Tips on traveling light with kids.
Traveling for leisure is one of the most exciting things anyone can do in their lives. There’s curiosity, a rush of adrenaline by merely thinking of visiting a new place. And even going to a known place brings you fresh ideas of things you can do that you didn’t do before.
But one thing people usually fall victim to is packing more stuff than they require or need no matter how much they read about all the travel tips for a perfect vacation. And it can easily make mobility a tad bit challenging. It is all the more complicated with kids (or with family). The trouble starts right from the moment when you’re deciding what to pack. How many clothes you need, shoes, slippers, documents, and then there’s the stuff of your children like their toys or anything that they want for entertainment, food, any electronic items, etc.
Whether you’re staying at a hotel or vacationing at your cousin’s place, the effort should be to pack as light as possible without compromising on the things that you can’t do without.
Here are some family travel tips that can help you in keeping your luggage light and easily manageable for your next family adventure with kids:
- Narrow down on the essentials
- Avoid things you can leave for later
- Use backpacks
- Pack smart and roll up
- Use a tablet for reading
Narrow down on the essentials
Have you ever noticed that travel-related discussions often revolve around all the stuff you will carry and the things you will buy?
It is natural and a significant part of planning. But it is easy to get carried away with the excitement and you may end up packing more stuff than you should.
Start by narrowing down on the things that are absolute essentials, and those can be anything from documents like identity proof to clothes and gadgets like headphones. Also, rethink before stuffing your luggage with multiple footwear. For example, do you need more than one pair of shoes? Can you do without slippers? Use clothes that do not require daily wash, like denim, they are rugged and can be worn for a few days as they are. This means if it’s a short weekend trip, you do not need more than two pairs of denim jeans – one that you wear and the other in your backpack. The same goes for the things you need to pack for your children.
- If you have a baby or a toddler, you may need a stroller. If your kids are any older, try and leave it out.
- To avoid soiling of clothes, make sure that they always eat with a towel/napkin tucked into their top.
Avoid things you can get later
You don’t need to carry the world with you. There are a number of things that you can get after reaching the destination or substitute with things that can take up less space in your luggage.
- Depending on the travel time, you can also consider buying things like extra diapers (in case of babies) later after reaching your destination.
- You can pack a few snacks and get the rest on the way. The same goes for toiletries.
- If you have young kids, they may need their favorite toy and you definitely cannot argue with that. Beyond that, though, you can get stuff for them later. You can also indulge them in fun activities like spotting things on the way, which is quite a good time pass while on the move. Find ways to engage kids and you may not need to carry a lot of their toys at all.
Backpacks are more effective than you may think. By design, they are intended to carry things that you need instantly. Use backpacks and it will start leading you to think accordingly – taking things that you need the most, and at an instant. They are also easy to carry and many are quite comfortable on the back.
Backpacks invariably encourage you to pack smartly and avoid overpacking. If your kids are old enough, you can consider getting them a small backpack of their own and put their favorite, yet, essential stuff in there.
All the stuff that can come in handy or can roll around in luggage bags can be kept in the backpack for easy access. A kid’s backpack can have:
- a pair of clothes
- a small toy or coloring book and crayons
- a snack
- a small toiletry kit
- plastic Ziploc bags to store the dirty stuff
Pack smartly and roll up
Would you believe if I told you that packing and stacking up clothes is an art? You’ll probably laugh at it and follow up with a sarcastic response. But trust me, it is quite true, although it is a fairly simple and clever art.
Instead of folding clothes, which is a common practice, roll them up and stack them together tightly. Try it out if you haven’t already, you’ll be surprised looking at the space that could be freed up. Packing this way also ensures there are no unnecessary air pockets left between your clothes, which makes your stuff occupy more space than it is supposed to. This is something that many of us never pay any attention to.
Go full Marie Kondo on this and make sure that everything you pack for the kid is visible so that you don’t have to grope around the luggage bags even as your kid starts fidgeting.
Use a tablet for reading
Well, I’m not suggesting you spend your precious money on a tablet if you’re not into this sort of thing. But if you like reading and such mobile devices, you either have a tablet, or you should get one. Take it as one of the best modern-day travel tips for a perfect vacation.
And tablets are really multipurpose devices. They can be used for reading, playing games and watching a movie, and other videos. Anybody in the family, from parents to kids, can use a tablet in the way they desire. When used responsibly, it is a fantastic device that can eliminate the need for actual books and toys while traveling and keep your luggage from fattening up!
These are some universal pointers that can be applied to an individual traveler or an entire family. It is also advisable to talk to people who travel frequently. They can give you some helpful tips on packing light, as well as on must-have things to carry.
While you can always Google, you can also take help from various Q&A websites for travel-related queries. Online platforms like Quora, Yahoo Answers, Discuss, etc. can be used to interact with fellow travelers. And the best part is, these platforms can expose you to people from around the world who can share their travel stories with you and provide insights on all things related to packing. For example, what kind of backpacks or suitcases to use and gadgets to carry. Experienced travelers can also help you out on how to deal with the stuff of kids and how to keep them engaged and away from boredom.
Samuel Alfie is a blogger at ProProfs Discuss, the #1 Q&A website with millions of wisdom seekers collaborating to ask questions and get the best answers. He loves reading and writing about a variety of topics including Travel, e-commerce, science, philosophy, pop culture, traveling, digital media, and more. With a knack for writing, enthusiasm for research and an editorial mindset, he loves creating content that resonates with the audience.