The importance of packing for a trip with multiple children.
On a recent trip to Orlando—(ahh yes, every child’s dream, and every parents’ nightmare), I was observing the difference between traveling with four children versus traveling with just one. Traveling with one child feels like you have a ticking time bomb on your hands, versus traveling with four has more of a “You don’t own me” mentality. With four kids, you have so much experience that you know you’re the boss and can handle any situation. And with four kids, trust me, there are ALWAYS situations.
I watch the one-child parents schlep pack n’ plays, travel cribs, car seats, sometimes multiple strollers, all kinds of diapers you could ever need (nighttime, swimmy, daytime, organic), 1,000 snacks and five different hand sanitizers, seat covers (anything to protect the wee one from the travel germs). I shake my head and think: There are much easier ways to do this.
With four kids, safety and infection control (vaccinate your children) is on my mind, but efficiency and realizing there are stores and online ordering possibilities at my final destination eases the packing burden. ORGANIZATION AND EFFICIENCY have become my middle names (well—as a surgeon—some would say that may also be my first and last name).
Packing for Orlando included doing a little online research as to what a Nutmegger (Connecticut resident) might need in a HOT climate…ahhhhh finally. Also knowing that if one child destroys a shirt, PJS, underwear—they can certainly use another child’s (sure with some resistance…but whatevs).
A couple key suggestions, in the name of organization and efficiency:
- Use the crib at your hotel.
- Ask for an infant car seat with your rental car.
- Try Toddler Bubble Bum car seats (cool blow-up ones that fold up into a small bag).
- Bring ONE small toy/book for every hour of travel for each child.
- If you are a tech-mom, iPads (might as well just wear a big APPLE on my head with the investments over the years) can suffice in the place of actual toys.
- Bring a large travel Osprey Sojourn suitcase, Champion Sports travel duffel bag (huge—given when traveling with US Lacrosse—awesome!), and KEY ESSENTIAL a mega backpack with at least five compartments (DeBeer Gear Backpack—again nice gift of US Lacrosse).
- A nice order from Amazon.com or Diapers.com prior to arrival works well, and can be delivered wherever you are staying. If you order all the disposable stuff you will need, such as diapers, sunscreen, travel wipes, apple sauce and snack, and extra socks and underwear you can save a lot of space in your luggage and just dispose of or recycle everything else.
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