This post is sponsored by OshKosh B’Gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Spring has sprung, the saying goes, and with it comes all the pretty, vibrant colors that we’ve missed during winter. But spring also comes with growing children, some faster than others. Annie turned 5 in January, and her legs became too long for size 4T overnight it seemed. As for Leelou, she’s budding into a fashionista, so even though she loves wearing her knit cap every day, she’s also started eyeing the things her sister likes.
And then there’s spring break thrown in the mix. If we’re going to travel, we need new clothes, right? Of course! I headed to my go-to kids’ fashion guru, OshKosh B’gosh, and loaded up on some fun-time fashion, and then I realized, traveling with preschoolers can be its own special challenge. So today, I’m offering up a few packing tips that I’ve learned over the last few years that might be of some help to you.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m giving away a $50 gift card to OshKosh?
Alright, so almost any mom of young ones will tell you that traveling with a tiny person requires a lot of gear. The clothes, shoes, food, toys, books, luvies and more will take up most of your trunk space. My husband and I have discovered that compartmentalizing can be a great saver.
Most of our trips revolve around time in the car. From the one hour drive to my dad’s house, to the eight hour drive we took to Missouri at the end of last year, we tend to roll everywhere in the Swedoski mobile. (evidenced by the mountain of discarded Goldfish crackers and random straws in the floorboards.)
- Tip #1: Use a laundry basket as luggage. I learned this jewel from my blogging pal Jodi at The Noise of Boys, and it really changed my life. Seriously. I put the shoes at the bottom of the basket, then layer pajamas and daily outfits over them. I also tuck the “bath” stuff in the sides, so the shampoo doesn’t fall over and spill into everything. At the end of the trip, I throw everything into the laundry basket, then leave it in the laundry room when we get home.
- Tip #2: Bundle outfits together. I pick an outfit a day for each child, then I bundle. Sometimes I roll, sometimes I fold them inside each other. For example, the underwear and socks fold into the shirt, which then folds into the pants. You take out one folded roll a day, or they can interchange items.
- Tip #3: Keep the kids stuff separate. At first, I put the girls stuff with my stuff, thinking that would be easier. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Now, they have half a suitcase (or laundry basket), and I get the other half. That way, I don’t go digging in a bag and get it all flung together.
- Tip #4: Pack travel fun in backpacks. The girls have their school backpacks, and then they have smaller backpacks we picked up at the dollar store. Those are for travel, and they get to pick what crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals, or random rocks they want to bring. And they know in advance, they have to keep up with all of it.
- Tip #5: Emergency stockpile. Always bring an extra set of clothes, extra underwear, socks and shoes, as well as toilet paper and a flashlight. Because, let’s face it, you just never know.
- Tip #1: Use those carry-on bags. When we took the kids on their first airline flight, they were delighted to get to tote around their own wheeled bag. It made them feel all grownup. To make my life easier, I opted to put all their shoes in one bag, along with some socks. The other bag had all their swimsuits and “get dirty all you want” clothes, along with books that were too heavy to carry in their backpacks. At the end of the trip, I threw it all back in the bag.
- Tip #2: Pack in layers and bundles. Just like for car travel, I bundled daily outfits, for the kids and myself. Then I worked to lay them out in order in the luggage. I know, a little bit crazy, but, when we got to the hotel, I could easily lift out the layers into the dressers. Then, as the week went by, dirty clothes were just dropped into the empty luggage and unworn clothes went on top.
- Tip#3: Keep entertainment close at hand. Flights are hard on adults, but they can be excruciatingly boring on little kids. No room to run around, people expect you to stay quiet for hours, the bathrooms are weird, and it can hurt your head. To help stave off total disaster, Thomas and I both had kid-friendly items in our carry-on bags, like the iPad, small coloring books, small pack of crayons, and lots and lots of snacks, including fruit snacks and gummy bears, which were used in place of gum. Thomas even went so far as to download a movie directly onto his phone, so no matter the condition of the Wi-Fi, the girls would have something to watch.
We started traveling with our kids pretty much from the first days of their life. Because of our jobs and lack of nearby relatives, we didn’t really have a choice but to bring them along. And over the years, I’ve learned a few good things, mostly that traveling is unpredictable, so go with the flow and be as prepared as possible. And be as fashionable as you can with styles from OshKosh B’Gosh, any season of the year!
Use SPRING 16 when shopping at OshKosh or click the coupon below and use it today – online or in-store – and get the latest in kids fashion! Click here to find a store near you!
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I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.