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Old 10-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
LilnStitchy
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Carry-on only with 2 toddlers?

We have 2 toddlers, ages 3 and 16 mos. Is it reasonable to pack with just carry-ons? Or should I suck it up and pay the baggage fees? We have purchased 3 seats between the 4 of us. DS would get his own carry-on allotment (which I think I could fit all their clothes combined), and then DH and I each would have one in addition to our personal items. We plan to buy diapers, wipes, and food (oatmeal, snacks, etc) when we arrive- or have them delivered. We also have my parents along who will be checking a bag between them and can help wrangle our kids. We'll have access to a washer/dryer. Space is also a big issue. My parents are flying in from out of state, staying at our house for a night, then we all leave for Orlando together. My SUV (Pilot) will not be able to accommodate: 2 strollers, 3 large suitcases, carry-ons, with half the 3rd row in use. I figure 1 large suitcase and 3 small ones and carry-ons might fit. We also live over an hour from the airport so taking multiple trips or taking two cars (and having to pay to park) isn't feasible. We are renting a minivan in Orlando so on that end space won't be an issue. Thoughts? Am I just crazy to even think this might be possible?

ETA: DH and I are pretty good and just doing the carry-on thing but we don't normally try to do it on trips where the kids come along.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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I could not do it, and I expect you would end up buying at lot of extra things when you get there, or ship so much extra that you would not really save anything. Remember you will need some snacks, diapers, sippy cups etc on the plane as well as some distraction things for the kids. You will need bath products, medications etc that will put you over you liquid allowance. Think about things like sleep toys etc. I think I would want at least one large checked bag. Not sure how to help as far a getting it to and from the airport. Maybe a friend would help drive you all there?
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
quandrea
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Go for it! We are a family of five (me, dh, dd, 8 and twins 3) and I'm heading down to the world with one carry on for the five of us, plus my purse and backpacks for my two girls (8 and 3). With WDW being so casual we find you need very little. I do a small load of laundry each day. Here's what we bring

me: two pair of shorts
Three tees (could get by with two, but like the variety)
I wear one of the tees, a pair of long pants, a hoodie and my jacket if it's winter)
2 socks, 2 underwear (one of each worth)

hubby: two pair shorts
three tees
pair pants and a windbreaker
2 socks, 2 underwear (one of each worn)

daughter eight: 2 pair shorts
3 tees
pair pants, windbreaker, hoodie
2 underwear, 2 socks, pjs

daughter 3: 2 pair shorts
3 tees
pants, windbreaker
3 underwear, 2 socks, 2 pjs

son 3: same as twin sister

everyone brings a bathing suit. the children all bring a favourite blanket and stuffed toy, as well as a couple of books, colouring and crayons/markers. Hubby packs his laptop, we bring a camera, two sippy cups and two cereal/snack containers. I'll pack a change of clothes in my purse (usually a pair of pjs--they are small in the purse and do the job in case of emergency. I'll pack snacks in my purse--crackers, cheese strings, chocolate bars. We all bring toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair gel, deodorant. We use the toilettries at the hotel. I also pack a medical bag in my purse with inhalers, tylenol for kids and adults, benedryl for kids and adults, antihistamines, bandaids, polysporin, thermometer, hydrocortisone cream, glycerin suppositories, tylenol suppositories

I think that's it. Sounds like a lot, but it all fits in a standard carry on, my purse and the two backpacks. It's so nice not having a lot of luggage.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Honestly, while you might could do it, I probably would not. We flew with 12 of us, including our 7 month old. I thought about trying to do all carry-ons, but decided I didn't want to have to deal with all the luggage in the airports and on Magical Express (especially since we changed planes going both ways.)

I ended up checking 2 bags and taking 6 small carry-ons and 5 backpacks. I ordered diapers, wipes, breakfast foods, and a few other things from Walmart.com and had them delivered to our resort. Shipping was free and they were waiting for us when we checked in.

I always have to stop and remind myself that sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth to try to save a little money!
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
LilnStitchy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quandrea View Post
Go for it! We are a family of five (me, dh, dd, 8 and twins 3) and I'm heading down to the world with one carry on for the five of us, plus my purse and backpacks for my two girls (8 and 3). With WDW being so casual we find you need very little. I do a small load of laundry each day. Here's what we bring

me: two pair of shorts
Three tees (could get by with two, but like the variety)
I wear one of the tees, a pair of long pants, a hoodie and my jacket if it's winter)
2 socks, 2 underwear (one of each worth)

hubby: two pair shorts
three tees
pair pants and a windbreaker
2 socks, 2 underwear (one of each worn)

daughter eight: 2 pair shorts
3 tees
pair pants, windbreaker, hoodie
2 underwear, 2 socks, pjs

