Packing for a trip with kids is a little bit of a process. It can be tedious, that’s right. Not knowing what you and your kids will need when going for a trip might be stressful. Don’t worry, part of that comes with experience. The more you travel, the easier it is for you to find out your own system. Let me share everything I’ve learned about packing, preparing, and simply being organized for the last 6 years.
MAKE A LIST
When it’s your first time packing, you don’t feel confident enough or you just need to see the list of all the stuff you’ll take, easily write it all down. You can cross, tick, add, remove. It’s your own list. I started with writing a list weeks before the trip, putting there every little thing that came to my mind. The list grew bigger and bigger. And consequently, the first few trips were really heavy. But later on, I’ve learned I don’t need them all.
MORE DOESN’T MEAN BETTER
Probably half of the clothes you pack, won’t even leave the suitcase. That’s what I suggest: prepare everything you want to pack, put it on the bed and re-do it. Take only what’s really necessary. Double-check the weather forecast ahead of time and simply adjust. Be prepared. Don’t pack an extra jacket if it will be 25 Celsius degrees outside. For a weekend trip for my kids, I usually pack 2 t-shirts, 1 long-sleeved shirt, underwear, 2 pairs of trousers or leggings, and one sweatshirt. The rule is simple one set of clothing per day. I basically have the same set of clothes, except the bottoms. 1 is enough for me.
PACK FOR EACH SEASON
2 t-shirts, 1 pair of water-resistant trousers or softshell one, 1 pair of jeans, underwear, sweatshirt, softshell jacket, trainers, socks, pajama
2 tshirts, 2 shorts, 1 long leggins, underwear, 1 sweatshirt, swimsuit, sandals, pajama
2 t-shirts, 1 long sleeve shirt, 1 pair of water-resistant trousers or softshell one, 1 pair of jeans, underwear, sweatshirt, softshell jacket, trainers, socks, pajama
2 t-shirts, 1 long sleeve shirt, 1 ski pants, 2 pairs of leggins or 1 pair of tights and 1 pair of leggins, underwear, fleece sweatshirt, winter jacket, winter boots, socks, pajama, winter accessories (mittens, hat etc.)
My first aid kit used to be really heavy. I packed basically everything, including cough syrup, even when we all were healthy without any signs of sickness. Lately, I came to conclusion. What for? These days my first aid kit contains plaster, something for disinfection, but the very small container, allergy pills, panthenol, sun cream if it’s summer season, mosquito repellent, and vitamin D3. Of course, don’t forget any medications you or your kids have to take. Usually, I double-check if there’s a pharmacy for emergency shopping close by, so we’re in the clear.
Try the small containers for airplanes. You can buy reusable containers in most drugstores. Take also what’s necessary: toothbrush and toothpaste, 2 in 1 product including shampoo and shower gel, body lotion, and ear sticks. Hairbrush along with some small hair accessories with girls are a must as well. Don’t forget nail clippers, with kids it’s an emergency kit sometimes.
For a weekend trip I allow only one toy per kid, this way we avoid taking 15 barbie dolls, 4 teddy bears and 6 cars. Everyone has just one, they can exchange. But most of the time, there’s no time to sit and play. Basically, we’re outside as much time as possible playing with stones, sticks and sand, which is more beneficial for them.
READING IN THE EVENING
The best way is to use the audiobook collection, either on youtube or any other app. We use storytel. If your kid is used to the paper book version, take one book with several stories. You’ll avoid taking more than 1 book.
ACCESSORIES FOR KIDS
I’m here referring to older kids, where you finally don’t need to pack tons of diapers, bottles, bottle heater and 5 pacifiers ( just exaggerating 😊 ) What I like to take is the reusable water bottle and snack box, so we can prepare our own food and be ready for the trip. We don’t have to buy junk food or sweets on our way. Wet wipes are a must as well.
We tend to avoid restaurants at all if possible and prepare our own snacks and meals. We always try to find accommodation, where a kitchen for guests is available. First of all, it’s cheaper to buy some stuff in the supermarket or local shop than going out for every meal.
- a roll of paper towel
- a knife and a small cutting board
- plates/bowls/cutlery. I usually take just two small plastic bowl for kids to eat their cereals, 2 spoons, 2 small plates.
Place clothes you will need first
Take an empty bag for dirty clothes
Choose fabrics that don’t require ironing
I hope you found some helpful packing tips here! If I missed anything, you can share it below in the comments!