This is a guest post from Julie Crawford, of knittedbliss.com. She recently took a trip and tried out our Getaway Gang!
Traveling with small kids can strike fear into the heart of even the most stalwart of travelers, but I recently did just that – I took a two week trip to England and Spain with my husband, 4-year-old daughter, and 9-month-old son, and we only packed two small suitcases. Spain was hot, and England was chilly – none of the clothes we wore in England were worn in Spain, and vice versa.
The secret? Packing strategically and washing things as we traveled.
If you are going to do any traveling (especially with kids!), you need Eucalan’s Getaway Gang. It contains 10 packets of no-rinse wash, 6 stain treating towelettes, one emery board, and a little sewing kit for emergencies (even tiny scissors!).
I took some of the stain treating towelettes, the emery board, and the sewing kit (minus the scissors, as airport security can be pretty strict) in my carry on. And I was glad I did, since I got chocolate milk on me in the departure lounge, before even getting on the plane:
Possibly light grey pants were not the best travel outfit choice. But the stain towelette did the job, and took away the worst of the chocolate milk. All that was left (other than a damp spot, which needed to dry) was the faintest mark, hardly visible during the rest of the journey. Once I took them off and washed them completely, it was like it never even happened.
Packing Your Carry On: Tips
- Don’t just throw the pouch with all your Eucalan goodies into your checked bag! Take out at least 2 stain treating towelettes (3 if you’ve got kids with you), the emery board, and the sewing kit (if you have to leave the scissors in your checked bag, that’s okay).
- Pack a lightweight change of clothes in your carry on not only for the kids, but for yourself – take it from my husband, who had the misfortune of being vomited on by another kid (and not one of our own, another little one who didn’t make it to the washroom in time.)
- Pack a plastic bag for serious messes. Because even if the above hadn’t happened, the baby had a crazy diaper situation and required a full wardrobe change mid flight. I just bagged up the offending outfit and washed it when we got to our destination.
- Antibacterial wipes- this is the only time I use them. When we first get to our seats, I wipe down the armrests, the trays, everything around us. Not just because the baby will inevitably end up chewing on an armrest, but because you know that they don’t ever really wipe down the surfaces of the plane between flights.
As for packing light, I only packed 4 outfits for each country for each person (except the baby – he had some extras ), which meant that me, my husband, and my 4 year old had a total of 8 outfits: 4 for cool weather, and 4 for hot weather. We also packed lightweight waterproof jackets (England was indeed rainy!). Each outfit was chosen for it’s ability to be worn with everything else packed for that climate – shirts had to match all the shorts that were packed, light sweaters and cool weather clothes had to be able to mix and match. This meant that you could recombine pieces for a lot of variety, even though very little was brought for each person.
In England we were staying with family, in Spain we stayed in hotels and then a rented apartment in Barcelona. Having regular access to a washing machine makes it a lot easier to pack less, but having fewer items means that you also don’t have full loads of laundry very often, even with 4 people. Sink washing certain items just made sense, as I could do it in the morning and things would often be dry by the following morning:
The baby sleepers in particular seemed to need far more frequent washing than anything else- not that surprising, as babies are pretty messy!
In England, the laundry detergent they had was so harsh and really overly fragranced that I ended up rewashing the first load in Eucalan. It got out the strong perfume smell of the previous detergent. In Spain, I wasn’t about to go and buy laundry detergent, so I used Eucalan in the washing machine and everything came out perfectly:
We are already talking about another trip again next summer- but this time if we go to different places, we will try to choose ones with a similar climate!