07 August 2013

Carry On Packing with a Toddler

I'm struggling with how to keep my backpack carry on from weighing as much as my toddler. But I am having no success. Why is my bag so heavy? Here is what I packed for Minneapolis:
  • Laptop (soooo heavy, but essential to me) and charger
  • Kindle, iPod, phone and chargers
  • DSLR camera (only the one lens but it's still bulky and fragile)
  • Wallet and ticket holder, 2-3 pens, lip balm, hand sanitizer
  • Glasses, sunglasses, contacts holder, medicine (sometimes keys too)
  • Diaper wallet (Pronto Changing Station by Skip Hop -- highly recommend for travel and daily diaper bag use) packed with diapers, wipes, cream
  • Lovey -- soft, small blanket (not taking chances this gets lost, although I think I'm more attached to it than she is)
  • Change of clothes for Jane in a ziplock bag (in case of emergency)
  • Baby books -- try to keep them small and light, including some about airports and travel, a mix of new and old, and at least one coloring book
  • Crayons, small notebook and stickers in a zippered pouch
  • Fisher Price magnet drawing toy (Jane loved it) and other assorted small, lightweight toys
  • Dog backpack/stuffed animal (Jane wears this, but it has to fit before we get through security)
  • Ring sling (I put this on after security too)
  • Sippy cup (to fill up after security)
  • Snacks -- for us and for Jane 
Shawn had her lunch bag, extra books and emergency diapers in his backpack. He also gathers overflow when we get off the plane to make re-packing my bag easier.

So, what should I leave out? Obviously I can travel without my computer. My brain doesn't work well on iPod alone (and I don't have a tablet/don't think it would be much different anyway ... I love to type). I can't pack the computer in the carry on roller bag because we have to use regional jets to get out of Baton Rouge, which means the bigger carry ons get valet checked. Can't take that chance in any case. I could pack lighter snacks I guess, although what we took wasn't a lot.

On our next travel it will just be me and Jane (YIKES), and I think I will forgo the computer (it's a shorter trip) and maybe even the big camera (I just got a small one to carry with me in the diaper bag). I'll also try to keep the toys and books to a minimum (although I'd rather be a Sherpa than have a crying baby on a plane when it could be remedied with something I could have carried).

Should I use a non-backpack? Would that make a difference? Then I would just have it sitting on top of the roller bag when we are on the move and it could still stuff under the seat on the plane.

I'll keep thinking...

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