Thursday, May 5, 2011

8 uses for zip-loc bags when traveling with kids

100 CLEAR Reclosable Zipper Bag. 4'' x 6'' - 2 mil. thickZiploc Double Zipper Heavy Duty Quart Freezer Bags (216 Bags)

I know that to spare the environment we should limit our use of plastic bags. I try to do that myself, taking three big, green plastic tubs with me when I go shopping, instead of using bags for example. But when I travel, I confess that I do use quite a few plastic bags, specifically clear, zipper or ziploc bags in both my hand luggage and my suitcases.

Why? Simply because they are so darn practical. Here are eight examples of what ziploc bags can be used for when traveling:

1. To store the liquids in your hand luggage
If you travel by plane, clear, ziploc-type bags are actually required: you have to put any liquids you bring on board in this kind of plastic bag. You can read more about this in my post: Traveling with liquids. Short version: you need a 1 litre (1 quart) size bag, and you can only bring liquids in containers that hold no more than 100 ml (3 ounces).

2. To hold passports and other travel documents
I did this on our latest family trip and liked it so much I'm definitely doing it again. I kept all our travel documents, including passports and boarding passes, in a clear ziploc bag in my backpack. It meant I could see the contents without removing them from the bag, they stayed protected while in my hand luggage, and I could get everything required at check-in or immigration out of my bag a lot easier.

3. To bring snacks in
I wouldn't put anything brittle in a ziploc bag inside my carry-on: crackers for example would only get crushed. (Plastic tubs are better for that.) But granola bars, gum, fruit rollups and other types of edibles can definitely be kept in a plastic bag for easy access on board or at the airport.

4. To keep crayons and markers in
Crayons and markers stay nicely organized and ready for use in a ziploc bag. The clear plastic also makes it easy for kids and adults to see what's in the bag when they're looking for it in the well-stuffed hand luggage. 

5. To protect toothbrushes from dirt
Toothpaste has to go in the ziploc for your liquids, but if you're bringing toothbrushes in your hand luggage, it's a good idea to keep them from getting hairy and dusty and messy by putting them in a plastic bag.

6. To protect your clothes from your shampoo
I always put any toiletries I bring in my suitcase into plastic bags. Even my big toiletry bag goes into a plastic bag before I pack it. I've just had leaks happen so many times, and getting shampoo, conditioner, or hair gel all over your clothes is not really that much fun.

7. To seal smelly, wet things in
If you're traveling with a baby in diapers, you might end up with soiled clothes that you do not want to put in with the rest of your hand luggage. Sealing that smelly onesie in a ziploc bag can make the rest of your flight a lot better. Also, if you're stuck changing a diaper where there is no immediate access to a garbage can (it does happen!), the diaper can be put into the zipper bag until you can dispose of it. 

8. To bring wet-wipes in
If you're traveling with a baby you are probably bringing wet-wipes. And if you're like me, you probably buy wet-wipes in big packages. When traveling, you can take a stack of those wipes out of their original container and stuff them into a ziploc bag instead. It's simple, cheap, and works great.

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