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View Full Version : Kids & Their "Stuff" -- individual personal bags or consolidate in one carry-on?


love2driveinct
11-14-2009, 02:54 PM
On our last trip we traveled with way too many bags. :rotfl: It was not fun.

Besides suitcases, we had one carry-on pullman-style bag, plus we each had our "personal item", which in my case was a pocketbook. My DH had his laptop bag, and each kid had their own small messenger-style bag.

Problem was, whenever we were walking, unloading, loading, etc (especially when we had ALL our suitcases, too), it was just too much. Their little bags were even getting annoying.

I was thinking of taking one carry-on and putting ziplocs or small tote bags inside that I could hand out to each child after we board. Nothing that would cause any problems with other passengers or take up any real room, but something small, maybe even something that could clip to the magazine holder and hang there, so they could reach everything?

Just wondering if anyone has ever tried this and if there were any cool tips or suggestions. Thanks!

goofy4tink
11-14-2009, 03:01 PM
It looks like your kids are 11, 8, and 4? I would think they could all be responsible for anything they wanted to carry. My dd, now 16, has been responsible for her own carryon bag since she started flying...at almost 4. It sure did cut down on the stuff she 'had' to have...you want it, you carry it is my mantra.
We usually only check two bags when all three of us are traveling, so it's not a big deal. But there is no way I would carry the stuff for the kids. You may want to cut down on the number of bags you are taking as carryon. It looks like each child has their own largish carryon plus a smaller carryon bag..in addition to your checked bags. I apologize if I've misread that.
I would let them have one bag..up to them what they want to carry.

love2driveinct
11-14-2009, 03:28 PM
Let me think... last time each of the five of us had one checked suitcase -- my hubby's and mine were large and the kids had smaller pullmans. This time we intend to consolidate into three large suitcases if possible.

But as far as carry-ons go... I think we just had one that was considered a true carry-on, I can't remember exactly what it was, some sort of small bag with miscellaneous stuff in it (camera, my book, meds, things I didn't want to carry in my purse). I think it was a small duffel.

Then, each of us had one "personal item" -- I had my purse, and the kids each had a small bag. Yes, they were encouraged to carry them, but on that trip our littlest was 3 1/2 so she didn't last very long with hers. Also, it just seemed like more to keep track of when we were stopping at the airport restrooms, getting on and off of shuttles, etc, etc. We also had the stroller with us, too. I was thinking it would be better to consolidate somehow.

poohmickey
11-14-2009, 03:42 PM
My kids have always carried their own small carry on bag - usually a small to medium backpack. This way when we are changing planes and all the other walking around we do in the airports they can put it on their back and still have their hands free.

On some trips I have organized the backpacks so that one would contain most of the items we would use during flights so we wouldn't have to dig into every bag. This worked very well.

love2driveinct
11-14-2009, 04:01 PM
Backpacks, that's a good idea...

We are not going to WDW on this trip, just a cruise on the Magic, so the kids will really only need the bags for the flights and possibly to keep their stuff separated in the cabin. So that's why I keep going back to the idea of consolidating.

DebbieB
11-14-2009, 05:12 PM
One thing to be aware of - if you are one of the last ones on the plane, you may not be able to keep a rollaboard. If the overheads are full, they will force you to check it. I would put things you want for the flight in a backpack or a carryon that will fit under the seat.

love2driveinct
11-14-2009, 06:48 PM
DebbieB, I understand what you are saying, and believe me I am not one of those people who like to push the limits or bend the rules, but if I have purchased FIVE tickets that allow me TWO suitcases and ONE 10x16x24 carry-on EACH and they give me a hard time about us bringing the ONE carry-on for the five of us, I will be pretty angry! :mad:

Thank you for mentioning it, though... I really don't fly that often anymore so I think I keep forgetting how much things have changed in the past 8-10 years.

bavaria
11-14-2009, 09:40 PM
How long is your trip? That sounds like a LOT of checked and carry on luggage.

