Packing Carry On Only…Challenge Accepted

We will begin our Belizean adventure soon.  Moms, you know what this means…it’s time to think about packing.  Now I am the type that has lists.  Lots of lists.  I have lists for my lists. This works pretty well when we are traveling by car.  I have an SUV that I can fill to the max, along with a luggage container to ride on top.

Not so this trip.  We are flying.  In an airplane out of Dulles.  With one connecting flight in Charlotte. And the kicker…it all has to be carry on.

Yikes!  All of it!

Double Stroller, booster seat, 3 carry on bags and 3 personal item bags. I have images, no nightmares, of how this will transpire as we are carting all of this, and 2 tots, through the airport.  The panic attacks at the thought of all of this, with the kids, through security is a very real thing.

But this is the way it will be be.  SO….

Challenge accepted.

I have left my husband on his own, he can manage.  That leaves me with the 2 boys, myself, their swim gear, entertainment for the plane, snacks, sunscreen, bug repellant.  Oh wait, this post isn’t my list.

Here are my my top tips for smooth packing:

  1. I have found the TSA website to be a great resource.  It lists the regs on liquids (3.4 oz in a 1 quart zip top bag), along with what can and can’t be brought on board. For instance, I can bring a bottle of milk for the little guy (they just test it to make sure it’s legit).  I can bring snacks.  I can bring water bottles.  
  2. The big box store with a bullseye has a fantastic section to buy travel size supplies including bug spray and sunscreen.    
  3. The trick of rolling cloths really works!  I found that by rolling the kids shirts and shorts and putting them in gallon bags and squeezing out all of the air, I can fit a lot of cloths in a really small space.  So small in fact that I could include their life jackets, swim goggles and water shoes all in one bag (yes, I’m good).
  4. Luggage: 2 suitcases and 1 duffle bag.  It is a lot easier to sling the duffle bag over a shoulder and rolling 2 suitcases, than pulling 3 suitcases through an airport. An aside: the little guy is still under 2 so we can only have luggage for 3.
  5. Personal item bags…I use a backpack instead of a diaper bag.  One that includes lots of pockets for odor blocking diaper bags, crayons, toy cars and my cell phone. The other bag is a small, Monsters U suitcase that my son can roll throughout the airport and put through the bag screening.  It is very important to him that he is a big boy and is doing what we are.  In his bag I have packed the iPads, headphones (super hero of course), books, snacks, cars, magnetic drawing board, and other assorted toys,

I am not a fan of flying…it’s a control issue.  But I have to say, caring for 2 kids on a plane is a good distraction.

Now, if only I could get them to nap the entire flight ;-).


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