Having traveled with our five year old numerous times I was excited to participate in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club reading  Family on the Loose: The Art of  Traveling with Kids.   The book club kicked off with Jonathan from Dad’s the way I like it’s candid experience and his discussion on Chapter 1 and 2
I love reading, and I love traveling! So I am excited to share with you my discussion on Chapter 3 Packing It In. 

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In the following weeks these amazing multicultural bloggers will be hosting the following chapter discussions; and sharing their own travel stories, and tips: 

Chapter 4: Kids Yoga Stories – Jan. 23
Chapter 5: MarocMama – Jan. 30
Chapter 6: Spanglish House – Feb. 6
Chapter 7: Spanish Playground – Feb.13
Chapter 8: The European Mama – Feb. 20
Chapter 9: Kid World Citizen – Feb. 27
Q & A with Ashley Steel: Chasing the Donkey – March 6

Read along and join the conversation as they talk about their experiences and plan for new adventures! 
Now on to Chapter 3 Packing It In.  
One of the lines that really spoke to me was the very first one on the chapter! “We have a mantra whenever we start  packing for a new trip: less stuff, more fun.” I choked because I was laughing so hard, and said to myself,  “really!” There is no way I can pack less with my family of three. 
I remembered when I traveled for the first time with our then 5 1/2 months old baby. If you saw what I packed you’d think I was moving away! I packed everything from his favorite “lovie” (blanket), to tons of extra changes of clothes, diapers, wipes, although I nursed our baby I also brought extra bottles of pumped breast milk. I had a diaper bag, a carry-on, my pocket book (purse) and the luggage! Plus the stroller, and the car seat!!!! 
Now we travel with a little less.  Minus the diaper bag, stroller, and car seat. Take a look at the picture below, and please don’t laugh!!! It was taken on our last major trip to Puerto Rico this past summer. OK, you can laugh now, because I am laughing, too! I am thinking the picture is proof that we do NOT pack lightly! So now you know why I laughed so hard at the first sentence on the chapter. 
Reflecting on this chapter I realized I could have saved myself of a lot of aches and pains (carrying all the extras); and the stress of packing for a trip!

This chapter provides a tips, and suggestions on what type of luggage, or bag to pack.  I especially enjoyed the space saving & fashion suggestions (for those of us that like to be stylish).  However, I have to admit that the best part of this chapter was the section “packing for kids”; and the packing list for emergent readers with pictures! Perfect for my 5 yr. old!  For our future trips, I will wholeheartedly take in, and follow of all of the tips, and lists. Hopefully, our next trip will be relaxed, and comfortable!

Unfortunately, I can’t offer any tips on packing “lightly” 🙂  see picture above so I would love to know: how do you pack, and do you have any tips for packing lightly?  Please comment below, and/or share your ideas in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Google + Community

Don’t forget to link up your travel stories on Multicultural Kid Blogs, and follow the Travel with Kids Board on Pinterest.

Stay tuned for the following chapter hosted by Kids Yoga Stories so be sure to check back on  January 23.

About the Book

– Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids is by Bill Richards and E. Ashley Steel
– This engaging book offers hundreds of easy-to-use ideas for turning travel with kids into a rewarding, enriching adventure.
– Bill Richards and E. Ashley Steel have traveled through North America, Europe and Asia with their two daughters. They bring vast experience and a wonderful sense of humor to their discussion of family travel.
– Read more about Family on the Loose on the authors’ website.
– To be notified of new posts by email, join the group list by emailing multiculturalkidblogs at gmail. com. Please put “book club” in the subject line.

Where to get the book

Family on the Loose is available on Amazon.

Read more about the Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club on our website:

Multicultural Kid Blogs are dedicated to raising world citizens, through arts, activities, crafts, food, language, and love. You can follow Multicultural Kid Blogs on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. You can also subscribe to a feed of all of posts from the Facebook pages of all member blogs. 

You can’t miss on March 6, Author Ashley Steel answers questions about the book and traveling with her family.

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  1. Seriously, I agree, Frances. Before having a child, I used to travel with a carry on backpack … all over the world. Those were the days! Now, it's one piece of luggage each. Yikes. I haven't quite mastered the art of plane activities though. We have a spunky, active toddler to contend with, an exhausting experience for everyone. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  2. I love your photo! I tried not to overpack, but it was really hard. I did get better with practice. I remember very well the first trip we took where the kids could all handle their own suitcases. It was wonderful to reach that stage! I loved the packing list with pictures too. It would be a great activity in the target language.

