Family Trip Essentials: Black Trash Bags

Black garbage trash bag taped to ceiling to block light from skylight

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More Than GarbageBlack garbage trash bag taped to ceiling to block light from skylight

  • What: Black Trash Bags
  • When: Going on family trips
  • Why: Multi-purpose, very compact
  • Where: Amazon

Each day we highlight one item we used extensively during our trip, from entertainment to necessities like food and water. Our three kids, at ages 11, 9, and 7, now pack their own travel entertainment bags and their clothes as well. Some items, therefore, were chosen entirely by the kids, while some we packed to make our lives easier. 

No matter how old our kids get, jet lag is never fun. A nine hour time difference made adjusting tricky. So despite the fact that we’ve passed the napping stage, when we want to block light during the day so the kids could sleep, we packed a stack of black garbage bags for our recent international trip.

Black garbage trash bag taped on ceiling using blue painters' tape to block light from skylight
We used all the black bags we packed to block light coming into the bedrooms via skylights.

On the plus side, it turned out our two-bedroom Airbnb abroad didn’t have any windows in either bedroom. What it boasted were two skylights in each room. We used all four of our extra large black trash bags to cover the ceiling and block the light. With the sunrise happening around 4:30 a.m. local time, we wanted the extra darkness even after we adjusted to the new time zone.

Even if you know your lodgings offer blackout curtains, you never know when trash bags might come in handy. Besides blocking light, they make a great back up if your car seat bag gets torn, or you need to keep your luggage dry. You can also use them for actual garbage, of course. And they work great for quarantining dirty laundry after a day at the beach when you can’t do a load of laundry before traveling home. 

Best of all, they pack down to nothing and can easily be tucked into the outside pockets of carry-on suitcases, checked luggage, or both. Even if you never pull them out, the extra versatility goes a long way to lightening the worry load.

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