daughter 3: 2 pair shorts
3 tees
pants, windbreaker
3 underwear, 2 socks, 2 pjs

son 3: same as twin sister

everyone brings a bathing suit. the children all bring a favourite blanket and stuffed toy, as well as a couple of books, colouring and crayons/markers. Hubby packs his laptop, we bring a camera, two sippy cups and two cereal/snack containers. I'll pack a change of clothes in my purse (usually a pair of pjs--they are small in the purse and do the job in case of emergency. I'll pack snacks in my purse--crackers, cheese strings, chocolate bars. We all bring toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair gel, deodorant. We use the toilettries at the hotel. I also pack a medical bag in my purse with inhalers, tylenol for kids and adults, benedryl for kids and adults, antihistamines, bandaids, polysporin, thermometer, hydrocortisone cream, glycerin suppositories, tylenol suppositories

I think that's it. Sounds like a lot, but it all fits in a standard carry on, my purse and the two backpacks. It's so nice not having a lot of luggage.
I think I love you! Ever since DH and I have started the carry-on only (did it for a week long trip to Paris in winter) I have been hooked. When I pack stuff to check-in I pack waaay too much stuff and never end up using half of it. If you can do it with 1 more kid and a DH then I can between 3 carry-ons plus 3 additional personal items- which would be backpacks. I'm going to try some dry runs in the coming weeks. I don't think it would be possible to do if we were alone with the kids, but with the extra hands schlepping all this stuff is possible. I also hate waiting for my luggage to arrive. We're spoiled at DIA in that our stuff comes out FAST. Waiting around at most other airports kills us.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
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We only take carry-ons - never check. If we have access to a washer/dryer, we bring enough clothes for 3 days each (and I do laundry everyday - can't help myself). We don't buy much - not a big gift shop fan.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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If you can pack light and not bring everything but the kitchen sink like I see on here with some of the packing lists!

Just keep telling yourself "I am going to Disney not a third world country"
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
LilnStitchy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipporina View Post
Honestly, while you might could do it, I probably would not. We flew with 12 of us, including our 7 month old. I thought about trying to do all carry-ons, but decided I didn't want to have to deal with all the luggage in the airports and on Magical Express (especially since we changed planes going both ways.)

I ended up checking 2 bags and taking 6 small carry-ons and 5 backpacks. I ordered diapers, wipes, breakfast foods, and a few other things from Walmart.com and had them delivered to our resort. Shipping was free and they were waiting for us when we checked in.

I always have to stop and remind myself that sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth to try to save a little money!
I commend you for flying with so many kiddos. I have a minor melt down traveling with my two. Good points though, we do have a stop over. Maybe we'll check 1 bag and pull two. I think I need to figure out how to put our luggage on the roof of the SUV. There's a factory roof rack but I'm not sure it can hold heavy suitcases. I am going to look into having diapers and wipes delivered through Walmart or Amazon (since we have prime membership).
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quandrea View Post
Go for it! We are a family of five (me, dh, dd, 8 and twins 3) and I'm heading down to the world with one carry on for the five of us, plus my purse and backpacks for my two girls (8 and 3). With WDW being so casual we find you need very little. I do a small load of laundry each day. Here's what we bring

me: two pair of shorts
Three tees (could get by with two, but like the variety)
I wear one of the tees, a pair of long pants, a hoodie and my jacket if it's winter)
2 socks, 2 underwear (one of each worth)

hubby: two pair shorts
three tees
pair pants and a windbreaker
2 socks, 2 underwear (one of each worn)

daughter eight: 2 pair shorts
3 tees
pair pants, windbreaker, hoodie
2 underwear, 2 socks, pjs

daughter 3: 2 pair shorts
3 tees
pants, windbreaker
3 underwear, 2 socks, 2 pjs

son 3: same as twin sister

everyone brings a bathing suit. the children all bring a favourite blanket and stuffed toy, as well as a couple of books, colouring and crayons/markers. Hubby packs his laptop, we bring a camera, two sippy cups and two cereal/snack containers. I'll pack a change of clothes in my purse (usually a pair of pjs--they are small in the purse and do the job in case of emergency. I'll pack snacks in my purse--crackers, cheese strings, chocolate bars. We all bring toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair gel, deodorant. We use the toilettries at the hotel. I also pack a medical bag in my purse with inhalers, tylenol for kids and adults, benedryl for kids and adults, antihistamines, bandaids, polysporin, thermometer, hydrocortisone cream, glycerin suppositories, tylenol suppositories

I think that's it. Sounds like a lot, but it all fits in a standard carry on, my purse and the two backpacks. It's so nice not having a lot of luggage.
How many days do you go for? We do laundry once on our trips, so we wear everything twice.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:21 AM   #10
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I only have one kid, and I still like checking a bag. There's just too much else to deal with in an airport. Though going to Disney, I might leave the car seat behind, so I suppose that might make it a little easier.

