packing tips for parents with kids

KinderHop :: Pack Less With Kids In Tow

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{KinderHop is published on the second Wednesday of every month and written by Trip Styler’s Seattle-based kid ‘n family writer, Keryn.}

Traveling with children is often greeted with a groan. Once you add kids to your travels, you'll certainly be checking several bags and toting several carry-ons. Not true! With a little extra planning and prep, you can get all your child’s stuff into your suitcase. After all, kids are tiny and so are their clothes---for a little while at least! {At which point they graduate to their own "mini" suitcases...}

8 Ways To Pack Less With Kids In Tow
  • DIAPERS: Only pack enough diapers to get you through the first two days. Buy the rest upon arrival at your destination. Don't be afraid to buy diapers abroad. Recognizable brands are available in a lot of countries, and the local brands work just as well in a pinch. You may have to guess at the size, but they are still super absorbent and are much easier to buy there than lug in half a suitcase across the globe.
  • LAUNDRY: Plan on doing laundry when you get there. Pack enough clothes for half the trip. General rule: more tops than bottoms.
  • SHOES: Two---okay, maybe three---pairs of shoes is more than enough. One sneaker and either boots/booties {cold weather} or sandals {warm weather}.
  • LAYERS: Dress your kids in layers. They will get max use out of the clothes you pack, and you can mix 'n match for exponential outfit possibilities.
  • REPEAT: Don’t worry about your child wearing the same thing twice. As long as it’s clean, no one will notice.
  • LIMIT: Limit the number of toys. You will be out exploring most of the time. That is entertainment in and of itself. Bring a small bag of toys for the plane, train or car ride to your destination. If you need more upon arrival, pick up some local toys as souvenirs.
  • RENT IT: Look into baby gear rental agencies. There is no need to haul a crib, car seat and stroller across the globe if you can rent them once you arrive. Many rental companies are very affordable {ie: crib = $25-35/wk} and will stock more items than you'll ever need. For example, I'm renting a crib this weekend when I travel with my baby to Colorado.
  • SIMPLE: Above all, keep it simple. If you don’t use it at home, most likely you won’t use it on the road.

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[Photo by keryn]