I thought I'd share the breakdown of how we traveled with two kids and three adults (my mom was along with us, although she stayed at a different family home for the first five days). I'm not going to say this is how you should pack, because we had a ton of shit. Since we stayed both with family and also at the Disneyland Hotel Resort for three days, I pretty much packed all of us for any scenario thrown our way.
On our way to Cali - after surviving security, the adults treated themselves to Bloodies in the Admiral's Club - another perk of traveling with my mom.
Talk about being efficient. That's not me whatsoever, so here's how it worked for us:
To help us avoid baggage fees, my mom bought our plane tickets (she is Gold, so we each were allowed two checked bags for free). HUT is over two so that meant that between our family, including my mom, we could have eight checked bags. Strollers and carseats are free. I believe they pack n' play is as well, but you might want to check on that with your airline.
Because we knew that we'd be in quite a few different scenarios and also walking around Disneyland for two days, we opted to take two strollers. We gate checked our UPPAbaby G-Luxe and we checked our UPPAbaby Vista at the counter (in the UPPAbaby Vista Travelsafe Travelbag) when we arrived at the airport. We packed one suitcase full of clothes/accessories/toiletries for the kids, and the second suitcase we filled with "gear." Gear included the following:
diapers, wipes, UPPAbaby Rumble Seat, Inglesina Fast Table Chair, bottles, sippy cups, utensils, toys, blankets, burp cloths, HUT's Puddle Jumper, and any other accessories we thought we needed
I knew the "gear" bag would be much emptier on the ride home for any souvenirs we needed to haul back to Texas. Most trips I would just buy diapers/wipes when we arrived, but since we had the space, I went ahead and packed them.
The U and I each had our own suitcase, as well as my mom.
We checked the Pack n' Play at the ticketing counter, as well as Ellie's carseat (in a protective bag). Through the airport, Ellie sat in the umbrella stroller, and HUT happily rode along in his car seat that was attached to the Britax Car Seat Travel Cart . Since we purchased him a ticket, we opted to carry on his car seat and attach it to his plane seat.
BEST. MOVE. EVER.
He was able to sit higher and see out of the window and he's so comfortable in his car seat that, both flights, he was sound asleep before we took off. And remained so for most of the flights!
As for carry-on bags, this is how it panned out. The U had a backpack that really was stored with more baby crap (Beco Gemini, Mommy Hook and stroller cup holders). I had one carry on full of electronics, jewelry, camera, etc. as well as the diaper bag. HUT had a backpack filled with toys, mini iPad loaded with movies, headphones, changes of clothes for both kids, a snack and sippy cup. My mom had her own carry on as well.
So, let's summarize...
5 suitcases (3 adult, 1 children's clothes, 1 children's gear)
Checked pack n' play
Checked car seat
Carried on stroller
Carried on car seat
Two regular carry on bags
Aside from over packing clothes for myself, we really did use the majority of all of the items during the entire trip. I'm sure we could easily have done without most things and managed, but it sure did make things a hell of a lot easier on us in the long run. If there is one that that I've learned, it's that children who feel comfortable and relaxed lead everyone to feel that way as well.
Crazy enough, because I planned and packed so far in advance, getting through security was a stinkin' breeze both times. That's always what gives me the most anxiety.
Now, fitting into the rental car was a whole other issue. In the end, it's a great thing that we had family where we were going because a standard SUV definitely did not fit everything. Next time we will rent a van or large SUV.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot away!
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