I am currently travelling for 2 months, both hot and cold climates, and have one 24 inch CHECKED bag. The vast majority of airlines do not permit that size as a carry on in America, and in the rest of the world the carry on is limited to on 8kg bag.

I would seriously revisit how much you are taking in total. I cannot stand rollaboards on board a plane or in the airport, and I cannot carry anything with one arm, but I do manage just fine flying with one small 8kg carry on.

You already had one bad experience, why set yourself up for another one? And DebbieB is absolutely correct - there is a very very good chance on US carriers these days of having to check carry on, and if you plan to use that red angry face you may well find yourself denied boarding. Why not plan for success, and less stress? It will make your travels easier.

crashbb
11-14-2009, 10:06 PM
The other benefit of having separate bags is that everyone will have their stuff if you get separated. If you only use one bag, 4 people will be without their stuff (in the worst case that all five of you are apart).

DebbieB
11-14-2009, 10:30 PM
DebbieB, I understand what you are saying, and believe me I am not one of those people who like to push the limits or bend the rules, but if I have purchased FIVE tickets that allow me TWO suitcases and ONE 10x16x24 carry-on EACH and they give me a hard time about us bringing the ONE carry-on for the five of us, I will be pretty angry! :mad:

Thank you for mentioning it, though... I really don't fly that often anymore so I think I keep forgetting how much things have changed in the past 8-10 years.

I'm assuming you are flying with SW (2 free suitcases). You should be fine, I haven't seen stuffed overheads on SW. Now Delta or US, they always run out of space since there are no free bags except for elite or first class. If the overheads are full, they don't even allow rollaboards past the door.

love2driveinct
11-14-2009, 10:38 PM
How long is your trip? That sounds like a LOT of checked and carry on luggage.

I am currently travelling for 2 months, both hot and cold climates, and have one 24 inch CHECKED bag. The vast majority of airlines do not permit that size as a carry on in America, and in the rest of the world the carry on is limited to on 8kg bag.

I would seriously revisit how much you are taking in total. I cannot stand rollaboards on board a plane or in the airport, and I cannot carry anything with one arm, but I do manage just fine flying with one small 8kg carry on.

You already had one bad experience, why set yourself up for another one? And DebbieB is absolutely correct - there is a very very good chance on US carriers these days of having to check carry on, and if you plan to use that red angry face you may well find yourself denied boarding. Why not plan for success, and less stress? It will make your travels easier.

Well, it was a lot of checked baggage last time because we didn't have large suitcases so we used what we had (the kids used 19" pullmans). It was definitely too many, that's why we are trying to consolidate this time into fewer, larger pieces. I think you may have misunderstood my post -- when I said that the airline allows us two checked & one carry-on each, I didn't mean that we were actually bringing all of that. We are planning on just three checked bags total.

Also, last time we were doing 5 days in WDW and then a 3-night cruise, so we needed a lot of different things, including a stroller. Honestly, we used almost every single thing we brought and did not feel like we overpacked. (We did leave a little room, however, for souvenirs/purchases to bring back.)

So it's not that it was a bad experience, I was just trying to say that I would like to have fewer items to keep track of -- it is hard enough just keeping track of the kids. :rotfl:

Anyway, I was just suggesting that instead of allowing each kid to bring their own small bag with their personal items (books, crayons/pencils, ipod, etc), maybe I would pack their loot into individual 3-gal ziplocs and put them into one carry-on. I certainly do not want to inconvenience other passengers or be unrealistic, but I don't think that having one carry-on that meets the airline's requirements (10"x16"x24") is that big of a deal when I have paid for five tickets.

But it does make me think that using ziplocs would definitely be the way to go, so that if they did force me to check the bag, I could empty out what we needed first and it wouldn't be a mess.

