This is how we roll! We’re talking luggage and packing tips

PaulaPhoto3

You can never have enough free hands when travelling with kids!

Travel through airports with one child was ok, but when baby #2 came along we had to rethink our strategy.

We were determined that International travel and holidays did not have to stop,  so here’s what we came up with.

 

1. We only EVER take and check-in two suitcases. My husband and I share one and the boys share the other.  Everything is neatly rolled and tightly packed.  We use two suitcases for anything that’s greater than 2 nights stays away. Sometimes we also take our laptop (pictured) but if you don’t need to I wouldn’t worry about it.


Tip
:  Packing lightly doesn’t have to mean going without. Instead, pick clothes that you can be strategic with and that mix and match with each other.

2. Our suitcases are the ones that have 4 wheels. They are the same make/model and easy roll along together.  My husband is able to push our holiday haul through airports with ease.

3. I use and highly recommend a cross body handbag.
On my last trip I used a bag from Hedgren. This keeps my hands free.  My job is to keep track of the kids!  In my bag I keep my camera, wallet (minus all the junk and loyalty cards I usually carry around!), chewy mints to help with ear pressure, my phone (roaming and data switched off), my glasses (i’m blind and don’t recommend wearing contacts on the plane), a pen with a good lid, tissues, bacterial wipes and a lollypop for each of the kids.  Bribery helps when traveling with kids.  Everything else is in our carry-on.

4. We take one carry-on case for all of us.  Our case is another 4 wheeler which is of course airport regulation size. Please keep in mind that limits can differ between International and Domestic in some countries. It’s easy enough to pull along and my 6 year old now likes to have a go at this.  Mum’s with smaller children…don’t worry your time will come!

Included in the carry-on is: The iPads (we have one each for the boys and its loaded with their favourite games. I also hide the iPads from them a few days before we take off for maximum impact!) Also included in our carry-on is a book for my husband to read if he’s feeling hopeful… (i’m less optimistic about our kid free time and just pack a magazine), a change of clothes for the boys and change of shirt for us…electrical chargers (phone and iPad WITH international converters)…our video camera…passports and a printed copy of our itinerary…medicine (Panadol for us, Kids Panadol and Vicks Vapour Rub – you never know when they’ll get the sniffles… its cold on the plane and we always have a jumper to add to our layers) and some basic makeup for me including a lipstick and lip balm.

When the kids where younger this is also where we kept nappies, wipes, nappy bags, a change mat, grobags/blanket, baby food, bottles, dummies, formula in individual packets its less mucking around than trying to source cows milk and feeding utensils.  I also used to like using baby food onboard that was sold in pouches and was compatible with a spoon head that screwed into the top of the tube (you can find these in your supermarket. Heinz is one brand that definitely sells them). This saved the juggle of bowl, spoon and baby. No parent ever wins that war! Note: If you are traveling on your own or with 2 very young children i’d recommend using a backpack nappy bag rather than a roll along just so you have another hand free. We like and recommend Boken Diaper Bags.   Another reason to use a backpack when traveling with very small children is so that you are able to push your little love along in a stroller to the departure gate. Not all airports let you do this (some have loaner strollers available also), so please check with them specifically before you plan to do this, but it will make a difference to your sanity. Your stroller will be checked at the gate and returned to you on the flight bridge upon arrival.

Tip: In our carry-on we have grouped the items that you need to put through the scanners at the security check point – liquids especially. In some cases you don’t need to remove iPads from your suitcase anymore.   My husband manages these items in and out of the suitcase when we go through the scanners and I manage the kids.   Of note also: Kids do not need to remove their shoes when going through security checkpoints – this didnt stop my kids however from wanting to copy mummy. Note to self – put them in slip on shoes next time! 🙂

5. Last but not least….we have AWESOME backpacks for the kids.

Our backpacks don’t just look cute…they’re serious functional and I’ve got a secret mum motive for using them. The boys love their backpacks so much that they are HAPPY to carry all their own stuff! It gives them a sense of purpose on the trip …they’re not just going through the motions…they’ve got a big boy job to do! #winning!

I have Pinterest boards filled with ideas of things you can put in the kids backpacks for all different age groups, but here’s what works for my boys (6 & 4 at the time of writing this).

* A travel game – which could be cards like UNO or a mini naughts and crosses
* A colouring book with a small pack of crayons
* A sticker book
* Washi tape. You’d be surprised how much kids love playing with this stuff…we’ve decorated many an airline tray table with these removable tape and they also double as a car racing track
* EarPlanes – these are essential to help protect their ears
* A scratch book from Smiggle
* A toy (whatever they are into at the current time – trains/cars etc)
* Child headphones
* A children’s neck pillow

Tip: I try not to fill the bags too much otherwise they become too heavy. Most activities that I include are lightweight and disposable. In my suitcase I have a fresh set of activities to swap in for the return flight home.   As the boys have gotten older, I have found that they are happy watching an inflight movie or using their iPads. I’ve had some flights where the activities in the bag have not even been needed.

{{ On our last trip, we used Trunki neckpillows and Trunki PaddlePak backpacks from the StorkNest  From now, I won’t be leaving the country without them! We loved the neck pillows because they were just the right size for the boys, were soft and also had little magnets on the end of them that held the pillow in place. In between holidays we plan on using these in the car for those times when the boys falls asleep in their carseat and their heads get thrown around.  We loved our backpacks too for their cool design, lightweight and waterproof material, padded mesh back, sunglasses hook, and the two different sizes that they come in – its not one size fits all, there’s a PaddlePak for small and bigger children and when the bag is filled it just seems to fit the contour of their back nicely.  No complaints from our crew on using these, and we’d highly recommend them.

Thanks for reading all of the above. I hope it helps give you some ideas and tricks for your next holiday with kids.  As always, if you have any questions, please email us: hello@jetsettingkids.com or send us a message on Instagram @jetsettingkids.  xx