Packing for family trips

Today I read through the Luggage List for their recommendation for the best luggage brands of 2017. I’m always interested in new gear that could make travel easier o more convenient for our family.  For our most recent trips, this is how we do it.

For our stuff: For our family of four, we pack one large suitcase for boots, flip flops, clothes and med kits . In a second suitcase, we pack trip specific gear like life jackets, raincoats and Tupperware.

I know that it sounds like a lot of stuff, but I also know that we have the safety gear that we need such as like lifejackets that fit the girls. Since they’re so small, we can’t take for granted that tours or hotels will have gear that fits them. It’s my husband’s call in life to be prepared for anything, so we travel as light as we can, but plan for everything that we need.

We also pack Tupperware to store breakables or souvenirs.  If you don’t have any delicate items, then fill it with shoes or items worth segregating from the rest of your luggage. It doesn’t seem that difficult to deal with since we check all our bags in the lobby.

I own Samsonite luggage, which is highly rated as the best luggage for average travelers at a moderate price point. I know people who have Tumi luggage and love that brand, but I’ve never had issues with my Samsonite and it’s really easy to pick out in an airport because mine is pink!  A brand that I’m dying to try is Away luggage. If anyone has tried it, let me know what you think!

On the Plane: I finally reconciled myself to the fact that we can’t travel anywhere with only our carry-on luggage. As a matter of convenience, I don’t suggest carry-on bags at all.

If you have young children, you already have a diaper bag, or a backpack full of spare clothes, bibs, sippy cups, snacks, crayons and stickers. If you’re in a hub or large airport, then you’ll also have a stroller gate-checked. No one needs to carry a backpack, stroller and a carry-on through the entire airport. Simplify your life for $25 and check your bags at the lobby and forget about them.

We’ve been very fortunate with our bags but when a bag is lost, we use the spare clothes in our back packs until we retrieve the luggage the next day.

The duffle: For trips of at least 7 days, we also pack a duffle bag. On the trip out, the duffle is empty and packed into a side compartment of our luggage. On the trip home, it’s full of clothes or soft items in order to make room for souvenirs that we’ve purchased. We don’t always buy things abroad, but we’ve found carved wooden oars in Hawaii, tapestries in China and other unique items that were too special to leave behind. We’ve never regretted making extra room and for that, we love having our duffle on hand!