Packing for a trip with kids is super hard. Heck, packing for a trip without kids is still incredibly hard for me. I am what they can an ‘over packer’ by nature and have to work diligently to reign myself in!
I have found a few efficient and effective hacks for traveling with the whole family since taking a bunch of round the country trips with our little ones!
Here are my main take-aways for making the packing part easier:
Using packing cubes is actually a really great way to stay organized in a suitcase, divide everyone’s belonging, keep attire/toys/’stuff’ together and streamline the physical packing progress. It always helps us stay organized during the trip, and makes it easy to shuffle around ‘stuff’ from suitcase to suitcase in the case that one of the bags is overweight. I have everyone in the family use a different colored cube to keep things visually orderly.
Try using shoes bags like this and a reusable dirty laundry bag to keep other items clean and separated.
These awesome Baggu pouches are great for all the random stuff that needs a home along the way. They are easy to use for flights in a diaper bag or backpack. We use them for games, toys, diapers, and even lose items like hair brushes and sunglass cases. They are lightweight, cute and zip – which is a must for travel/ ‘on-the-go’
Add a few Stasher Bags to your collection for things like medicine, toothbrushes and travel size shampoos/soaps. Using reusable packing products verses plastic bags or other one-time use is super effective and green. They have better strength and firmness to protect against leaks and are easy to use over and over, unlike a ziplock.
Luggage tags just listing your last name and cell are great to have on all your bags before hand. They won’t fall or rip off and will definitely help if your bag gets lost along the way.
For big trips where I might end up with suitcases weighing way too much in the end, I normally throw in a lightweight collapsible duffle bag. Filling that up with some of the packing cubes in a real pinch and checking it as a normal bag is cheaper than paying overweight baggage fees on some airlines.
For snacks and meals on the go for the kids, I use our PackIt Freezable Lunch Box with two LunchBot boxes inside. The PackIt Lunch box have a little extra room left for some cold things like string cheese or small containers of fruit for snacks, but I leave the waters out in their own stainless steel sippies (my go-to for leak-proof travel are Camelbacks or Skip Hop Straw Bottle). These collapsible lunch boxes are great for dry goods and save you room after everything is gone! I use Re-Zip bags and ‘no-spill’ snack cups.
For a long car ride, using a cooler (like this amazing Yeti brand) in the car might be a good idea (depending on your car size and the load inside!). Other perfect coolers for the car? This CleverMade collapsible one or this super bright happy one from WinterAirs.
For flights involving car seats and strollers, I find it key to both protect your gear and secondly, to make life easier with it. We use this backpack car seat bag for checking a car seat, which, yes, we have to end up wearing at some point through the airport and I thank the heavens above for getting one that has back straps. We use this bag for protecting our City Select but if you have an Uppababy, you’ll need this one. When we had a single Graco stroller we simply could use this bag (which fits most single strollers) and find that super easy.
We have this little blue foldable Owl seat cover and it comes in SO handy!! It is pretty small when collapsed and easy for any seat. We have used it at every public bathroom, plane ride and even other people’s houses for comfort. All since potty training began, that is.
But, alas, you need a toilet for it to go on. If you might be in need of an actual toilet – like camping or a long car ride, try this potty-on-the-go.
For tons of other key traveling products and tips, visit my travel shop here or family travel posts here!