Packing Tips for Traveling with Kids

Hey mamas,

Packing for a family trip really is the pits…I mean c’mon!  If you’re like me, the burden of packing for the family rests squarely on your shoulders.  There are so many things to consider when packing for a trip.  Weather, activities, mode of transportation, and accommodations all add degrees of difficulty when you are assembling your packing list. Not to mention if you have a baby or small child that needs diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, baby food, and on and on and on… Then you start to think…how is it all going to fit into the suitcase and how is that going to fit into the plane/train/automobile???

Anyway, I talked a little about the ziplock bag method in this post.  Today, I’m going into detail to show you exactly how do this.  Let me tell you, this has seriously changed how I pack.  Today, I’m been packing to go to Disneyland.  We will be there for four fun filled days and three glorious nights.  So I need one outfit for each day (that includes a plane outfit as we will be hitting the ground running as soon as we touch down at John Wayne) and an extra for the stroller in case someone goes on a ride with water or plays in one of the water areas and is consequently unhappy about being wet or in case someone has a blowout….You never know.


First, start with empty zip lock bags.  I need four.  Label them with the kid’s names and the day they will wear them (if you’re OCD like me) and if you want to put one somewhere when you arrive on your vacay.  In my case, “Stroller”.


My son is still in diapers, so I put a diaper in each one of his bags and set them aside while I figure out their outfits.


It’s going to be pretty warm during the days and a little cooler at night.  So the kiddos will wear shorts and Tshirts.  I’ve been checking the weather daily, and the estimated temps keep getting higher…  Here’s the outfits I’ve planned for my daughter.  You may notice they look a little on the wrinkly side…I’m not worried about that.  Why?  She’s 5 and once they have been in the bags the wrinkles smooth out a bit.

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I laid it out step by step in this gallery.  I take the extra time to fold the shirt like this because it helps to smooth most of the wrinkles and so that she/I can see what outfit she will wear that day.  This may look time consuming, but I swear it only takes a few minutes per outfit to pack them up.  I re-use these ziplock bags as much as I can.  After a few uses, they start to get little holes in them.  That’s when I toss them out.DSC_1128

Once you have done this will all the outfits needed for your trip, you should be left with something like this.  The outfit not in a bag is the plane outfit.  I also have a bag for each kid labeled, “Jammies”, “Long Pants”, and “Sweatshirts”.  The beauty of using this packing method is that it takes all thought out of getting ready in the morning when you reach your destination.  There’s no arguing about what to wear.  You can hand the bag to your child, spouse, or a family member and ask them to dress the kids.  It’s a no-brainer.  It does require some advance thought and effort, but I think it’s worth it to have smooth sailing on vacation.  It leaves you more time to make memories.  It also takes up such little space in the suitcase.

This is my best packing tip, what’s yours??





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