Friday, May 26, 2017

Cruising With Kids: Travel Packing Tips

**This post contains affiliate links

If you’ve followed our blog for a while, we’ve mentioned that we’ve traveled with our daughter to Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. We’re about to embark on our next adventure to Bermuda, only this time, we’re taking a cruise.
Packing for a cruise to a tropical destination is somewhat similar to any beach vacation there are some big distinctions:
  • During ports of call, if you leave the ship, you need to take more with you
  • If you do not need to fly to the port, you can take MORE (which isn’t always better)
  • You need different items for Sea Days vs. Port Days
  1. Most ships do not allow non-potty trained kids in the pool. Make sure you check with the cruise line before you book! Bring swim diapers (disposable and reusable)
  2. Keep in mind, unlike a hotel with a balcony, there won’t be much space to dry your swimwear. Bring extras and towel clips!
  3. Bring walkie-talkies! You’ll thank me later. Best to get one with many frequencies that work across more distance. The best way to communicate when you and your family need or want to split up.
  4. On the ship, get a few green apples and cans of ginger ale. They really help if your child gets seasick.
  5. Always. Buy. Insurance. Especially when traveling with children. (Why have travel insurance)

Below are musts in your Cruise packing list:

Flying to the cruise port? Taking an excursion to the beach? Check out our other posts for packing and entertainment ideas:
What To Pack For Vacation With An Infant
Family Trip to DR - What To Pack For Kids
How To Travel Light With Your Family To the Beach
Road Trip With Kids: Survival Kit
Travel Kid Entertainment Kid
Travel Toys & Gear for 4+
Top 8 Family Travel Space Saving Tips

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Top 8 Family Travel Space Saving Tips

**This post contains affiliate links

The fees to check in luggage have skyrocketed lately! When traveling with children, especially young ones, luggage space is super limited and there’s so much to pack. Below are top 10 tips:

#1. Tech Gear: I have two words for you: Anker charger - If your child loves your phone or tablet, which, let's face it, they do! Make sure you take it and pre-charge. We absolutely love this Anker because it is super light for the amount of power it has. It has charged our horrid iPhone batteries 3-4 times on one charge!

*BONUS TIP* Don’t load up tons of travel tech gear. Stick to a few essentials. Do you really need a tablet, phone, laptop, camera, tripod and selfie-stick for a 3-day trip plus all the charges/wires? Pair down based on the itinerary.

#2. Neck Pillows: Go for an inflatable - we love this one with a hood. Packs up really small and easy to inflate:

*BONUS TIP*: For your kids: this 3-in-one is super cute and works as a neck pillow, backpack, and iPad holder! Comes in several designs:

#3. Baby Gear: For kids under 2, you need tons of bottles/sippy cups. Stack them inside each other, nipple inward for more compact space, or get these adapters and save a ton of space! When you get to your destination, either order ahead or get a case of plastic bottles and use the adapter, then toss the bottle!

*BONUS TIP*Diapers: Pack sealed unopened packs, they are much more tightly packed

#4 Luggage: Invest in medium sized luggage (24”) with extender. If you get a large size, it's easy to over-pack and exceed the allowed size/weight limit. We swear by Samsonite. Get a spinner suitcase, it is so much easier to roll! Also, look for lighter luggage. Hard case luggage looks nice but adds more weight.

*BONUS TIP* When traveling with younger kids, make sure to get them identifying tags in case they are lost! Tattoo or bands work best so that they are discreet.

#5. Diaper Bag: Leave the bulky shoulder bag at home. It is a total waste! Bring this backpack. It's hands-free, has a built-in cooler, a mesh top and a ton of pockets. Bigger than an average diaper bag so you can take MORE on the plane for FREE (Diaper bags are not counted towards your luggage)

*BONUS TIP* Pack meds in clear Ziplocks and store them in the cooler of the diaper bag along with food/snacks. Easier to get through security by unzipping the bottom.

#6. Clothing: Get EBags and Space Saving Bags. I use space bags for bulky clothing, for example traveling to Mexico in January from NYC, our jackets go into Space Bags for a couple of reasons. Obviously to save space but also to ensure moisture from the warm climate does not seep in. Ebags are really great for organizing and packing outfits or separating itty-bitty kids clothing that can be super hard to fold and pack. Plus they go into drawers so they work as a liner and organizer.

*BONUS TIP* If you are potty training, bring 2x as many bottoms just in case!

#7. Beach Gear: Bring foldable beach bags and mesh sacks. They do not take up much space but you’ll need multiples for all of the toys, inflatables, towels, etc. Also, the mesh sacks help shake out all of the excess sand!

BONUS TIP* Get these clips and keep the towels from blowing away in the wind

#8. Airplane entertainment: Kids want a lot of toys and you want to entertain them during your travels. Below are good space saving options:

For the plane:
  • Activity To go packs: Come loaded with stickers, markers, coloring books in a zip lock bag.
  • Water Wow: Reusable for hours of fun. Just fill with water and your kiddo can color and re-color as soon as the water dries.
  • Sticker Activity books: these are TINY but have several pages of activities. Get a couple!
  • Triangular Crayons: they do not roll off the table, which can be especially terrible on a plane!
  • Window decals - if you are sitting next to a window on a plane these are a great way to “decorate” space and not get dirty looks from the crew since they easily come off!
  • Magnet activities: Comes with 50 magnets and a lot of options to play house

On the ground:

We take some smaller toys to the resort so that there’s some entertainment for our kiddo besides TV while we get dressed for dinner/lunch. Not the best picture but our child loves drawing, stickers, and water wow. Plus we took tiny books for bedtime reading and small puzzles. All fits into this Brica backpack that she carried herself.

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

Ebates - Always thought it was a myth until I tried it - so far, I've earned $88 without really trying. Use my link and get $10 today for sign up! It's really great.

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