How to pack carry-on for

Aug 19th, 2010, 03:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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How to pack carry-on for

We are leaving next week for 2 weeks in Sicily, Catania to be exact. I keep reading hooro stories about getting through Italian airports. Our London to Sicily flight has a connection through FCO-Rome which scares me enough to start thinking about just having carry-ons only. I've been reading all about how to pack only carry-ons for European trips, but haven't found any lists/discussions on the under ten kids. The "must haves" such as; sleeping buddies, reading and coloring materials, blanket and pillow for the overseas flight, toys, and the indispensable DSi (it can quiet the wildest child). At least their clothes are smaller. I've limited toys to 5 LPS (Littlest Pet Shop) animals which are small. I'm using our warmer clothes/raingear from London for going up Mt Etna.

Any suggestions?

Also if you have any advice on cheap eats for a quick layover in London, I'd appreciate that. Yes, I'm aware that cheap and London shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Cheers/Gratzia/Thanks!
tacyvc is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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We have always brought along very little for young children. Thin cotton clothing that will dry overnight will let you limit outfits. As far as toys in carry-on, we also bring very little - puzzle book, pad a few crayons. We have never needed to bring a blanket or pillow. Our kids have always preferred to get some new things while traveling. You will find plenty of small affordable trinkets and other items to buy during your travels. These will interest them far more than their "old" stuff. You will also find lots of free travel brochures and folders that kids love to look at and read. I would never check luggage on a flight just so I could bring really unnecessary items.
TravMimi is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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I would check one piece of luggage at least; then you wouldn't need to worry about getting it through FCO yourself, etc. And your 10 yr old could bring a small carry on/backpack with some things he/she wants to take along.

Others will disagree but I truly don't understand the importance of avoiding checked luggage for international flights.
grandmere is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 05:10 PM
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Frankly, it sounds like you've got it covered already. Just keep it simple.

When my kids were little, I would have them each bring one small backpack as their personal carry-on item with a couple of books and perhaps an activity book or printed pages. (You can even design your own online and this way include an Italian or Sicilian theme to pique their interest in sites they'll be visiting.) One huge problem with crayons, pencils, etc. is that someone will eventually drop them on the floor and they'll go rolling down the plane aisle; or a colored marker gets sat on and stains someone's pants. I found it's best for mom or dad to distribute one crayon or pencil per kid at a time to avoid that mess. Similarly, game pieces or anything with small parts should be avoided unless they are magnetic. As you mentioned, handheld electronic games (DS, PSP, iTouch - muted or w/ear buds, of course) are obviously ideal for the plane ride and other long waits during the trip.

You can certainly forego the pillow and blanket as most carriers have them available during long-haul flights. If they absolutely insist on a "sleeping buddy," have them choose one that is very small and easily fits in their backpack.

I agree with TravMimi that little trinkets you pick up along the way are the best bet bet once you arrive (and can be used as a reward for good behavior). Don't bother to bring any actual toys from home other than what they have put in their little backpack.

You didn't specify which airport, though I'll assume Heathrow. There are a zillion sandwich-type shops (e.g., Pret a Manger)which will be your best bets for cheap(er) eats.
sap is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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I agree with TravMimi.. Bring the bare minimum of stuff for the kids. I'd give them a cheap new puzzle book/ pad / etc on boarding and pack a special small surprise toy which you let them know they can have after .. lunch or dinner or whenever. The anticipation will be half the fun.

Let the kids pack their own small bag with suitable snacks and a reading book. Warn them only to bring toys that won't be missed if they get lost. My kids were happy to leave everything precious at home provided they got to buy something new on vacation.
sassy_cat is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Don't let them bring their favorites from Littlest Pet Shop or make sure you have duplicates at home. Someone is bound to lose one and you don't want tears. Those go down the side of airplane seats very easily. Same for the sleeping buddy and special blankets. I learned that lesson the hard way!
Lynnaustin is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:45 AM
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Thanks for the input. After 40 years in the desert of southwestern US, my family and I moved near Cambridge UK last year. We can pack for hot/dry and cold/wet but hot/humid is a new experience. We have been traveling a little in Europe so far, but this trip to Sicily is the longest in time and distance. I've read such horror stories of getting through the Rome-FCO airport plus customs that trying carry-on only luggage might increase our chances of catching the connecting flight within the 2 hour layover. Problem with carry-on is we can't take regular size bottle of sunscreen or deodorant (love Secret clinical strength not sold as travel size). For our flight and 1 day layover in London we will wear one short sleeve shirt over L/S shirt, leggings (current fashion must and pseudo thermal underwear so it has duel use) under pants, sweater with raincoat and gym shoes. So we have the bulkiest things on when we travel.

We'll use the small space bags for clothes.

The kid list so far is:
1 - Reading book
1 - Pack erasable colored pencils
1 - writing/coloring book(looks like a diary)
1 - DSi (camera, music player, and electronic game in one)
3 - DSi games must fit in DSi cover
1 - DSi car charger (no converter needed)
5 - LPS toys in sandwich baggie
6 - pr underwear freezer baggie w/air squeezed out(Mini space bag)
2 - pr socks
4 - shorts
6 - tanks/SS T-shirts
1 - collared shirt
1 - sundress
1 - swimsuit
2 - pr flip flops
1 - pr extra long pants
1 - small stuffed Dachshund toy (our travel gnome) for pictures.

Did I pack too much or missed something? Please let me know.
tacyvc is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:47 AM
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PS - I love the name TravMimi. It reminds me of our friend/former babysitter whose like a second parent and her nickname in Mimi.

tacyvc is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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When we travel with our two grade school kids we pack The Doodle Book for Boys (or the one for girls for my daughter.)

They have about 100 pictures each and are great for letting them use their immaginations. We also have multiple GO Magnetic Travel Games like checkers, chess, and backgammon.
Ryan is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Why are you thinking that long underwear will be needed - just how long are you intending to stay on Mt. Etna? We were ther in early May, and while it was certainly chilly and windy, long pants and a sweatshirt with a rain jacket were quite sufficient.
hazel1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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Ryan: Good suggestion. I've seen the magnetic games in the Heathrow Airport at Hamley's. I'll look for the doodle book. Is it small?

Hazel1: I'm from the desert. I was still wearing my long underwear in May here in the UK. I also see that the 5 day temp forecast for Catania is 32C/96F
tacyvc is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:05 AM
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The Doodle Books for... are probaby a bit bigger than a standard piece of 8 1/2 by 11 peice of paper.

I think you can get them on Amazon for under $10 each.
Ryan is offline  

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