Traveling with your family is possibly one of the best experiences you can ever have. You’ll learn so many things by being with one another in a new, exciting place. (And your kids will love you for it, too!) But before you can enjoy your next adventure – you need to pack. And when traveling with your family (and your kids!) you need to pack a lot of stuff.
Knowing what to pack, how to pack it, and where to pack it is almost an art. That’s why we’ve come up with these neat packing tips to help you make the most of your luggage:
Make a packing list – you’d be surprised how many families that travel with us don’t do this and just try to keep it all in their heads!
Invest in packing cubes – These little guys are pretty much indispensable. Unless you enjoy making a mess just to retrieve that one fun T-shirt all the way at the bottom of your luggage.
Always bring plastic bags – You never know when you might need them. From snagging some extra food during breakfast buffets to zipping up your kid’s favorite rocks, the plastic bag will never fail you.
Flashlights are cheap – But priceless. You never know when you’ll be out at night on a country road. You may have also underestimated the amount of time you needed to hike that scenic route.
Say yes to lip balm – Chances are you aren’t going to be accustomed to the changing climes. That’s totally normal, and exactly why you should have some lip balm handy for each member of the family.
Don’t check essential items – Sometimes, baggage does disappear. So please, whatever you do, don’t check anything essential.
Follow the 3-1-1 rule – The last thing you want to happen to you at the airport is for your baggage to be opened by the TSA. Don’t bring any liquids or gels in bottles greater than 3.4 ounces.
Bring half the clothes you planned on bringing- Trust us on this one. You’ll thank us later on.
Roll your clothes, don’t fold them – Really, it works better. Just trust us on this one. You’ll end up with more space than if you folded (and less wrinkles).
Pack everything in layers – Did you know that the TSA actually recommends travelers pack their baggage in layers? It makes it easier for them to see what’s inside – and gets you through baggage check that much faster.
No, don’t pack those boots – As many long-time hikers may tell you – boots are overrated. Especially for hiking. (They’re so heavy!) Flexible training shoes are much lighter and have plenty of traction.
Pack plenty of scarves – Simply put, single color scarves are a traveller’s best friend They take up literally no room at all, but are extremely versatile.
Don’t pack heavy sweaters – Unless you’re going to Russia, you can probably leave all those ugly Christmas sweaters at home. Layering is a much more effective and versatile option and doesn’t take up nearly as much space.
Don’t bring too many shoes – All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes and sneakers for hiking.
Teach your kids how to pack – Will save you years of frustration down the road.
Leave some space – For souvenirs, of course!
Liz and Mike Kohler