Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Packing for the Family Trip to Disney

Some of you may not agree, but I think that packing a family of five for a trip to a different climate via an airplane is much more difficult then packing your home to move!

My packing adventure began maybe a month before our vacation.  I went through the children's clothes to see if they had any summer clothes that would still fit them since we were on our way to Florida and we were still wearing snow suits to play outside for 5 minutes.  Then I went through those clothes to see if there were any without stains or holes in them!  After those were narrowed down, I had to actually see if I could find or make outfits out of their clothes!  Once I had the outfits paired together I had to do the most difficult part of the packing job and decide how many outfits of each kind of clothes they needed!

  • Do I pack enough clothes for each day with an extra outfit?
  • Do I pack a few pairs of shorts and enough tops for each day?
  • Do I pack long sleeve shirts?
  • Do I pack jeans?
  • Do we need coats?

The list went on and on!  I spent a good two hours deciding how much to pack for each child.  Triumphantly I showed my husband the results of my careful planning only to have him make me take outfits and bathing suits out of my carefully arranged rows!
After our negotiations of clothing amounts were settled, I packed the suitcase twice before I remembered I could make space by using travel bags that you can get at Bed Bath and Beyond.  These things are awesome!  I was able to fit all three of the kids' clothes plus my own in my one suitcase.  (and this included, toiletries, make-up, shoes, coats, and snacks!)  Not only do these things save space, but when inspectors open our bags, our clothes won't go flying everywhere and if something opens up or it rains on our bags, our clothes will remain fresh and dry!

*Once in traveling home from Guatemala, a can of baby formula burst open in my suitcase.  My hair dryer blew white powder for months!

I ended up packing differently for each child.  For my oldest I packed a t-shirt for each day and about half the amount of shorts.  My 4 year old daughter will wear sundresses and a skirt with two interchanging t-shirts.  My 3 year old, who is the one that asks to roll in the mud each time he sees a puddle, has an entire outfit for each day plus a few extra shirts!  Each child has a long sleeve shirt, a pair of jeans, sandals, one bathing suit, a hat, sunglasses, and a spring coat.  They will wear comfy long pants, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes on the plane.

I anticipate that we won't go through all of the clothes, but I would rather be prepared!  For myself I stuck with a common color scheme so that I could wear the same shoes.  I don't mean that I will wear yellow every day, just that black will be in my wardrobe each day to make my packing easier and lighter.

I am always tempted to bring all of my favorite clothes so that I have choices for each day, but for me that is just silly.  Why carry all of that with you when  you know you aren't going to need it?  Plus it is going to cost you to bring it!  I actually thought for a nano-second about having each of the kids bring their own clothes in their own suitcase on the plane to save money and it would looks so cute!  That lunatic thought passed quickly as I had a vision of the three kids trying to pull their bags for maybe 5 minutes and then I would end up with the back pack, 3 car seats, purse, lap top, and five carry-ons all piled on the double stroller trying to get through the gate check with the three children!  No Thank You!!  I will pay the $20 a bag to check them!

Packing over a month time span does have advantages.  Let's hope we don't forget anything and the weather predictions are accurate!


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