I noticed all of your wonderful tips and suggestions on the thread about weather delays -- you have obviously traveled a lot and I appreciate all of your wisdom. And you don't know me, but I am not a person who makes a fuss or gets angry or makes a stink unless it is absolutely necessary. I hope you didn't think that my red-face (it was the only angry/mad emoticon I could find in a hurry, sorry) meant that I was going to start shouting and clenching fists right there on the plane! I just meant that I would be very confused and disappointed if that happened to me... that's all.

bavaria
11-14-2009, 10:46 PM
You may also have read that I travel in a parallel universe, or what I like to call RealWorld vs DISWorld. There is a lot of drama and stress and fuss when flying in DISWorld, which just doesn't exist for most of us in RealWorld.

The one time last year I had to travel with a 20 inch rollaboard as a carry on I hated it so much that I started a thread explaining why.

I honestly believe that a lot of the stress in DISWorld would be reduced if people looked at the big picture and found ways to make life easier, not more complicated, for themselves. How much do you really need in a carry on? How long is the average DIS flight?

Until very very recently one couldn't take a bag of crap on board the plane, and we managed just fine, as did the kids (and many of us managed as kids) If you are flying anything other than SW, there is a good chance that you will board near the end if you don't have status, and even if you have ONE bag it may be checked.

People don't plan to lose their temper or their cool, but I recall at least three times this year that posters were denied boarding or almost denied boarding because they did lose their cool.

The older I get the more willing I am to make things easy for myself. I suggest a few very small carry on bags that can be carried by children, and not every person needs to bring their own bag. For a family of three children and two parents, 2-3 small carry on should suffice, and still manage to contain the essentials.

love2driveinct
11-14-2009, 11:02 PM
You may also have read that I travel in a parallel universe, or what I like to call RealWorld vs DISWorld. There is a lot of drama and stress and fuss when flying in DISWorld, which just doesn't exist for most of us in RealWorld.

The one time last year I had to travel with a 20 inch rollaboard as a carry on I hated it so much that I started a thread explaining why.

I honestly believe that a lot of the stress in DISWorld would be reduced if people looked at the big picture and found ways to make life easier, not more complicated, for themselves. How much do you really need in a carry on? How long is the average DIS flight?

Until very very recently one couldn't take a bag of crap on board the plane, and we managed just fine, as did the kids (and many of us managed as kids) If you are flying anything other than SW, there is a good chance that you will board near the end if you don't have status, and even if you have ONE bag it may be checked.

People don't plan to lose their temper or their cool, but I recall at least three times this year that posters were denied boarding or almost denied boarding because they did lose their cool.

The older I get the more willing I am to make things easy for myself. I suggest a few very small carry on bags that can be carried by children, and not every person needs to bring their own bag. For a family of three children and two parents, 2-3 small carry on should suffice, and still manage to contain the essentials.

I agree... we are lucky to have only one, direct, 3-hr flight (if the weather cooperates), so we really shouldn't need to bring much along.

But then I read the weather thread and I worry all over again about making sure we have the items we need just in case we DO get stuck in the airport. Like you and the others, I believe in going with the flow, not getting upset about things you cannot change, and preparing for the possibilities ahead of time. Like toothbrush, contact lens stuff, etc. One poster mentioned a dvd player, and that would be a wonderful way to pass the time if we are waiting in the airport for hours, but is that something I really want to put in my carry-on? I don't know. :confused3

We actually are flying SW, and I have been posting on another thread about my concerns with the boarding procedures and what will happen if my children are scattered around the plane sitting separately from us. So believe me, worrying about that could be stressful enough, but I am a firm believer in "hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst", and above all, have a sense of humor about it. Some of our best family memories have been made when things didn't go as planned.

BCV23
11-15-2009, 12:42 AM
You have a great attitude. Flying isn't what it used to be, is it?

Like goofy4tink, our children carried their own things. I think having children do that encourages independence and responsibility. Two of our three now grown children were responsible for packing their carryons from a very early age.

Our middle child has diabetes as well as Down Syndrome so I handle the medical supplies and packing his cooler with food but he takes great pride and joy in his carryon which holds markers, tablets, DVDs and player these days.

