A question I always get asked by strangers we meet is “how do you pack for 3 kids and be on the move every few days/weeks?”
And to be honest, I’ve really had to relax my stance on so many packing rules and become flexible. I was adamant from the start of this journey that the kids would need a few things on the trip that will be essential to their happiness and comfort. As bulky or heavy as they might be, we carry these items around to ensure the kids are happy which makes me happy.
From left to right, here are some essential items that have been with us on the journey so far. Keep in mind, this list is for my older children aged 6 and nearly 4.
- Skip Hop Wheelie Luggage Bag. We have been using these since day 1 on the adventure. We always get remarks from other travellers in the airport because the kids just look adorable pulling along their own carry-on. They have been absolutely thrashed, on and off planes and trains and they are still in great condition.
- Smiggle supplies. The kids love Smiggle, I do too, I just wish their prices were a little more reasonable. We do lots of craft and homework on the trip so we go through our fair share of pens, pencils and so on.
- Headphones. I will admit, the kids are already on their 2nd or 3rd pair of headphones. The quality of the child friendly headphones is pretty terrible and it doesn’t take much to destroy them. Fingers crossed we don’t need to buy anymore on the trip. They are used to watch movies in the car and on the airplanes of course.
- Micro Scooters. Ok, you might be thinking I am crazy to schlep 2 scooters in the luggage but I digress. We only bought the scooters in London after we had been travelling around Europe. The kids were so batty for some serious play and all the kids in London have scooters not bikes. Whenever they get a little cabin crazy, we head to the park and can enjoy that freedom every kid loves while zooming around on wheels.
- ipad air. These ipads are loaded with games, books and movies. Abi has been reading Harry Potter on her ipad and teaching herself Mandarin. Ted uses his mostly for games and watching TV shows, Mr Bean mostly. They get a workout on the planes too. Again, they have been used so much and both had cracked screens at one stage. James had them repaired in London for a tiny price and they are as good as new.
- Magna-Tiles. I bought these 2 weeks ago in The Hamptons. They are light, compact and indestructible. You can make any shapes or objects with them. They weren’t cheap but the kids haven’t stopped playing with them since I purchased them.
- Klean Kanteen bottles. These are stylish but strong bottles. Unfortunately we have run into a few problems at security screenings at departures and every now and then, they require a 2nd screening in a separate machine because they are steel. They wash well, can be dropped over and over and fit perfectly in cup holders their wheelie bags.
- Apple TV. It has been a real treat for the kids to have Apple TV on the road. Especially in Europe, we visited many countries that had no English speaking channels. For the most part, this didn’t bother me but for the kids, I know they missed watching cartoons in English. We also have “movie night” every few weeks which involves buying a new release movie, making popcorn and enjoying each other’s company sprawled all over the sofa. James, Marlee and I also could watch Netflix and buy new release movies too. The only issue we have encountered is Harriet misplacing the apple control so many times, it isn’t even funny. Envision the entire family frantically searching high and low for it on the day we are leaving a destination, and then find it in the fridge or toiletries bag. Girl knows how to burrow things away!
- Simply for Flying Logbook. I bought this for Abi a few days before we left Sydney. She has asked every crew member or pilot on board our flights to sign and fill in details of our flight time etc. She cherishes this little book so much, and I know she will hold onto it dearly for years to come. A great little keepsake for the junior jetsetter!
- Melissa and Doug sticker books / colouring in books. This brand has always been one of my favourites, the puzzles are fantastic. And I’ve just discovered they also have dress-up costumes too. Sticker and colour books are my #1 activity to keep the kids happy on planes, in restaurants, in transit, you name it. Harriet has started joining in too which usually means the older kids wear more stickers than end up on the book.