Monday, March 14, 2011

Traveling with kids: Keeping your travel documents safe

Targus Checkpoint-Friendly Air Traveler Backpack for 16 Inch Laptops TBB012US (Black)Eagle Creek Travel Gear Travel Bug Bag,BlackJanSport Wayfarer Outdoor Lifestyle Series Backpack, Optimus Grey

When you're traveling with kids, it can sometimes be difficult to keep an eye on your kids and all of your belongings at the same time. For example, if you're accompanying kids to the bathroom, running after them to prevent them from running through an alarmed door, or just trying to dispense snacks while handling juice-boxes and toys at the same time.

I have two tips to help this situation:
  • Make your carry-on a backpack, so it's easier to keep it with you at all times and have your hands free.
  • Keep important documents, like passports, tickets, money, boarding passes and all that in a pouch or pack that is on you at all times, meaning  you won't put it down somewhere and forget it (frogetting things in a washroom or at a check-in counter can happen real easy).
For your most important stuff, including your cell-phone, ID, money and tickets, I recommend one of these solutions:

Travelon 3-Compartment Expandable Shoulder Bag, Camel, One SizeTravelon Travel Wallet with Strap and Belt Loop, Black, One SizeTravelon Messenger-Style Shoulder Bag, Black, One Size

Travel purse
This is the kind of bag I got for myself when I traveled solo with the kids for the first time. It's a little less practical than a waist pack since you wear it like a purse, slung across your body, and it can get in the way at times. However, the extra space for organizing everything you might need, including cash in various currencies, passports, credit cards and boarding passes, was really helpful.

Travelon Anti-Theft Waist Pack, Black, One SizeEagle Creek Travel Gear Deluxe Security Belt,Black
Waist pack
Pick a waist pack that either goes inside your clothes or on top of your clothes and around your hips like a belt. Make sure it has several pockets so you can organize your things easier. For men traveling solo with kids, this might be the best option since many men just do not want to be seen with anything even resembling a purse (man-purses not withstanding...).

Neck Wallet (Purple)Lewis N. Clark Neck Stash, Beige

Neck pouch
You can tuck a neck pouch inside a jacket or shirt or have it hanging loose on top of your clothes. These are practical if you don't have a lot of stuff to carry, but if you're lugging around passports and boarding passes for three people, cash, credit cards and whatever else, it can start to chafe your neck.

Travelon ID and Boarding Pass Holder , Chocolate, One SizeBoarding Pass, Id, & Passport Holder Neck Wallet - Black in Color

Passport holder
These are basically neck pouches that are specifically designed to hold passports, and sometimes also boarding passes (and you do not want to lose your boarding passes!). Again, if you're carrying travel documents for several people, these can get a little crowded and heavy.

I find it's a huge load off my mind to have the most important stuff on my person at all times when I'm traveling with my children.

Of course you should always keep an eye on your hand luggage, but with a travel purse on me, I can leave my hand luggage behind for a moment (in a kiddo emergency), without being terrified of losing my phone, our passports, and boarding passes.

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