Today I want to share with you how my family travel minimally, and how we avoid paying additional baggage fees when we are traveling by airplane. I will also share with you how we travel minimally when we are traveling by car.
I will let you in on my secrets, tips and ideas to keep your travel simple, easy and very light which helps you keep your sanity if your are traveling with kids or have a big family.
Depending on which airline you are traveling with, the new baggage rules are, one purse or handbag and 1 over head luggage. That luggage must fall in the measurement guidelines or you are paying an additional cost for the airline to check your luggage in. Yes this happened to me, as I was boarding on the airplane, the check in agent stopped me and told me my luggage did not meet the required measurements and that I needed to pay an additional cost if I wanted my luggage to go with me. Of course I paid, but what if I didn’t have any money on me, I guess my luggage and all of my possessions would’ve been left behind. Please make sure you have that information before you travel by way of airplane.
If you are traveling on Southwest Airlines and if you are traveling on an international flight, you are allowed to check in a large piece of luggage with out paying a fee but they have weight guidelines. Your luggage can not weigh more than a certain number, please check with the airline you are traveling with about the weight measurements.
Frontier Airlines changed their policies, you now have to pay for all luggage except your purse or a handbag. We travel with them because they have good deals on their flights and I love that you can pay a small fee and watch TV, that is always entertaining for the kids.
So how do I get around all of the baggage fees, and fall with in the baggage guidelines? I travel as a minimalist!
I use to over pack when my family traveled because I wanted to make sure I had everything I thought I needed, but what I realized is, half of the things I packed in my suitcases I didn’t use. I think it is a good thing that the airlines is making us pack minimally.
I will tell you how I pack my kids items and then I will tell you how I pack for my husband and myself.
Packing for my children for a 4 day trip. Each child has
- One toothbrush and toothbrush container and a travel size toothpaste.
- A swimsuit
- Only 2 pair of shoes, sandals and a pair of tennis shoes. When we travel, my kids always wear their tennis shoes. The sandals are pack away.
- Under garments 4 pairs. One pair they have on, 3 get packed away.
- 2 outfits becomes 4 outfits when I am done. I layer my 5 and 7 years old outfits. One outfit is a pair of leggings, a skirt on top of that, a fitted stylish t-shirt and a long sleeve shirt that rolls up to 3/4 quarter length sleeves and worn like a jacket just in case it is cold on the airplane. When we get to our hotel room. I remove those same leggings and that long sleeve shirt and this now becomes day two outfit and the skirt and the fitted t-shirts becomes day one outfit. I only have to pack one outfit and one pair of pajamas for each child, I do the second outfit the same way I did the first outfit, and break it down for third and fourth day.
- My son is 3 years old, his outfits are very easy to pack because his clothes are smaller than everyone. I only pack him three bottoms, three shorts and one pant. I give him 4 shirts. One long sleeve shirt that rolls up to 3/4 quarter length and 3 short sleeve shirts. The pant, he wears on the airplane with a fitted stylish t-shirts and his long sleeve shirt that he wears like a jacket just in case it is cold on the airplane. We pack away 3 shorts and 2 shirts. 1 pajamas
- My 12 year old packs 3 bottoms of her choice and 4 tops. She wears one bottom and a fitted top and a button down long sleeve shirt that rolls up to 3/4 quarter length as a jacket. She packs one pajama, 2 tops and 3 bottoms. One travel size deoderant. Travel size hand sanitizer for everyone.
- Each child gets 2 pair of footie socks.
Packing for my husband and myself.
- Toothbrush and holder. Travel size toothpaste.
- Chargers for cell phones.
- Under garments for 4 days.
- 2 pairs of shoes. Comfortable shoes and a pair of sandals. Wear one for travel and pack one away.
- Travel size deodorant.
- Brush and comb I usually pack these items in my bag.
- Travel size lotion and hair oil.
- Flat iron for my hair.
- Three bottoms and 4 tops. We wear one bottom to travel in and pack 3 away. I always take a dress and accessories like a scarf , extra pair of earrings and one necklace. I include my dress as a bottom. We wear one of our four tops to travel in and we pack three away.
- My make up stays in my purse. I am very minimal when it comes to my make up. I only use foundation, mascara, two lip sticks, eye shadow, and liquid eyeliner.
- Travel size body spray.
- My journal, I have books on my smart phone including the Bible.
- Snacks for hubby and me.
They each have their own luggage. My husband purchased our 5 and 7 years old luggage from one of our well known grocery store in my state. Check them out here, the bumble bee luggage. My 3 year old have a Cars back pack book bag and my 12 year old has a back pack on wheels similar to this one that I recycled at a garage sale. My husband and I carry suitcases that fits in the overhead department, sometimes we carry a duffel bag. similar to this one, mines is red. I carry a tote handbag so I can hold more items. I have my smaller cross body purse inside my tote.
When we arrive at the airport and just want to be hands free, we will pay for a cart. Sometimes it is easier to set the money aside for the carts, especially if you are traveling with children.
What I love about back packs on wheels, they are very easy to travel with and the kids love to travel with them in the airport. I pack their bags with snacks and one fun item to keep them entertained. Like their tablet, reading book or coloring book and crayons.
I do not pack towels, shampoo, soap, conditioner, mouthwash or an iron.
When we travel, I try and get the girls hair done in a maintenance free hairstyle like braids. If they swim, I will buy a small bottle of clarifying shampoo to rinse the chlorine out of their hair.
When we arrive at our destination we pay Walmart a visit and get the things we need. Like clarifying shampoo, soap etc.
We always like to stay at hotels or lodging that have a laundry service either in our room or on the property. I like to wash our clothes a day before we leave giving us more clean clothes to wear while traveling back home.
If I were flying on Frontier, my 12 year old daughter would carry a backpack purse that would hold some of the smaller kids items. Each child would have a small tote to carry that would have 1 pair of shoes, their one item to keep them entertained and their snacks and toothbrush. My items would go into my tote and my husband items in his back pack.
When we are traveling by car, we have the liberty to bring more items but I still try and only travel with what I need. I try and keep the same clothing packing system. We might allot the kids one or two more entertainment items and we have the freedom to bring food and drinks. I will bring things I can’t travel with on the airplane like my perfume, soaps and lotions.
This is the way I travel minimally with a family of six. I hope you were inspired to pack very light, save yourself some money by not having to pay extra fees for luggage and keep in mind you don’t really use or wear half of the things you pack in your suitcase.
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