As others pointed out, it is also a blessing for everyone to have their own carryon should you be separated on board.

Happy travels!

Brian Noble
11-15-2009, 09:21 AM
We have our kids carry their school backpacks. They are required to carry enough clothes etc. in their backpacks to get through the first 24 hours (in case luggage is delayed). They are free to use any remaining room as they see fit, and they are responsible for getting it from point A to point B at all times. Usually, the remaining room is consumed by a small hand-held game and some books.

SGB13
11-15-2009, 10:20 AM
We also have the kids carry their school backpacks. I don't like to have to hand things to each of them a million times on the flight, so that way they have what they need. I too carry my stuff in a back pack to free up my hands. (Helps to grab onto them in the crowded terminals!) My husband has the laptop in his bag. We check everything else. It's worth paying not to have to keep up with anything. :goodvibes

BCV23
11-15-2009, 11:09 AM
We have our kids carry their school backpacks. They are required to carry enough clothes etc. in their backpacks to get through the first 24 hours (in case luggage is delayed). They are free to use any remaining room as they see fit, and they are responsible for getting it from point A to point B at all times. Usually, the remaining room is consumed by a small hand-held game and some books.

We also have the kids carry their school backpacks. I don't like to have to hand things to each of them a million times on the flight, so that way they have what they need. I too carry my stuff in a back pack to free up my hands. (Helps to grab onto them in the crowded terminals!) My husband has the laptop in his bag. We check everything else. It's worth paying not to have to keep up with anything. :goodvibes

Ours always carried their backpacks when they were young, too. They knew keeping track of them was their responsibility just as it was at school and home.

An added benefit of each having their own on the plane was that it made it easier to organize the resort room. They each typically had one drawer in the room for their clothes and anything they chose to unpack from their backpack. It was an easy way for them to access homework, books and personal treasures while keeping the room tidy.

dis_guy
11-15-2009, 11:38 AM
The backpacks for the kids are the way to go for them. I agree with bavaria that people make things way too difficult for themselves much of the time.

After 30 years of flying frequently I always look for more things that I can leave behind.

For our upcoming Christmas trip to Disney the four of us will have 2 medium sized checked bags, our daughters (now 19 and 18) will each have their backpacks, I'll have a camera/gadget bag, and my wife will have her bag and book. That's it. Each carryon will have essentials for a couple of days, just in case.:)

NHdisneylover
11-16-2009, 08:25 AM
I am another one whose kids have always flown with their own backpacks. As mentioned previously, this makes it so each child can easily access his or her items in the event that we are seperated in flight. If you had to ahnd out baggies on the plane (or pull them from a roll on bag needing to be gate checked) it could slow boarding for everyone else while you move about the plane to do so.

The backpacks are generally easy to carry--and because the children use them for school pretty much everyday, they are used to the feel of them, where to look for items, etc.

The kids pack their own items (with a quick reminder from me beforehand about what the latest guidlines prohibit). We always keep a light jacket or sweater in backpacks, which may get used more on the vacation. Otherwise, the only things likely to come out again once we reach our desitination are DDs books. I don't find it to be a hassel at all to just leave the backpacks packed up and hanging on a bedpost or in the top of the closet until our return home:confused3

love2driveinct
11-16-2009, 09:28 AM
Ok, maybe backpacks it is. Do those count as carry-ons or as personal items?

I guess it doesn't really matter since we won't even be close to going over the limit.

Maybe I will even bring a backpack for myself -- on our last trip I was wishing I had one for our shore excursion -- they certainly are easier since they free up your hands, etc. A lot easier to stow than a small rolling suitcase, too. :) (Bavaria, though I never found your thread on why you hate them, you have me convinced of their evils! :))

Thanks everyone for the ideas... I have only flown twice in the past 10 years, so I am still adjusting to how different things are now. I appreciate the input!

:thanks: