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Packing Light

I love to be the one to deliver good news.

If you’ve done much traveling with a baby or two babies or a baby and a young toddler or some other combination of young’uns, you’ve probably stood, looking at a pile of suitcases and travel gear for your family and thought (or said or screamed) “WHY IS THERE SO MUCH STUFF?!?!” I have, in fact, done this.  Multiple times.  In fact, I’ve whined about it here.  And here!

It is incredible how much junk one thinks they need for a trip with kids, be it a weekend or week-long vacation.

  • A bag with clothes for the children. I like to use this equation to figure out how many outfits you’ll need:  # of days x # of children + 1 extra per child + 1 or 2 pairs of jammies = Outfits in the suitcase
  • A bag with toiletries for the children
  • Diapers (As much as I love our cloth diapers, I’m not so hardcore that I use cloth while traveling.)
  • High chair/booster seat for those that need them
  • Pack N Play for those in cribs
  • Favorite loveys/blankies
  • Things to do – books, toys – for the car and destination
  • Stroller for destination if needed
  • Sippy cups and snacks
  • Special foods (baby food, Puffs, etc.)

There are times when I would arrive at my parents with the boys for a weekend visit and it would look like I was moving in.  I might as well have packed up the entire house. And it felt like I had!  I have a bad habit of trying to do every possible thing to make the house look perfect and squared away before we leave for a trip (who wants to come home to a messy house?) which means I stay up too late the night before and have a mile-long To Do list.

So now for the good news!  It doesn’t have to be like that!

My kids aren’t grown or anything, they’re 2 and almost (next month!) 4 but ahhhhhhhhhh, there’s so much less stuff now!  No high chairs, no Pack N Plays, no special toys needed.  For our trip this weekend they have a very small bag with their clothes (5 outfits each plus 2 jammies each) and a small bag with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo/wash in a box that holds the diapers and nighttime pull ups.  I’ll put Miles’s LeapPad in the car when we leave, grab my small bag and bathroom bag, a couple of snacks and THAT’S IT!

Ohhhhhhh, it feels good.

Are you overwhelmed by the stuff you have to take when you travel with your kids? Have you been able to downsize yet?

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.