I am no jet setter but I have done my fair share of traveling with my children when they were in my womb, infants, toddlers, elementary school children and now adolescents. Not only have I done a lot of traveling with them but I have done long sixteen hour plus flights with them.
These have included all sorts of unexpected arisings: dropping the pacifier on the airport floor, diaper changes in every imaginable place and then some, hauling carseats across various European airports, suitcase breaking apart at check in, dropping my bracelet in the airplane's toilet, accepting stares and glares from other passengers when my son's ears were hurting at landing, etc. The list goes on and on and I can sure give advice on all sorts of do's and don'ts. I go on long trips for long periods of time with children. The following is what I have learned about packing that will make your trip so much more enjoyable:
Packing your luggage:
1.Each family member should have one small piece of luggage. This will save loads of time when searching for items, clothes, toys, shoes. Also each airline allows for one piece of luggage (within maximum weight limit) per person.
2. Bring only one week's worth of clothes for each family member. Yes this actually works! Each family member should only have one week's worth of underwear, socks, nightwear, tops, pants, sweaters, one jacket (heavy or light depending on season), and one extra pair of shoes. You will love me for this. This tip alone will make travel so much more enjoyable because it entails less packing, less clutter, and less unpacking. Think simple!
3. Bring clothes you won't mind discarding at the end of the trip. You will want to donate them or discard them so you will have extra room in your luggage for new purchases, souvenirs, etc.
4. Pack one or two favorite toys, books or activities per child in his/her luggage.
Packing your carry-on luggage:
5. Give each child over the age of 5 his / her own small backpack to carry with a favorite toy and healthy snack. Itg ives the child a sense of responsibility and is one less thing the adult has to carry!
6. Bring one extra top, bottom, socks and underwear for each child with your carry on baggage. This is for possible spills or accidents. Each child should wear Velcro strap shoes with socks for easy on and off.
7. Bring plenty of healthy snacks and keep them in zip lock baggies in your carry on luggage.
8. Bring medicines you may need for each person. I usually bring fever medication for adults and children, allergy medicine, cortisone ointment, asthma spray. These will be according to your particular needs of course.
9. Buy water right before boarding. Any other liquids will be asked to be tossed.
10. Don't bring lots of toys and activities for flight. Children get bored quickly and toys end up on the floor or between the seats.
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