When you have kid(s), it doesn’t matter how long you are gone on vacation – one day, 3 weeks – you have to pack your whole house. Heck, if you aren’t even going on vacation I feel like you have to pack your whole house just to step out the door!
This week, I’m headed to my home state to visit my family with my little L. My husband will follow a few days later. Fortunately, we are flying, but that doesn’t mean I have to pack any less; I just have to do it with a little more planning.
I’m big into writing things down, making lists, and maybe even doing it twice! Below are 2 lists, that I use every time I pack for a [trip].
The Ultimate Kids Packing List
- Diapers/underwear/pull ups (always bring more than you think you need)
- Wipes (lots of them)
- Hand sanitizer
- Kid bath products: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, wash, lotion
- Socks (as many days as you’re gone, +1-2 pairs)
- Outfits (as many days as you’re gone, +1-2)
- Shoes (church, tennies, sandals/around the house)
- Jammies (one for every other day you’re gone)
- Church clothes
- Hair stuff: comb/brush, elastics, detangler, clips
- Snacks, snacks, snacks: fruit snacks, granola bars, Goldfish crackers, etc.
- Sippy cups/bottles/special silverware: For example, we are going to be gone 7 days, so I’m bringing 2 sippys, 3 bottles, and 1 set of L’s silverware
- Special diet items: formula, vitamins, etc.
- Binkys (I would die without these – and so would L!)
- Activities: books, coloring books, stickers, crayons, small toys, music, doll, cars, etc.
- Penguin & Dora Blanket (this is L’s little stuffed animal and blanket she CANNOT live without – pick your child’s favorite!)
- Special needs items: braces, therapy things, etc.
- Medicine: kids tylenol, gas drops, nose drops, etc.
- Small backpack or bag for kid(s) to carry their things around in
- Swimming suit, suit cover
- Outside necessities: sunscreen, beach shoes, aloe, sunglasses, insect repellent, towel
- Baby monitor and/or white noise machine
- Car seat/booster seat (airlines will check these for free)
- A kid’s map (so they can help navigate – kids love to help)
- First aid kit
- Kleenex, tissues
- Plastic bag for garbage
- Other items, as needed.
I know it seems like a lot – because it kind of is. The trick is, pack to fit your needs. Pack to fit your space. Utilize suitcase space, car space, or carry-on policies. You can do it – just make the list!
Here are some other tips for packing a trip:
- Roll the clothes, you will be able to fit more inside the suitcase and, believe it or not, it typically weighs a little less!
- Don’t be afraid to readjust your suitcase, and shift things around.
- Start 1-2 days before.
- Make your list, check it twice.
- Stuff socks, underwear and other small things inside shoes.
- Wrap cords with twisty ties, and stick them in ziplocs
- Make the kids share – toothpaste, shampoo, etc. – to save space
- Once your kid is 2+ years old, they can have their own suitcase and help carry and pack.
- If travelling by car, pack in Sterillite/plastic tubs and containers – it stacks better. And you can fit a ton in those things!
- If travelling by plane, utilize the carry-on policy. You can have a carry-on item, plus a purse/bag. Technically that’s 2 carry-on’s! Just don’t overdo it…luckily, I got away with having 2 giant, fat, heavy backpacks when I was moving from Iowa to Utah with only 1 suitcase and 2 backpacks…but I’m never doing that again! AH!
- Car seats, boosters, stroller check for free. Or you can gate-check those things as well
- Always weigh your bag(s) before heading to the airport. Limit is 50 lbs without paying an extra fee.
- Call your hotel or place you’ll be staying and see what they have available (for free or for a small charge) and then don’t pack those items.
- On airplanes, liquids are 3 oz or less. If you do have liquids, then put them in a plastic baggy, because they’ll ask you to leave them out so they can check them while going through security.
- If you have access to a washer/dryer where you are going, you don’t have to pack as much.
- If you are moving – check the price of shipping a box or two. Often times it’s cheaper than checking a bag! Or a great option if you’re out of space in your car!
Good luck in your travels, no matter where they will take you! And, since I’m watching the movie Julie and Julia while I’m writing this, I will end with Bon Voyage!