Traveling Simply

6:08 AM

One of the most difficult aspects of traveling with kids is learning to pack simply. I've been traveling solo with my boys since they were infants, so I've learned quickly that there's a fine line between packing too much and too little. When you have a newborn, especially, learning to pack just the right amount of diapers can be insanely tough, but it possible to be a simple traveler.

Here's how.

Bring Money!
When you get ready for your trip, always plan to bring extra money. Always. You never know when something will go awry and you'll need extra cash. Maybe your hotel lost your reservation and you're stuck at a more expensive one. Maybe you forgot to pack your medication and you have to get a new prescription at your destination. Maybe meals at your chosen travel site are more expensive than you planned for.

No matter what, bring extra cash. 

Also consider this: is it easier to buy something new at your destination than to haul something from home? Diapers, for example, can pretty much be purchased anywhere. Unless you're traveling to a remote location, you can probably go to Wal-Mart or Carrefour, if you're in Asia, and pick up a box of diapers. Why not pack enough for the plane and first day, then head to the store to buy diapers? This will save valuable suitcase space during your trip.

Dress for Comfort
It's understandable that you want to look your best while traveling, but dressing for comfort, rather than for looks, can be beneficial while you travel. Consider packing jeans and shorts instead of a fancy outfit for each day of your trip. They're less likely to get wrinkled than dress pants and dresses and you can usually re-wear jeans a couple of times before they need to be washed. Similarly, packing a pair of sturdy walking shoes is going to save a lot of space if you normally pack a different pair of shoes for each day.

Consider Souvenirs
If you're reading my blog, you probably know that I'm not really into "stuff." Needless to say, souvenirs aren't big on my priority list. If you do like souvenirs, though, you can easily use this to your advantage when it comes to packing simply. Instead of packing a jacket, for example, you can buy a sweatshirt at your destination with the name of your resort or chosen city. Instead of bringing a bunch of t-shirts, you can pick some up at a tourist shop.

A few weeks ago, my family and I traveled to Taipei. For a weekend trip, we brought two backpacks. One held clothes and one held toys and snacks. We had just enough stuff to make the train trip interesting, but not so much that it was difficult to carry our belongings around while we explored. We all obviously looked like tourists, but we had an amazing time and didn't need to bring a lot of "stuff" to do it.

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