Over the past year, we’ve experienced the adventure of family trips a few times. (And let me tell ya, it is always an adventure!)
It definitely helps to know a few good tricks to make the trip go smoothly! Keep reading for my ten favorite packing hacks that we use every time we travel with our young kids.
10 Brilliantly Simple Packing Hacks for Traveling with Kids
These tricks will help save you time, space, and even a little extra cash that could go towards fun activities on your trip!
1. Create a packing list a week before your trip
A written list will ensure that you don’t forget the essentials and if you start early, you can add to it as you think of things. Leave it in a visible place so you’ll be reminded anytime you walk by (I keep mine on our kitchen counter).
Whether you are traveling by plane or by car, there are limits to what you can bring. Perhaps your car’s trunk is not very large or maybe you want to avoid paying an airline fee for checked baggage. Good planning ensures that you have everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
2. Have young kids share a suitcase
Our girls are 7yo and 16mo, so they don’t need to bring all the extras that might fill an adult’s suitcase and can easily share. This saves a lot of space on a car trip and money when flying! The 4-Wheel Spinner Collection by Atlantic Luggage is perfect because it offers a range of sizes and fun colors (turquoise or purple anyone?) All four wheels are able to turn and it’s lightweight, so navigating is a breeze — even with two kids in tow!
3. Pack one outfit per child per day, plus two spare outfits
It’s tempting to overpack as you envision spills and no access to a washing machine. However, I find that we are so busy when traveling that we rarely have a chance to change unless there is a major mess. I pack one outfit for each day and two spares in case of spills or unexpected weather changes.
4. Bring 2 pairs of underwear for each day of the trip
Underwear takes up almost no space and in this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry! I also bring extra onesies for the baby for the same reason.
5. Only pack two pairs of pajamas
At home, my kids sometimes wear pajamas two nights in a row. They’ve just taken a bath when they put them on, after all! There’s no need to bring more pajamas on a trip than we would normally use at home. Just make sure you have pajamas that are not too bulky!
6. Bring a hooded sweatshirt for each child on summer trips
Even when we went to the beach, I brought a hoodie for each girl in case of rain or unexpectedly chilly weather. Hotels and restaurants can also be cool, so it is worth the space to have a little flexibility for dealing with ranges in temperature.
7. Keep toiletries to a minimum
Toiletries take up a big chunk of my own suitcase, but kids really only need the basics. Even better, you can find all-in-one products like combination shampoo/conditioner that allow you to pack one bottle to take care of both! To save some time, you can find TSA approved small toiletry bottles/containers here!
8. Use tape to keep liquids from spilling
I always secure the lids of toiletries with tape to prevent spills and put them in a plastic bag. In the past I’ve had lids (that I hadn’t taped) burst and leak the contents onto all of my clothes, which is NOT a fun surprise!
9. Bring an empty bag for dirty clothes
As clothes are worn, add them to a plastic bag (or laundry bag!) to keep them from getting mixed in with the clean. When you get home, you’ll be able to dump the bag into the laundry and return unworn garments to the closet without any guesswork.
10. Don’t forget blankie!
If your child has a favorite comfort item, make sure it’s on the packing list! I usually take these in the suitcase so they won’t get dirty while traveling or forgotten in an airport or rest stop.
Is there a family adventure in your future? Now is the perfect time to plan ahead!
Check out the Atlantic Luggage 21” Spinner, which is the perfect size for just about any occasion and meets carry-on luggage requirements.