So, we just got back from a week-long car trip, and it got me thinking about how to be more effective in my packing, even when baggage weight is not an issue. While we are not the usual road warriors or outdoor adventurers that I typically associate with Bihn, I think TB can still help us travel better! We have one more week-long car trip coming up, and although I will likely not get an order together in time to use Bihn bags for that trip, I thought it was worthwhile thinking through how we travel as a family, in preparation for future trips. Maybe I can test-drive some configurations (with "proxy" bags) before I place an order. I would love to hear your experiences and suggestions for streamlined packing.
(I asked about some of this on Rav, then figured I'd come straight to the source! )
We are a family of four:
DH- 5’10, M shirts
Me - 5’ even, S/M or size 4 tops
DD - 52 inches/130 cm, size 8/10 (age 9)
DS - 43 inches/110 cm, size 5) (age 5)
My main issue is keeping things organized when we get to our destination, especially when we are moving every couple of days. We tend to have one big suitcase and one rollaboard-sized one, and unload the small bag for overnight stays, the bigger one for multi-day stops. I refill the small bag with what we need for the next stop, before we move on. Right now while the kids are younger this seems to work better for us than each person having a bag. I thought maybe having a different color of packing cube backpack for each person would help keep stuff together. And maybe the backpack space limitation will help us pack less, too!
I also find that we tend to use the (shared) bath sequentially, so things get misplaced in between the bedroom and bathroom (soap/shampoo/toothpaste etc). Was thinking about having a 3D mesh organizer cube (stands up on its own better than a pouch; also has a hook for hanging on doorknob), again color-coded for each person - e.g. toothbrush and hair brush. Would the mesh get too ooky over time (toothpaste, etc.)? Maybe a small travel stuff sack would be better? I thought about a clear org pouch - medium - but those don't stand up well on a counter. And for the shared toiletries, perhaps one 3D clear org cube (or quarter clear pack cube? more capacity).
(Next year, the big guy willing and the creek don't rise, we are planning a trip to Europe for a family event. In that case I thought we could have two PCBPs each in a rollaboard - so, two people's clothes per suitcase - so that we still don't have to check anything. Or the kids could each carry their PCBP, and perhaps DH and I will have a bigger carry-on - Aeronaut or WF/TS-size. But that's a decision for another day. For now, I'm just thinking that the PCBPs will be functional for different kinds of trips.)
Bonus question: what must-haves do you have inside the car for long drives? Food, electronics, books on tape? Knitting for the passenger? What do you put them in, and where in the car do they go - up front, by your feet? In back with the kids? (We currently have a four-door sedan, packed to the gills for road trips.)
Would love to hear how you pack for your family - any tips and tricks most welcome!!