With American Airline’s recent announcement that they will charge for every checked bag you really need to plan you packing very carefully. (Update: now it’s rare to find an airline that doesn’t charge for checked bags!) Here are some tips to help you pack well for family travel:
First, check out my previous post about shipping vacation items. Most hotels will accept your bags a few days in advance of your arrival. Ship everything you can- even ship your luggage. Lock it, tape down the zippers and let it go.
Second, save space in you luggage by packing tight. Roll your clothing or use space bags. Tuck small items in the shoes you pack. Buy small containers for toiletries and purchase travel size products.
Third, pack smart. Make sure all your clothing coordinates. Think layers. Wear your bulky items on the plane. See this post – an article by Clinton Kelly from What Not To Wear.
Next, make sure your carry on fits the airline’s standards. Check the weight before you leave home. Don’t overpack it and make sure you can get everything in and out of it easily at security. If you’re hyper-organized like me check out the Zuca Pro bag. With included packing inserts (including a liquids bag) it’s easy to keep your stuff together. And the super light aluminum alloy frame doubles as a seat for those crowded airports. Zuca also makes a wheeled locker and sport bag- great for the kids.
Plan to do laundry or have laundry done for you if you will be traveling for a week or more. You can bring half the stuff.
Lastly, check out my video on how I packed for a family of four for a week’s international vacation. For now, at least, you are still allowed to check bags without additional cost on overseas flights.