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Old 04-27-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
turnerx6
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Question Packing Tips For Large Families!?!

Hello everyone,

We are considering a trip in October. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for packing.... for a large family. There will be 6 of us on this trip. Two adults, and four little girls ages 8, 5, almost 4 and 3 months. The thought of packing is already daunting and the trip is months away!!!

We will be flying which means hauling lots of luggage and 4 kids through the airport...again, daunting! In the past how have you packed your large family? Any tips and tricks to share?

We are staying offsite in a 4 bedroom vacation home so we plan on dropping by Target on the way to pick up snacks, stuff for breakfast, etc.

Anyway - I would love to hear your tips and tricks!!!
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
2Pirates2Princesses
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We are also a family of six and my advice is to give yourself plenty of time to pack so that it doesn't get too overwhelming; and I also like to make lists ahead of time too. I have a list of things I need to buy for the trip, what I need to get done before the trip, and what I need to pack (for each person). I started buying things here and there that I knew would be useful for the trip (character shirts, lanyards, ponchos, etc.) several months ahead of time and packed them away in a large plastic storage bin that is just for our Disney trip stuff. For our upcoming trip we are staying offsite in a condo so that means we won't have to pack things that we can just buy at the store once we are there. On our last trip we stayed onsite in a family suite at All Star Music and ordered water, juice, snacks, breakfast foods, etc. from Garden Grocer, but we still had to pack a lot of things due to not having our own vehicle. So staying offsite in a condo with a kitchen, washer and dryer and a renting a minivan will ease the burden of us having to pack or order a great deal of stuff. Another thing I recommend if you have little ones is remembering to pack their comfort/soothing items if they have one (special blanket, pillow, stuffed animal, etc.). I set a reminder on my phone and tape a note on the refrigerator. Happy planning!
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
Gracie09
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Gallon storage bags. In each bag pack a complete outfit for one day for one kid. Label. For the baby add the number of diapers needed for the day. Packs couple extra outfits for changes in the park.
Makes organizing and dressing in the morning easy
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
Sarahlovy
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Each person doesn't need their own suitcase. As a family of three we regularally packed in one large suitcase plus another bag of just tolietries for a week without, and that included a blanket and diapers. Don't pack a bunch of clothes/shoe options just to have options- figure out what you need, and stick with it. Packing lists are your friends. Another vote for packing in ziplocks.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #5
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Make sure not to bring 3 or 4 of something it it's something that can be shared by the entire group.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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I'm packing for ten for our upcoming trip and I pack by day using packing cubes. I also use the ziploc bags so each kid gets a complete outfit in a ziploc bag and all of the ziploc bags for one day go into a packing cube. I'm mailing the hygiene stuff ahead of time to cut down on weight in the bags and to have less checked baggage. And packing an empty lightweight carryon size duffel so we have space for souvenirs on the way home.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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My kids used to love luggage and packing! I would let the 8 and 5 year old have their own small wheeled suitcases. In the airport, they could have their backpack with their traveling books etc. and a snack, and drag their suitcases, while holding each others hand with the free hand. You and your DH could then each have a big suitcase with your own stuff and responsibility for one younger child. I'd have all your carry-ons be backpacks, with the kids each having their own.

You didn't say how long you'd be there, but personally I find it much easier to carry less and do laundry part way through the trip. You'll need room for diapers etc. so this will really be important for you I think. With the age of your girls they'll need longer sleeping hours than you, so you could probably have one of you do laundry after putting them to bed. I always thought doing laundry was a great break. I'd take a book, go for a swim, etc. while the laundry was going and meanwhile DH would get the kids all settled for the night.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
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My biggest tip is to put at least one or two sets of clothes for everyone in each suitcase. I made the mistake of packing all of my clothes in one suitcase and the kids in a second suitcase. My suitcase didn't make it so at 11pm after arriving I had to find a 24hr Walmart and buy a set of clothes/pj's for myself. It took 2 days to get my suitcase.

We are a family of 5 and I plan to pack in gallon size zip lock bags. On the bags it will have my kids name and the day that they are to wear the outfit. I have one of those hanging cube things that I am going to bring with me to hang in the resort closet and each kid will have a section. It will make getting dressed easier. The cube that I have has 4 sections, so the bottom section is for the kids to put their pj's. I try to let them wear them 2 nights.

