small children are always stunned when I tell them that I can run to Walmart,
pick up a few items, and return to the house in under 20 minutes. Likewise, I’m absolutely amazed that it takes
more than an hour for a mother to make that same trip for the same items if she
has a two-year old in tow. Now that I
think about it, I think my own mother would be baffled at how long it takes a
modern mom to get in and out of a parking lot.
When I was a kid, we didn’t have infant car seats, child safety belts,
etc, I pretty much just spread out in the back of a station wagon and when we
arrived at the store, my mom would reach back, grab my arm, wing me out of the
vehicle and whisk me into a shopping cart.
Somehow, I survived…
If you plan
on going out of town with children, packing can be nerve-racking. If you’re not careful you’ll wind up looking
like a Sherpa, laden with hundreds of pounds of supplies for your infant
“climbers” as you embark for Hotel Everest. Parents get so darned used to
hauling a small universe of crap around in their minivans that they just don’t
know how to pack properly for children. Here are some simple considerations when one
packs for kids.
account the weather, the length of stay, how many people are traveling
together, and what laundry facilities will be available. Resist the temptation
to dump junior’s whole chest of drawers into a suitcase. If you take some stain resistant dark clothes
and some hand washing detergent, you can wash your child’s entire traveling
wardrobe in a sink, if need be. Almost
all children’s clothing will dry on a rack in a few hours (except for denim,
which takes longer). Also, you’ll
probably buy some t-shirts, etc while on your trip so take that into
consideration when you’re pulling out clothes to pack. Double down on the swimsuits so you can wash
one while the kids wear the other.
Consider the things you will and will not need. All hotels provide free towels
for the rooms and for the pool area, so there’s no need to fill valuable
suitcase space with bulky beach towels.
Consider leaving the electronic toys at home, after all, it’s a family
vacation and everyone should be enjoying the sights, right? Besides, batteries and charges are a nightmare
to keep up with.
temptation to ask yourself, “What if my child wants to … while we’re there?”
while packing for your trip. If you pack
with that kind of mentality, you’ll wind up with 5 suitcases full of crap and
you’ll be paying an extra $500 to check those bags on the round trip journey. Instead, focus on the events you have
planned, and pack only the things your kids will need for those events.
kids in airports and hotels around the country, one thing is made clear over
and over again. They’re resilient and
creative! They make toys out of
trashcans, columns, and luggage carts.
They turn waiting rooms into playgrounds. They certainly don’t need a suitcase (or two)
full of stuff from back home to keep them amused!