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More great tips! Many thanks to Trisha over at 24/7 MOMS! Here are some great tips for packing LESS when traveling with kids.
I keep a crushable duffel bag into an outside zippered compartment on my largest suitcase, and we have yet to return home without using it. If I check my bag and it happens to be over the weight limit, I just take out the duffel and transfer some of my belongings into it so I can avoid the penalty. Other times, we use it to bring back souvenirs that we bought on vacation.
If you’re going to check your child’s car seat, know that (a) it will usually be counted as an extra bag and (b) the baggage-handling machines at airports can really be rough them up. Pack into a duffel bag. As a bonus, we can store an extra supply of baby gear—diapers, wipes, etc.
Use Rubbermaid storage bin with a snap close lid for each member of the family. Line bins up outside of camper and leave them there. The bins are weatherproof and bug proof when shut all the way. Now there’s no need to keep running in and out of the camper all the time for a forgotten hat, dry socks, or towels. Bonus is the extra room inside the camper.
Resist your children’s pleas to allow high-tech gadgetry at your camp. You’ll give them the gift of being able to entertain themselves without their TV, Game Boy, laptop, or iPod. They will learn how much fun it is to just talk, play cards and board games, and get lost in their own thoughts. And best of all, they will be able to truly tune into nature.
Travel Bag- design a bag for travel only. Keep and storage travel items inside for ease of packing. Keep a Ziploc bag of crayons and mini-markers, coloring and activity books. Handi-wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, buy trial sizes our doubles of your shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, contact lens solution, deodorant, lotion, and so on for your toiletry bag. Don’t forget a hairbrush, toothbrush, tweezers, and mini first-aid and sewing kits.
Use a gallon-size Ziploc bag for anything like makeup or medication that needs to be unpacked when you get home. Your fully-stocked toiletry bag can stay right in your luggage for your next trip.
Less is More-avoid taking too much stuff on vacation, lay everything out then try to pack only half of the items.
Pack each child a backpack with things to do, snacks, their favorite blankie and even a change of clothes for flying or car travel.
Surprise bags…include pipe cleaners, new book, snack, color pencils (no crayons/markers), trading cards, journal/notepad, and any other fun things you can find.