I'd probably only check one bag for the whole family, but I'd still check a bag. It just makes it easier not to have to deal with extra carry ons.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilnStitchy View Post
2 strollers, 3 large suitcases, carry-ons, with half the 3rd row in use. I figure 1 large suitcase and 3 small ones and carry-ons might fit..
Why in the world do you need 3 large suitcases and carry-ons for a family of 4 (and 2 have little tiny clothes). I could easily get our whole family into 2 suitcases, especially with a washer/dryer. Especially if you are having diapers/wipes delivered.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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I would do it if you plan on doing laundry. With spills, sweat, splash areas we went through at least 2 outfits a day sometimes 3.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:58 PM   #13
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I tried so hard to get everything into one check through this past trip and failed, I ended up with two, and that was only bringing three changes of clothes each, but I'm just the opposite of everyone here. We fly Southwest so no bag fees. I find it much more carefree to check everything but a backpack full of electronics and a diaper bag for my boy. There's no fight for bin space and nothing to lug through the airport but the beastly child. When he's old enough to carry his own stuff i may go back to carry-on only, but then again we bring an air mattress and a cpap machine so carryons may still be challenging one day.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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It is possible! You could use space saver bags and create a little more room in the suitcase. My packing technique (especially if we are going overseas) is to pack old shirts, socks and undies which can be thrown away at the end of the trip. The Mr. is a terrible over packer so I make him take his old white undershirts and toss them. No one is going to see you old underwear or undershirts anyway. With this method you'd have room to bring back souvenirs too.

The one issue I see is with toiletries. I can go 10+ days with the 3 oz items but the Mr. needs more than this for mouthwash and it is hard to find tiny shaving cream and hair gel (he is particular) that he likes.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjkacmom View Post
Why in the world do you need 3 large suitcases and carry-ons for a family of 4 (and 2 have little tiny clothes). I could easily get our whole family into 2 suitcases, especially with a washer/dryer. Especially if you are having diapers/wipes delivered.
She mentioned that a set of grandparents is also traveling with them and have 2 suitcases (I believe I read that right) between the two of them. So, if she packed one just for her family, it would be a 3rd large suitcase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemk76 View Post
How many days do you go for? We do laundry once on our trips, so we wear everything twice.
When we go to Disney World, we pack about 3 days worth of clothes and do laundry on the 3rd day. However, we also packed 2 large suitcases between 5 of us so that we'd have room to bring home any souvenirs. My son was 14 months when we went to the world, and I ended up packing a stack of diapers for the week (I knew we would have ended up bringing diapers home in the suitcase one way or the other).

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilnStitchy View Post
I commend you for flying with so many kiddos. I have a minor melt down traveling with my two. Good points though, we do have a stop over. Maybe we'll check 1 bag and pull two. I think I need to figure out how to put our luggage on the roof of the SUV. There's a factory roof rack but I'm not sure it can hold heavy suitcases. I am going to look into having diapers and wipes delivered through Walmart or Amazon (since we have prime membership).
Do you have 3 large suitcases right now that you could take out and try to fit into your car? I would start with dry runs there before deciding one way or the other.

Personally, I would pack 1 large suitcase for the 4 of your. And in a carry-on pack one day's worth of clothes in case your large suitcase were to become MIA (it happened to us, leaving us scrambling at 9:30pm on arrival day to taxi it to Walmart to buy clothes for the week; luckily about 5 minutes before we decided to go, they found our bag and all was well).

Also, you mentioned you are renting a mini-van once you're there, where are the carseats going on the plane...are you checking them, using them? Or are those staying in your car and you'll be renting carseats from the rental car place? While they won't count as your carry-on item for the plane, they will be more things you have to figure out how to juggle around/get from place to place along with the kids.

I know that when we take a plane trip, we always bring my parents along (let's face it, all our vacations are to Disneyland or World, lol, and my parents love it as much as we do). We, however, have only 1 child. But, we do sit down and jot down everything that has to go, from carry-on bags to personal items, stroller, carseat, etc. Then we assign each adult to each item. For example, our trip to World in 2008 when my son was 14 months old, we pretty much traveled as follows: Mimi was responsible for getting herself and my DS through secutiry; DH was responsible for the stroller and his personal belongings; my dad was responsible for the diaper bag and his belongings, and I was responsible for the food bag and my belongings. In a couple months when we go to Disneyland, we'll have the carseat with us...as well as the stroller. Not sure how we're dividing everything up yet, but we'll sit down and write everything down and figure it out.

Dry runs are ALWAYS a plus when traveling with kids. Hope my suggestions were helpful. And no matter what you decide to do, enjoy your trip!
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