As you all know, my little family loves to take a trip. Since the kid was a baby, we’ve always done our usual yearly and sometimes bi-yearly beach trip. As she’s gotten older though, we’ve been able to expand destinations that include a bit more exploring – there was no one happier than her mama when we went to Boston and this kid happily skipped along the Freedom Trail asking a zillion questions.
We love our week long beach trips just as much as our adventuring trips or quick 2-3 day road trips as well.
While I most definitely have not mastered the art of remembering every little thing when we go somewhere, I have learned a lot and therefore, packing for trips and exploring has gotten much less stressful. Here are my best packing tips and go-to bags that save my sanity.
This post is sponsored by Baggallini, however all opinions are 100% my own. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Traveling with Kids: Packing Tips + Essential Bags
Combine suitcases whenever possible.
Unless the kid is feeling uber-independent, I always put both her and my clothes, toiletries, etc. together in one suitcase or travel bag. Having the one piece of luggage for both of us means there’s one less thing to keep up with and carry, plus it helps to keep me from overpacking – which I’m getting better at with every trip.
Speaking of overpacking…
Don’t stress too much on clothing. You’re going on a trip to enjoy yourself, not to put on a fashion show. Choose comfortable clothing that includes a few key pieces you can easily dress up if needed.
The same is true for kids. They will be much better behaved and enjoy the trip more if they are in comfortable clothes.
For kids, and also helpful for adults, pack outfits together. I always pack the Circus’ clothes with her outfits put together, shirts on top of pants. That way when she goes to put something on, she knows what goes together.
And always always always, throw in a light jacket or cardigan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to the beach and while I thought I’d never need a long sleeve piece of clothing in June, I was wrong.
While I haven’t bought them yet, I have heard wonderful things about packing cubes. I’m hoping to get a set or two before our trip to New Orleans and test them out.
Always have a backup outfit on hand.
From the time Mama told her story about getting to Europe and their luggage not making it over when they did, I always try to have a spare change of clothes for both me and the kid within easy reach when traveling.
My Baggallini 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack works perfect for this. It will easily hold a change of clothes for both me and the kid as well as a toiletry bag. It also has a sleeve on the back that allows it to easily slide over your luggage handle. Since it can hold a change of clothes and toiletries, it’s also one of my go-to bags for quick overnight trips.
There are multiple interior pockets for optimal organization as well as quick access pockets on the front and room for a water bottle and umbrella on the sides.
I like to use those interior pockets to pack meds that could be needed on the trip like allergy medicine, Tylenol, etc. so they are within easy reach.
The removable wristlet that comes with the 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack is super handy as well.
It will easily hold a few cards, lip gloss and another essential or two. Its strap clips to a hook inside the bag, so no digging around for your wallet – you always know right where it’s at. The wristlet is also RFID blocking – so no one can easily steal your credit card info just by standing next to you.
Since it’s a 3-in-1 bag, it’s very versatile. It can go from tote to backpack to crossbody with a quick couple of clicks.
So when you get where you’re going, you can switch it to backpack mode, load the exploring essentials and be on your way.
The 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack is also water resistant, which makes it perfect for summer trips to water parks. We loaded it up the other day for a quick trip to the fountains at a local park.
Don’t forget snacks.
If you’re traveling with kids, you know they often end up needing a snack at the most inconvenient times. Be sure to stash some snacks in your tote and keep it within easy reach on road trips and while flying.
Keep them entertained.
Anytime we go on a trip, whether driving or flying, I always pack a new coloring or activity book and crayons for the Circus to help keep her occupied.
This is also the time to take advantage of technology. We load the iPad up with a couple movies that she can watch as well.
If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler that really isn’t into all that yet, consider buying a new small toy to take with you and surprise them with it on the plane or in the car.
Tuck away a crossbody bag.
Anytime we go somewhere, I like to throw in a great crossbody bag that can hold just the essentials while I’m out and about.
My favorite crossbody is the Baggallini Take Two Bryant Crossbody. It has two zippered pockets and two exterior pockets to hold the essentials.
This bag also has RFID blocking card slots built-in to keep your cards safe. It’s lightweight and water resistant as well.
I love having the Take Two Bryant Crossbody when I travel because it keeps my hands completely free. It’s also my go-to bag for thrift stores and yard sales so I can easily dig for those deals.
If we go out to dinner and I want it to be a bit more “fancy,” I just take the crossbody strap off and replace it with the wristlet strap.
Don’t sweat the mishaps.
Above all, have fun! There are going to be mishaps, there might even be meltdowns. Take a break, regroup and then get going again. It’s all about enjoying new places and making memories with the family.
Our next family adventure is New Orleans in the fall – where are you headed to next?
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