I also pack using duffle bags now instead of a suitcase. I can get more stuff in one because they are so light weight. I weighed my large suitcase and alone it's over 15lbs.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracie09 View Post
Gallon storage bags. In each bag pack a complete outfit for one day for one kid. Label. For the baby add the number of diapers needed for the day. Packs couple extra outfits for changes in the park.
Makes organizing and dressing in the morning easy
We do this too. I also label the bags as Day1, Day2 etc and place them all together (for every member of our family) in one bag. Like a target shopping bag. That way I can grab that day's bag in the morning and everyone's outfit is already in there. Also I find you can fit more into the luggage this way because you can really let all the air out of the ziplock before sealing and it makes the clothes much smaller. I also did this on our recent cruise. Put the fancy clothes in another bag labeled dinner night 1, dinner night 2, etc. OK. Now you know I am a little obsessive!!! But honestly, that annoying planning before we leave makes our vacation mornings sooooo easy. No fighting, no looking for socks. Everything is in one place. Plus I like to match the kiddos so they are easy to find in the theme park. Like all wearing red or orange one day. It makes it super easy to find your kids in the parks and that way the colors are all matched before we leave. Good luck. It isn't that bad to pack for 6. You will be fine. Have a great trip!!!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3SpoiledPrincesses View Post
My biggest tip is to put at least one or two sets of clothes for everyone in each suitcase. I made the mistake of packing all of my clothes in one suitcase and the kids in a second suitcase. My suitcase didn't make it so at 11pm after arriving I had to find a 24hr Walmart and buy a set of clothes/pj's for myself. It took 2 days to get my suitcase.

We are a family of 5 and I plan to pack in gallon size zip lock bags. On the bags it will have my kids name and the day that they are to wear the outfit. I have one of those hanging cube things that I am going to bring with me to hang in the resort closet and each kid will have a section. It will make getting dressed easier. The cube that I have has 4 sections, so the bottom section is for the kids to put their pj's. I try to let them wear them 2 nights.

I also pack using duffle bags now instead of a suitcase. I can get more stuff in one because they are so light weight. I weighed my large suitcase and alone it's over 15lbs.

We do this too. We're a family of 5 and I spread everything out over 3 suitcases so that each suitcase has some clothes, undies, and a swim suit for each person.

OP, since you are renting a vacation home, will you have laundry facilities? If so, you won't have to pack outfits for an entire week. We usually stay in a villa with a washer and dryer and find that 4 outfits per person is enough.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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We are only a family of three, but I thought I'd throw out these ideas since you are stopping at Target (we did too!)


We only packed as many diapers as DD would need for the flight, and then extra in case we were delayed. When we got to Orlando, we bought diapers she would need for the trip, and did the same thing on the flight home.

If you don't mind making a list and shopping, skip packing all toiletries and just buy them when you get there, and don't pack them up and take them home. We bought it all, from nail polish remover to sunscreen to shampoo. And none of it came home. It was worth the money lost leaving them to gain the suitcase space.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #12
garjanjones
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We don't have a large family, but I am experiencing similar unease about packing, as this is the first time we have flown as a family. The thing that has helped ease my worries the most, is planning on doing laundry. We are planning on packing solid shirts and shorts, that we can mix and match and doing laundry once or twice. This way there is not near as many clothes to pack.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
Disneylover99
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We try not to overpack. We bring two large pieces of luggage for the four of us to share when staying a week or more.

The best tip I can give you is to purchase a luggage weight scale. Find out from your airline what the maximum weight per bag is and then pack and weigh, pack and weigh, until you are close to the max, but not over.

good luck!
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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We only pack a few outfits for each, and I do laundry daily, just like at home. We don't check anything - the kids have been pulling their own carry-on suitcases for years now.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:40 PM   #15
samacita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerx6 View Post
Hello everyone,

We are considering a trip in October. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for packing.... for a large family. There will be 6 of us on this trip. Two adults, and four little girls ages 8, 5, almost 4 and 3 months. The thought of packing is already daunting and the trip is months away!!!

We will be flying which means hauling lots of luggage and 4 kids through the airport...again, daunting! In the past how have you packed your large family? Any tips and tricks to share?

We are staying offsite in a 4 bedroom vacation home so we plan on dropping by Target on the way to pick up snacks, stuff for breakfast, etc.

Anyway - I would love to hear your tips and tricks!!!
One of our tricks when traveling with baby:
We never pack diapers when we travel. We take enough for the travel day (plus a few extras) in a carry on. Then we purchase a pack when we get to our destination. This really cuts down on luggage space. Since you have a trip to Target already in your plans, this might be an option if you use disposables.
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