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  1. #1
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    Puerto Vallarta for 3 days and 2 kids: Carry-on + personal item advice needed!

    Hi all - next week I'm headed to Puerto Vallarta with my husband and two kids (ages 1 and 3.5) for 3 days, and I'm determined to go carry-on only. My main bag will be the Aeronaut 45, which I'll carry in backpack mode. What I'm puzzling over is the second bag, if any.

    Here are the use cases:

    • Going through security - keeping it simple, as few bags as possible, hands-free to deal with kids, easy access to boarding pass, ID and electronics, shoes, trays, etc.
    • On the plane - entertaining 2 kids with toys and snacks, a book for me if they sleep (HAAAA ha ha haa *sob*)
    • At the pool at the resort - this is how we'll spend most of our time
    • Walking around the city - will want to carry bottled water and diapers
    • Parents night out - minimal and cute, wallet and phone only



    Here's what I have, and what I'm thinking for the personal item for the flight:

    • Side Effect - for holding only wallet, phone, passports and boarding pass. Second use once in PV as Parent's Night Out bag. In this scenario, I have a PCSB with diapering supplies in one end of the A45, ready to pull out when on the plane, or pass to dad for a change at the airport. In the other end pocket I'd have a Travel Tray filled with snacks, as well as a Large Shop Bag with baby entertainment in the inside pockets (big girl will carry her own snacks and toys), with the rest of the Shop Bag collapsed down to fit. Once on the plane, I'd pull out the Shop bag and dump the TT of snacks, SE, PSCB w/ diapers, and toys that were already in there, all together in the Shop Bag and use that as my cabin bag under the seat, with the A45 above. PCSB would become the walking around the city bag, though it seems like a tight fit.
    • Parental Unit - either flat packed inside A45 and use SE as described above, or pack it as a cabin bag and wear it over the shoulder with A45
    • Synapse 19- either flat packed inside A45 and use SE as described above, or pack it as a cabin bag and hold it in my hands or in the stroller basket (lightweight umbrella stroller to be gate-checked)
    • Daylight Backpack - flat packed inside Aeronaut for use in PV walking around the city only. Not interested in using the DLB on the plane, as it requires thoughtful packing and I need to be able to throw things in and find them with ease.



    This is what I'm working out in my mind. What would you do?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    I am in a similar position (minus the pool and good weather) as I have two train / bus trips coming up with kids of similar ages.

    I would use the A45 end pockets in the same way you're planning on: one for in-flight stuff and a collapsed shop bag, and one for diapers/emergency mess.

    I would probably try to use the PU and a large shop bag at the pool Will the PU go in the stroller basket? Then I might take it around town too... Hmmm I guess for me it would depend on how I would use the bags at home. If you're walking around doing stuff with the kids in your town, do you use the Synapse or the PU?


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    I would probably try to use the PU and a large shop bag at the pool Will the PU go in the stroller basket? Then I might take it around town too... Hmmm I guess for me it would depend on how I would use the bags at home. If you're walking around doing stuff with the kids in your town, do you use the Synapse or the PU?
    That's a really good point - around town at home the PU never leaves my side and I love it. It does fit in the stroller basket. However, I anticipate we'll do more walking on this vacation than normal at home, and backpack wins for comfort for that.

    When it comes down to it, I guess I wish I could wear the S19 over the shoulder with the A45 in backpack mode, and still be hands-free. Ah well.


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  4. #4
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    I would say then that maybe you could flat pack the S19 in the backpack strap area of the A45 for travel and then you can have the flexibility once you arrive?


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  5. #5
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    When you say you'll be doing more walking, do you mean without the stroller? If you're using a baby carrier for some of the trip I would maybe not take the PU and use the S19 and shop bags for the pool.


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  6. #6
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    When we went to Costa Rica last month with a 2 month old, I thought the baby carrier was going to be my best friend. However, in the 95 degree heat every day the baby carrier was just too hot (and it didn't offer a good way to keep the baby covered from the sun). So we ended up using our BOB stroller the whole time, which was beyond awesome for trekking around the uneven ground, dirt paths, etc. I wasn't sure what my EDC was going to end up being (I'm an over packer, so I brought a shoulder bag, beach bag, and a backpack). The shoulder bag and beach bag never left my suitcase. I used the backpack the whole time, and since I've returned I use a backpack daily now. (Even though I was always an oversized purse/ PU style diaper bag girl before). If it were me, I would select the backpack hands down. For me it would probably be an S25 since I seem to be packing deficient. I think Christina's suggestion of the backpack plus shop bag for a pool bag is perfect.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    When you say you'll be doing more walking, do you mean without the stroller? If you're using a baby carrier for some of the trip I would maybe not take the PU and use the S19 and shop bags for the pool.
    Likely with the stroller, good point again - back carry doesn't matter so much in this case. But there's something to knowing you *can* walk a longer distance w/o stroller if you had to while on vacation.


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  8. #8
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    @FoxValleyDame, that's another super good point - I'm bringing the carrier for airport and cabin use, but I won't want to in 90 degree weather. I think I really want to use my s19 as a cabin bag, but carrying it and the A45 seems unwieldy.

    I think what I'm going to do is flat pack the Daylight Backpack empty in the A45 for use in town, and go with the SE + A45 for airport. If I have time, I'll post pics.


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  9. #9
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    If you can, then, I would flat pack the Synapse in the A45 just in case, but plan to use the PU as you normally would if you were at home. Best of both? :-)


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ditmo View Post
    @FoxValleyDame, that's another super good point - I'm bringing the carrier for airport and cabin use, but I won't want to in 90 degree weather. I think I really want to use my s19 as a cabin bag, but carrying it and the A45 seems unwieldy.

    I think what I'm going to do is flat pack the Daylight Backpack empty in the A45 for use in town, and go with the SE + A45 for airport. If I have time, I'll post pics.


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    That's exactly what we used the carrier for...airport and airplane. It was great not having to take the baby out of it through security, and when we got to Costa Rica the immigration people would let us to the front of the looooong line as soon as they saw the baby on my chest.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    If you can, then, I would flat pack the Synapse in the A45 just in case, but plan to use the PU as you normally would if you were at home. Best of both? :-)
    I might have to do it this way if I need more room - the PU would take the place of the SE over my shoulder with the A45 and be the cabin bag, freeing up a portion of the side pockets of the A45. I'd still flat pack the Daylight instead of the S19 for space reasons -- it's still a great around-town bag, just not the easiest airplane cabin bag. I'll test pack this as an alternate option and see how it goes.


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