  3. Thank you Giselle for stopping by! I'm hoping to really get these packing tips right the next time we travel. 🙂

  4. Thank you Jennifer! The photo was perfect for this chapter, and the blog post! True the packing list with pictures will be perfect to practice with little one his Spanish. 🙂

  5. Well, I must be the queen of packing, we do travel a fair bit with my kiddos (in the US), so they do pretty good standing the trip, no matter the distance. I tried to be fair packing some things like underwear + one extra. I remember one time that I was very pregnant and we went to Myrtle beach with my 3 kids under the age of 5 in a Toyota Corolla. Next to us were 2 big campers from Canada, both with teenage kids. When they saw the quantity of things that we fit in that car they were astonished. It was fun. Now, to travel overseas is a bit different. I never traveled with a car seat ( no matter how small the baby is). I do bring extra clothes in the carry on. I do bring flat fun stuff and lollipops (that is to be used at the very end of the trip, when they are very tired), Also snacks, because we have had bad experiences with Airport food. Two years ago when I traveled home with my 2 girls (2 and 4) I traveled light and did not bring any encarguitos for anybody.

  6. That is an awesome picture! I can't imagine traveling with all that stuff. Maybe we should have included a section for heavy packers (is that the opposite of packing light?) and talked about how to manage with a lot of luggage because sometimes everyone has a lot bags. I will add that our packing light mantra has started to pay off. This last trip to Thailand each person had one small backpack only! We could zip around anywhere – even with our bags and the heat. Best of all, our kids were the ones with the lightest bags – laughing at us for taking too much stuff 🙂

  7. Wow!!!!! One small backpack for each one! I can't even imagine myself with one backpack LOL Yes, please do include a section for "heavy" packers! I can't seem to ever pack lightly! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Hahaha Cecy! You must be the queen of packing! Thanks for the great tips, and of course, I forgot to add the extra bag of "encarguitos" too! 😉

  9. Great post, I loved the way that you combined talking about the chapter with bringing in your own experiences of packing when travelling with kids. We've only been on one overseas holiday since becoming parents last year and it was a week long trip to France. Thankfully, packing wasn't too much of a problem. I think the fact that we didn't have a stroller really helped as the slings and carriers took up way less space.

    It was great to see so many tips about keeping luggage down to a minimum as I know it can be a challenge, especially when it comes to meeting baggage restrictions. I heard a story of someone who was returning to the UK from a year in France and couldn't get their baggage limit increased. At the check-in desk, they pleaded innocence and claimed that they thought that the '27K' in the allowance column of their ticket was their seat number!


  10. This is so funny! I wouldn't even post pictures of our luggage – I know I way overpack! It's just so hard with kids because it's so hard to know what they're going to want and you're not sure you'll be able to find their favorite snacks, etc on the trip. I am looking forward to using tips from this chapter for our next trip!

  11. Even though we managed four small backpacks on our recent trip to Thailand, we still had some packing issues. We had to impress on our teenager the cultural significance of modesty, the versatility of a shoe will eventually be more important than the fashion statement, and I still had some clothes in the depths of my pack that I didn't wear. To be fair, it would have been nice to have the more formal clothes if the situation had called for it, but I was a little bummed to carry them all the way to Koh Mook and back without putting them on. Thank you for the thoughtful discussion of our book chapter!

  12. I am laughing because you can't imagine what we used to look like on our first trips!! SO MANY BAGS!!!!! One thing we've done to reduce what we have is figure out a way to do laundry during the trip, and only bring the minimal amount of clothing:). Really for a week that means only packing one extra pair of pants per person (+ they're wearing one) and a couple of extra shirts. We try not to pack extra shoes (except maybe flip-flops) etc.

    Someone just tried to convince me to get a kindle so I wouldn't be bringing so many books with… I really love old-fashioned books, but with 4 kids I might consider getting a kindle just so we don't bring so many chapter books with. But then they'll fight over the kindle!? Hmmm… I still need to figure that out because books are so heavy:).

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