This post is part of the traveling with kids series.If you missed it, here are the links for the traveling with kids series. Check out part 1 (airplane travel), part 2 (your in-vehicle bag), part 3 (packing), part 4 (while you’re gone and making unpacking easy), part 5 (safety), and part 6 (away for Shabbat).
OK, you’ve packed and arrived. Now what?
I’m sure that everyone’s got different ideas about how to handle this part, but I’ll tell you how it works best for me. First, we’ll look at the most common vacation scenario for us: no laundry while we’re gone.
We bring two suitcases (for a 5 day trip or so) and a mesh folding laundry bin like this.
I unpack everything and put them by child on a shelf. Then I put one suitcase (opened and on the floor, but easily accessible) into the kids’ room to be used as the laundry bin. Then the laundry bin goes in our room. We try to keep the mess in hand as we go by making sure that things stay close to their home. I make this easy for the kids by giving them a “tour” of our things once we’re unpacked – so they should know where things should be and where to find their items.
When we’re ready to go, we dump all the adult laundry into the kids’ laundry suitcase. We close it up and it’s packed! Then the clean clothes, toiletries, and extra set of shoes in the second suitcase. I packed up our leftover food in a reusable grocery shopping bag, folded up the pack and play, and we’re ready to go!
When we get home, the laundry suitcase goes right into our laundry room – and it’s completely unpacked. The laundry will take a while longer, but it’s something you can work at when you have the time. The clean clothes suitcase takes a little longer to unpack, but since I have a family closet in our laundry room, it’s pretty easy to sort, too. Anything headed up to our bedroom or bathroom is put on their stairs and taken up as we go. And it’s unpacked!
Bring in the other items and you’re done. Talk about easy unpacking!
If you’re doing laundry at your destination, you can sort by person, which will make it easier to put away. Or sort by room or floor. But as you’re repacking, think about the best way to make it easy on the other side.