Keryn Means a RoamRight Blog Author

How To Travel Lighter With Kids

Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a headache. CT

Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be the production many parents think it will be. Your luggage load does not need to get larger. You just need to pack efficiently, ship essentials to yourself, buy when you get there, and carry multi-purpose items.

Pack the same, not more

When you first begin to travel with your children, pull out the same number of suitcases that you used before your kids came along. Put their clothing in first and than your own. You may need to leave home that fifth pair of shoes and extra “just in case” tops, but you will be surprised what you can live without. Plan on wearing something more than once, do laundry in the hotel bathroom or head to the local laundromat.

When your kids are small this is easy to do. Once they are bigger they can pack their own bags. The key with allowing your kids to pack their own bags is to remind them that they will also have to carry their own bag. While they are young and you have to carry your kids, plus all of your baggage, you need to pack efficiently. When your kids start carrying their own bags you can throw that extra pair of shoes back in. Of course now you will have at least three checked bags to pay for, so maybe keep using all of those efficient travel skills and travel with only carry on bags.

Ship essentials to yourself

Diapers and wipes take up a lot of space in suitcases. One option is to ship these products to your destination and have them waiting for you. This works particularly well if you are visiting family or staying at a hotel. Just remember to let them know you are coming. When you are traveling to a destination that you know has the items you need, only pack enough to get you through the first two days then buy a pack of diapers and wipes after you arrive. Buy only enough to last your trip and you won’t have to worry about making room to bring them home. If you find that you have a lot of extras, asks your hotel if they can donate them to a local women’s shelter or church that serves those in need. Diapers are expensive and should never be wasted.

Items that serve double duty

Baby brands will make you think you need a separate item to do everything imaginable with your child. The most baby gear you may have to travel with are a crib (if the hotel doesn’t provide one), a car seat (if you can’t rent one), a stroller and a baby carrier. The baby carrier will be the first to get kicked off your packing list as your baby grows. The crib will be next. Car seats will be traveling with you for a few years, and you may find you like having a cheap stroller with you to carry bags and tired toddlers as you explore. You do not need to pack a high chair, exersaucer or sunshades. Your stroller can also serve as a high chair and playpen in a pinch. Baby blankets can act as sunshades, and even a changing pad if you need it. Backpacks also work much better than diaper bags when you are on the go, carrying both your child’s snacks and diapers as well as your own things.

Less is more

The most important thing to remember is that you won’t need the kitchen sink to travel with your children, even when they are very young. Your destination will have its own entertainment and fun. A few toys are necessary; the entire toy box is not. As your child grows, remind them that they can bring as many toys and books as they can carry. If they can’t carry their own bags than something needs to stay home. Make sure your kids know that every square inch counts, and help them figure out what they truly cannot travel without. Lovies and one stuffed friend are in; the entire animal menagerie is out. There are some “friends” who get to travel and others who have to stay home to protect the house.

What are your best tips for traveling with kids?

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Keryn Means

Keryn Means, a RoamRight Blog Author Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest, and Google Plus.

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