6 Pro Tips for Packing with Kids

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Fear of packing. It’s a real thing. Packing with kids is worse. Faced with the thought of packing a whole family for a trip, some folks just give up and stay home. You don’t have to be one of them. With the help of the tips below, you and your kids will be ready to go on your next trip with no fuss and no stress.

1. Kids pack their own bags

Obviously you wouldn’t have a toddler pack her own steamer trunk. But once a child is seven or eight years old, she is capable of packing her own suitcase. Encourage your kids to do so. Make a list and have them check each item off as they put it in the bag. This makes them feel like they’re contributing, eliminates stress for you, and teaches responsibility. Feel free to check it afterwards, but resist the urge to re-pack it.


2. Don’t check luggage

You can travel for a week with what’s in a carry-on. You can travel for a month with what’s in a carry-on. Add a stroller and diaper bag if necessary. Overpacking is one of the biggest mistakes people make. That causes inconvenience to one person but it causes paralysis when applied to a family trip. Take out half the clothes that you plan to bring and leave them home. You won’t miss them.

girl with suitcase

3. Make them carry their own weight

Now that you’ve all packed your own bags, it’s time for everyone to carry their own weight. This is very manageable with a carry-on and a backpack. Carry-ons with wheels are helpful. I’m a fan of Tortuga backpacks as well.


4. Unless it’s REALLY important

I make exceptions for things that will end the trip prematurely. This includes passports, plane tickets, and that’s about it.

5. Cross load

If you haven’t heeded the advice about checking luggage, then you’re adding one more source of stress – lost luggage. To reduce the impact of a lost suitcase, distribute everyone’s clothes evenly in each bag. Now if a bag is lost, everyone still has clothes to wear. If there’s something that you can’t live without, leave it home. If you can’t leave it home, don’t put it in a checked bag.

blue backpack

6. Do without

You’re going on a trip, not emigrating. People wear clothes and eat food all over the world. That means you can get clothes and food wherever you’re going. You don’t need to haul your closet on vacation.

Do you have a tip from your travels? Leave it in the comments.

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