Travelling light doesn’t apply to me. Having sleep apnoea means I have to carry my cpap around with me. It takes up a lot of room. Then there’s my laptop, which is 3kg. Since I am a freelance writer I need to take my laptop around (I should really buy a lighter one soon).
So when we travel, I have to really think about what goes in the suitcase because most of the space is already taken. Here are some tips we’ve learned over the years on how to travel as light as possible with kids.
- Choose your clothes well. I have travelled when I carried more than I should have and didn’t prepare for a very cold ‘summer’. Big regret. If you can wash your clothes at your destination then bring one of everything – one pair of shorts, one bikini, one jeans, one dress etc. My one pair of sandal is good for both daily and formal use, which saves room in the suitcase. Do the same with your little ones. One of each will do them well. Remember to bring extra clothes in your carry on luggage because accidents happen all the time.
- Be wise with your toys. I made the mistake of bringing more toys than necessary because the little one begged me to. Remember, you’re the parent, you know how awkward it’s going to be travelling with too much luggage. Set the rules up front. Bring only the toys they can’t live without. Don’t bring toys that can break in transit especially if they’re the favourite one. Explain why you have to leave fragile stuff at home. For entertainment, I pack an activity book that she loves and some crayons and pens. The iPad comes in handy during these times too, if you load it with games. If not an iPad, what about a portable chargeable DVD player? Pack the favourite DVDs in sleeves to save space.
- If all else fails, go to Plan B. There will be moments when you’ve shopped too much and there’s too much extra luggage to carry back home. Maybe you found too many sales, too many markets, too many presents from extended family. World Baggage is a company that provides excess baggage shipping services much cheaper than airlines do. If you decided to haul back stuff that would exceed your baggage allowance, you can commission World Baggage to have it ship home for cheaper.
Disclaimer: This is in collaboration with World Baggage.