Saturday, February 27, 2010


Packing and Luggage

This is surely an area which I can offer some tips. Travelling with Six children I have I had many experiences of how to pack, not packing too much, what to bring, how to bring it.
The younger children age 0-4 need a lot of stuff and I recommend that you pack their things in a separate duffle bag. Items such as toys, diapers, bottles (the extra ones) pool toys, ski toys, books, boxes of paramat milk so you have something when you land, or formula powder, etc…. Separate Duffle for sure!!

Then there is the general stuff: I make a quick checklist of the general stuff and collect it together for each child. This list is underwear, socks, PJs, shorts, short sleeve shirts, sweatshirt/sweater, long sleeve shirt collared, pants, jeans, sweatpants and tee shirt. The girl has a small alteration including dress, stretchy pants, and button sweater. Then I multiply by the number of days and depending on whether there is a washer or dryer I include some laundry detergent in a zip lock bag. Ski suits or bathing suits, always two travel towels, and always two canvas bags to move things around within a hotel

This duffle has the zip lock bag with the laundry detergent, the snacks for the room that are packaged well and won’t get crushed, the refillable cups (for water fountains) the toiletries, and the pool toys (even a twelve year olds wants a water pistol, a sand shovel, goggles, flotation devices, printer paper for the room, box of crayons, cd for music player in room, DVD for room DVD player, books, electrical multi-plug outlet (as there usually is only one really good visible outlet in a hotel room outside the bathroom and this is where we set up a charging center for the computers, game boys, etc…) extra batteries, screwdriver, the sneakers, flip flops or boots ! Gallon size zip locks bags (at least 10) and a few white house garbage bags! Microwave popcorn and a few brown lunch bags.

This is a carry on side rolling bag which we take on the plane which has the travel DVD players, DVDs, charged game boys or leapsters or computers, word search books, maze books, pencils, paper, kids magazines, the game bag (which is a plastic zip bag of sharing games for various systems) and the chargers in case we need them in the airports.

This tends to become a great deal of stuff with six children so we SHIP!! Most airlines these days charge bag fees and all hotel have receiving rooms which are ready to accommodate you. UPS. It’s really amazing! One week in advance and you are guaranteed within the USA to have your items waiting in your room before you check in. It’s really that simple. I always ship everything everywhere I go. I also ship extra duffle bags in case I don’t have the convenience of a mail room to ship things back home and incase the boxes break and I just can’t get it done on vacation. I pack the items into the duffle bags and travel with them on the plane home in the extra duffle bags that I shipped with my things.

Just this past holiday season I went on a road trip with my children SKIING! Each child had a small manageable duffle bag for themselves which contained their sleeping clothes while they wore their day clothes. At night I cleaned their day clothes as most ski hotels or motels has washers and dryers somewhere in their facilities, (some items were just clean anyway so it was only one load) and put them back in their own personal duffels. They were able to manage the one outfit for themselves. Since they all wore one piece or two piece outfits over their day clothes, it was quite easy and a lite way to travel with six children on a five day ski trip with:
One duffle each for their day and night clothes ( I had one too)
One Large Duffle for their Ski Boots or their Day Boots
One duffle for their jackets at night or their one-piece ski suits or two piece suits
One extra duffle for everything else (toiletries, gloves, goggles, hats, chopsticks)

LABELING THE DUFFLE BAGS……A great tip is I take the packing tape, which is clear and I pull out a really long piece. I write the name of my child on a piece of plain paper , take the long piece of tape and put in between the handle of the duffle bag and let it stick together to eachother with the name of my child on a section of the tape. So each duffle has a to foot piece of tape with a childs name sticking up from it !

Start Young that are my advice! Managing themselves on vacation is much simpler than managing themselves at home. You can give your children the chance to find their own dresser or corner of a room where they can keep their things.

Be a good mom and don’t tell them when something was left in the hotel room,
Just sneak it back in their duffle, they are only KIDS !


Every one has lots of bags in their house, strong paper bags from a SHOP,
canvas bags, endless bags that have been collecting somewhere, from the
toy shop , from a charity event......These bags will remain in your closet
forever unless you write a childs initials on them in sharpie, Hand the bag to
your child and tell them to collect their plane or car entertainment themselves.
Let them be completely incharge of it. Try to help them remember it and try to
praise the one who seems to bring it in and out of the car with them !

Make sure there is nothing in the bag that you would be concerned about lossing
because these are the lessons our children need in order to get ready to handle a
personal bag of luggage and travel with you as an active family member !

Enjoy your next vacation and comment on how it works for you !



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Anonymous said...

I luv this blog! I read it everyday and I am inspired !

gfcfmom said...

I have many strengths, but packing is not one of them! I always take too much stuff and we wear a quarter of what we take. I am grateful for all your packing tips. Thanks! I love the five day ski trip with one outfit. Brilliant. You are a very courageous Mommy Wommy.