Packing for a trip alone is already a chore. Packing for a trip with young kids can be even more daunting and overwhelming. With all your worries and anxieties, you might fixate on making sure you’ve packed everything your children need and then forget your essentials. While there is no guarantee that absolutely everything will go as smoothly as you’d like, you can make sure you not just survive but also enjoy your trip with your young kids by taking some extra travel measures. Here are some travel tips that make packing easier for moms:
Plan Before You Pack
To save time and energy, have a game plan before starting your actual packing. Not only will it help you pack more efficiently, it will also make sure you don’t forget anything.
Go through your itinerary several times and take note of where you and your kids will be going, what activities you will be doing, and what the weather forecast is for each day of your entire vacation. This will help you determine what clothes and things to pack for trip for each person.
Before actually throwing stuff into your bags, create a packing checklist for vacation with your kids. Refer to your itinerary and write what you need per day, including the outfits you and your kids will wear, toiletries, and other essentials. If you do not plan before you pack, you tend to think of all the scenarios that might come up, so you end up packing items you never end up using. When you have a list, you will be stricter about packing light.
Keep Things Organized
Keep everything organized to make traveling with kids a bit more manageable. Have a system that ensures the necessary items are easily accessible so you can find what you need at once and avoid losing or forgetting things. You should also be able to unpack and repack as needed during the entire trip to avoid stress and to make the experience enjoyable for you and your children.
Don’t put everything in your checked luggage because it can get lost or delayed. Instead, pack the essentials for you and your little ones in a carry-on bag. This makes sure you have easy and immediate access to the necessities like wipes, diapers, and extra clothing. Use a stylish but durable mom bag that has a trolley sleeve so you can place it on top of your luggage at airports.
Keep all important documents like your passports, ID, credit cards, and cash, all in one place where they won’t get lost or damaged. To avoid having to rummage through your carry-on, keep all of them in a wallet that has enough space for everything. This saves you the hassle and embarrassment of holding the line anywhere.
One of the best travel packing tips ever is to use packing cubes and pouches! Packing cubes can help organize your clothes in your luggage and make it easier for you to find whatever you need. For toiletries, makeup, and other small items, packing pouch sets are a lifesaver. Get a set with at least one in clear vinyl to make airport security checks or finding anything a breeze.
Having a separate bag for dirty clothes is not just neat and practical, it’s also hygienic. Bring a laundry bag for dirty clothes to keep them from mixing with the clean ones. It also makes unpacking easier when you get home as you can just dump the whole bag in a hamper or take them straight to the laundry.
Pack as Light as Possible
When packing for a vacation with small children, you should keep things light to make your trip more manageable and less stressful. By packing only the essentials, transporting luggage will be easier, and navigating through airports, trains, buses, and other transportation will be more flexible. You can also save big on baggage fees and you spare yourself the hassle and stress of losing or misplacing items. Your kids will also be less likely to feel overwhelmed by the number of things they’re bringing so they’re more likely to enjoy the getaway. Here are some tips on how to pack light:
Wear heavy jackets or coats already instead of packing them. Pack clothes that are easy to layer to make adjusting to different temperatures easier. You also save space in your luggage because you can already mix and match to create a variety of outfits with clothes that you can layer.
Stick to your outfit plans and pack one outfit per day. You can pack at most two extra outfits for the whole trip in case of emergencies. For your little kids, especially if they haven’t been potty trained yet, accidents happen and you might not have an access to a washing machine during the trip. Pack two extra outfits per day for them just to be safe.
Underwear doesn’t take much space and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. For you and your kids, pack at least two pairs of extra underwear for each day of the trip.
You don’t have to bring one piece of sleepwear per night for your entire vacation. You can just pack two pairs of pajamas: one to use every night for at most a week of the trip and one extra just in case of accidents.
