Dressing for Travel
- What: Clothing choices for travel
- When: Any long trip with kids
- Why: Reduce frustration and pack less
- Where: On the road or in the air
Traveling with kids, whether by car or plane, involves a lot more effort than throwing my own stuff in a bag and taking off. Over the years and many many trips of varying lengths and kinds, I’ve reached a few solid conclusions about the best clothes to wear and pack while traveling.
I always have a change of shirt for myself, and a complete change of clothing including socks and underwear for each kid on board (or not buried in a suitcase in the trunk for car trips) with me. These clothes have come in handy on more than one occasion, like that time my infant vomited on me twice on a ten hour flight, or when we discovered my daughter gets seasick on ferries.
I’ve learned to wear skirts on board when traveling with lap kids. I can barely bend over on an airplane myself, but with a child in my lap (who can weight 35 pounds or more), it’s nearly impossible to reach the floor. My skirt will catch a lot of things that would otherwise fall into the never-neverland underneath the airline seats, and saves me a lot of hassle locating them and picking them up while holding a child in my lap.
After losing our luggage for two days on a flight this year, I now include a pair of underwear for myself in my carry on luggage on board with me, in addition to a change of shirt. It turns out fresh underwear and two shirts can take you through quite a few days while you wait for your stuff to arrive.
I also like to wear layers on top, like a tank top (a nursing one if that’s still applicable) with a t shirt and a fleece or cardigan on top. Multiple layers mean I can toss one if we spill a drink or something liquid explodes (straw sippy cups on airplanes anyone?) and still be decent, and it gives me more control over my comfort when I can’t control the temperature.
For kids still in diapers, I highly recommend baby legs for attire. They make diaper changes a cinch, since you don’t have to take pants on or off or unsnap anything. They also keep kids the right temperature. If the plane is too hot, you push them down like leg warmers or remove them entirely. For colder flights, they add extra insulation without extra fuss at changing times. For older kids, fleece pants are the only way to go.
If I’m traveling by myself with all the kids, I try to pick out their clothes. I prefer a nice football jersey, because heaven forbid if anyone got lost or separated, it’s easy to say “My kids is wearing such and such team with number 3 on his back” and everyone knows exactly what that looks like. Barring that, I try to dress them all in the same color, normally red, because the bright color makes them easy to pick out even in a crowd. I also try to have a photo of each kid and what they’re wearing that day on my phone, in case they get separated from me.
While I haven’t lost a kid yet, I’ve found these tricks and tips help me feel less stressed before and during our trips.