Packing Tips

Packing Light, A Matter of Cost Not Just Convenience

United Airlines just announced that they are increasing checked baggage fees $5 per bag (will be $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second bag) if you pay the fee at the airport vs. online.

Either way, these additional fees add up. A family of four with just one checked bag could end up paying an additional $160 for checked luggage a round trip flight.

Traveling with kids — particularly young ones — involves a lot of “stuff” so this is frustrating news. Figuring out ways to pack light is now a matter of cost, not just convenience. I checked around the web to see what advice my family travel blog friends have to share on packing with kids.

Delicious Baby – Debbie’s information is the most extensive I found online. Her list includes packing checklists, as well as tips for traveling light.

SimpleMom – 13 tips for packing light. Two important ones here are to bring just enough diapers for the first few days and use the hotel’s crib or pack-and-play (properties featured on Ciao Bambino are required to provide this service). Even if there are fees associated with using them, it’s likely to be less than the $30-40 you’ll pay to check them on the flight.

TravelMuse – This article includes links to travel accessories that help organize and compress clothing, i.e. maximize the space you do have.

Cookie Magazine – Yolanda Edwards, the Travel Editor for Cookie Magazine, did a post about a Pack Me check list on Going Places. It looks like a good tool to ensure you cover all the bases, and then pare excess items down accordingly.

I dread packing for trips and I’m a notorious over-packer, with and without kids. Time for a packing remodel …

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  • We travelled on Alaska Airlines last week to Disneyland and just before we left they sent out an email saying that they would be charging for ALL checked bags as of July 7/09. Ugh.

  • I try to pack as little as possible when we travel with our two boys. I use one bag for the two of them and we hire a car seat for my younger guy while fitting the older one’s small booster into their bag. Besides their own toothbrushes/paste, they share our toiletries and I pack enough for one week – regardless of how long we’re going (there’s always some place to do a load of laundry). As for toys, we only bring what can fit into our carry-on and then usually buy some books or beach toys at our destination (which is always more fun then the old toys from home).

  • I saw the “Pack Me” list on Cookie and ordered it as well as a few of their other products. The Lobotome lists are fun and amazingly helpful. The packing list is perfect. I love having a formal list to work from. They even think of everything from pre-trip items like turning down the heat/AC to little things like hostess gifts, goggles and sunscreen. Now keeping all those items to a minimum is another story!

  • Wonderful references – great to have them listed out so I know where to turn, um, tomorrow when I finish packing for our next trip! I read this just in time!

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