We just got back from our 3-week trip all around the north of Italy–shaking off the last remnants of jet lag–and I had to check in with an update and some travel tips that absolutely saved us when it comes to traveling with young kids.
First/Fun things first: The trip was incredible! I mean, no one will ever accuse a trip with kids of being relaxing, per se, but fun? Yes.
The first week we were with the Adventures by Disney tour (separate post on that coming up), and we went to Rome, Florence, Orvieto (a small town), Tuscany and Venice, all in six days. Phew! The remainder of the trip we spent in Lake Como and Tuscany, just as a family.
I want to share a few simple travel tips that made our trip that much more enjoyable. I always feel that when you’re traveling lighter, it ends up being a better trip. Less to worry about, easier to get from point to point, and you start to realize how much less you actually need versus what you think you do.
Let’s dive into some super simple packing tips that hopefully will take some stress out of your next trip!
Rather listen? Here’s a recap of our trip on the podcast! Two episodes:
I knew going in to this trip that packing light was going to be a priority, so I focused a lot of attention on getting the perfect mix of clothes that work as both comfortable travel clothes, and dressy (dressier) clothes for nights out and dinners.
For this trip, most of the girls’ clothes were from Boden. They have such cute items in bright, fun colors and patterns, lean toward the dressier side, and are cotton (the only fabric for this insane heat!).
For my son, who’s 10, I wanted to lean away from athletic wear (did not want to be “those tourists” touring through historic cities in Nike basketball shorts, haha), but comfort obviously is a priority… as anyone with a boy knows how strangely allergic they can be to anything that’s not an elastic waistband, lol.
We went with Abercrombie Kids, which had such great options–collared shirts made of cotton that are easy to wash, but still dressier, and in super cute patterns.
First–know it is possible. Even for longer trips! Just accept that you’ll have to do a little laundry (more on that later).
It was a priority for me to pack carry-on–a goal fueled in part by my anxiety over potentially losing luggage, and then also just for the sheer challenge of it itself.
I did manage to pack all the kids clothes in one carry-on, as well as my clothes (clothes only–I couldn’t get toiletries in… a challenge for the next time!), but the only reason I was able to do so was because of these bags.
These giant plastic bags are like vacuum-sealed, but without the vacuum. Think of them as giant Ziploc bags with a strong seal. You fold your clothes, put them inside, seal it and then roll it to release the air.
To say that these bags are a game changer is an understatement. They are the sole reason I was able to pack as compactly as I did. For $14, you can’t go wrong. And yes, they are reusable. Link below:
For the first week of this trip, Andrew and I did laundry in our hotel room (in the tub!) and line dried it outside our windows. (Not suggested for front-facing rooms, as we got a notice from one of our hotels to remove our drying laundry from the windows, haha.)
If you’re going on a longer trip, don’t be scared of a little elbow grease and doing “room laundry.” It’s not nearly as time-consuming or difficult as I thought it would be.
I packed laundry sheets (no chance of them spilling in our luggage–bonus!); a travel size of wrinkle releaser; and a travel size of maybe the best stain spray I’ve ever used. Seriously, it got out a balsamic vinegar stain on a crochet top in seconds. So good.
Here are the three items that you should pack if you plan on doing a little in-room laundry:
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