As we celebrate our independence and the hottest travel month of the year, let's break free of long packing lists, too. To travel a little lighter together, leave behind what you don't need, including...
1. Kids' Beds
Why haul a heavy crib or pack 'n' play when you can BYOB (build your own bed) instead? Create a baby crib or big-kid siesta spot using our BYOB Guide (and stay tuned for our Hotel Setup Tips) to make sure everyone can snooze, even in the same room.
2. Too many diapers
Bring enough for the trip, emergencies or long layovers. A day’s worth will do for shorter and overnight trips. Then either send more to your destination via Amazon or buy what you need when you arrive to save valuable space along the way.
3. Heavy stroller
If you're traveling with a baby, a carrier might be all you need. For infants, use a wrap like the Baby K’tan. For bigger babies and toddlers, pick more support with the Boba Air or Baby Bjorn. If you need a stroller, go with light, sturdy and compact like Kinderwagon or Baby Jogger.
4. Daily outfits
Most kids have favorite clothes and don’t mind wearing the same thing a time or two (or ten). Take advantage and bring separates that mix, match and layer. Stay tuned for our packing lists, and plan to do laundry or hand wash key items in the sink along the way.
5. New shoes
Make sure the shoes you bring are worn in so kids can cover lots of ground. Two pairs are plenty, including running/walking shoes and another for special weather (boots for snow and rain or sandals for balmy weather). The best can be dressed up or down.
With complete libraries accessible on iPads and e-readers, reading and coloring on the go is easier than ever. Download favorite stories with art, music and learning apps. You’ll have activities on the way and stories for bedtime routines wherever you may be.
Most of us pack enough food to face an apocalypse when we fly with kids. Try to pack just a few snacks so you can make meals a fun part of the journey and enjoy local fare when you get there. Also, check out our Expert’s Favorite Travel Snacks.
8. Car seat
Even the lightest car seats can add another ten pounds to your already heavy load. If you can, leave the car seats at home. Rent upon arrival or stick with public transportation. Trains, subways, buses and boats are friendlier for the environment and for all of us!
The most important thing to leave behind is fear. Think of your trip as an adventure together. Then organize just what you need and envision traveling with confidence. You can do this! Parts of the trip might not be easy, but it will all be worth it.