one's extra comfort.
Moreover, you can encourage your kids to play games that do not require any toys. And on that note, we have put together a list of 30 best travel games for kids to play on planes, trains and automobiles. You can also search for games online which you think your kids can handle or comprehend so you won't have to worry about their entertainment fix all the time.
Packing Tip - Gadgets and Screens
Packing gadgets for your kids only require two things, good headphones and a tablet full of kid's films and educational games. And if you are 'sharing' the tablet with your kids, some podcasts for you to listen to when the kids are asleep on the plane.
Arm your gadgets with robust casing and some extra screen protection when you are traveling with your kids to soften the impact of a drop tablet or phone. It is also ideal to pack electronic necessities in one bag to keep all gadget essentials in one place.
That wraps up our tips to packing and traveling light with kids. We hope you have found it useful and have given you the extra confidence to unleash your wanderlust.
Be well, stay well and stay social.