Avoid packing shoes. Make yourself and your kids wear a comfortable pair that goes with every outfit. Of course, if you’re going to the beach or on some adventure, you might need appropriate flip-flops or shoes. Another exception is if you’re going somewhere cold or snowy because you’d definitely need to pack boots. But as much as possible, don’t pack shoes and just wear the pair that goes with everything to save space in your luggage.
If you can avoid packing toiletries, don’t pack toiletries at all. Check if the hotel you’re staying at provides complimentary toiletries or if there’s a nearby store that sells the brands you prefer. But if you really have to pack, buy ones in travel sizes or buy travel-sized containers and just fill them with your products at home. It doesn’t just save space in your luggage, it also makes security checks at airports hassle-free. Avoid spills by securing the lids with tape and putting them in a ziplock bag. Be worry-free about spills and leaks by placing them in a mom bag with a removable, machine-washable interior lining.
Avoid bringing big baby gear! Bringing your carrier and stroller will just be a hassle especially if you’re flying. If you really need it, just rent a carrier or stroller at your destination. But don’t forget to pack your stroller straps so you can give your shoulders a break from carrying your mom bag once you’ve rented a stroller.
Be Prepared for Anything
Even with careful planning, traveling with kids will always be unpredictable. Be prepared for accidents and emergencies with these tips:
You’ll never know when you might need to do a quick diaper change. For hassle-free on-the-go changes, pack a slim and compact changing mat that fits easily in your bag. It should also be stain-resistant and easy to clean so your vacation doesn’t get disrupted.
Keep your small kids occupied during transit to avoid tantrums that’ll make you lose your mind. Bring their favorite snacks and some entertainment so you can have a few moments to sit back and relax.
Avoid fussy episodes by bringing your little ones’ favorite comfort items if they can be packed in your carry-on. You’ll be thankful you included them in your packing list if they suddenly ask for their favorite stuffed animal or blankie in a plane full of sleeping passengers.
As much as you want the trip to be as smooth and safe as possible, emergencies can happen. Best be prepared by packing your small first-aid kit containing your essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, or paracetamol.
Make Everything Fit
Even if you’re packing light, packing for a trip with kids can still take up so much space in your luggage. Here are some tips on how you can fit everything in your travel packing list:
Not only can rolling clothes instead of folding save space in your luggage, it also prevents creases and wrinkles during packing and transit. This is helpful as you will be saved from the hassle of ironing clothes upon arrival at your destination so you can enjoy your vacation with your kids right away.
Another tip you can do is to use compression bags. Compression bags squeeze out the extra air so you can maximize the space in your luggage.
If you have older kids, they can probably carry their own carry-ons. Pack their essentials in small backpacks that they will carry themselves to free up some space in your luggage.
Even though traveling with kids can be overwhelming, packing for it can be manageable as long as you know how and what to pack for a trip with your little ones. Make sure to plan and prepare, be organized, and pack your carry-on essentials in a reliable yet stylish mom bag. While an absolutely smooth trip is not guaranteed, you can make sure you not just survive but also enjoy your trip with your young kids by following some tried and tested tips and measures.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I pack for a trip with kids?
To make sure you pack everything you need for a trip with your kids, you need to plan carefully and know every detail in your itinerary. Pack what you and your children need based on your itinerary like clothes, toiletries, first-aid kit, snacks, and entertainment items. Of course, don’t forget to pack all important documents like passports, ID cards, and insurance and health information.
How do I keep things organized when packing for a vacation with kids?
With careful planning and preparation, you can keep everything organized when packing for a trip with your kids. Make use of packing pouch sets or packing cubes, laundry bags, and compression bags to keep things in order and to make sure everything fits in your luggage. You can also pack a separate carry-on bag for your older kids so they can have easier access to their things during the trip.
How do I fit everything when packing for a trip with kids?
When packing for a vacation with your kids, you can fit everything in your luggage with great planning and organization. Pack light, leave behind items that can be purchased at your destination, and ditch big baby gear that you can rent. You can roll clothes instead of folding then use packing cubes and compression bags to squeeze out the extra air and maximize luggage space.