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Traveling with Kids

Jessica D.
Psychologist & Worldwide Traveler
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Join Jessica Dear, mother of three and worldwide traveler for a Q&A session just in time for holiday travel. Wondering how to navigate a flight with small children? Curious about the perks of staying in a hotel or condo with children? Ready to take your family on an adventure and need tips from someone who has done it before? Jessica has traveled around the world with her family, staying in everything from hostels to 5-star hotels! She is here to answer all questions about navigating travel on planes, trains and boats to cities around the world with kids of all ages.

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Packing Light & Luggage

Hi Jessica. Any tips for packing light with two kids??? I would also love to know if there are particular suitcases that are good for family travel - not too heavy, easy to maneuver. Thanks!


Hi Eva. You have to be wise on choosing the clothes you're going to be using during your trip. For example, for my boys, I like to buy the pants that can turn into shorts. That way, If there's a formal event or we go for a hike, I can easily add the lower piece of the pants and voila! They have pants. But if it's a hot day or we're stopping at a lake, we can just as well use them as shorts.
For my daughter, I like to buy leggings, since they are easy to match and fit in on any extra space in the suitcase.
I usually pack two upper pieces (shirt, blouse, t-shirt..) per one bottom piece (pants, shorts, skirt..). I avoid packing dresses for my daughter, since that will only be worn once, but a skirt, I can match up with two different shirts, and it looks like a completely different outfit.
We recently bought two pairs of North Face bags -- the soft side kind; they aren't super-easy to maneuver, but they hold a ton so they're more efficient than a bunch of smaller bags. Two have wheels, and the other two are just two large duffels. They have been great. Easy to carry, strong, and the duffles can collapse inside the other bags if needed. Also, they (supposedly) have a life time warranty. Lufthansa and United routinely conspire to destroy them, but they're holding up strong! However, for smaller bags for shorter trips, mountaineering-style backpacks are great -- you're hands free. Nothing worse than rolling bags through the airport while wrangling the youngsters.

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Welcome mom and world traveler, Jessica Dear! Jessica has traveled extensively with her children and is here to answer all of your questions about the best family accommodations, family-friendly destinations, international family travel, and more. Get some expert advice and ease that holiday travel stress!