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Congratulations! You’ve booked your vacation, figured out pet-care, bought a bathing suit you actually feel good in, and splurged on some new suitcases. The last major thing to conquer is packing. Remember the days when it was just for you and your honey? Now you have a brood of little people that require SO much stuff! We wanted to help break it down for you so you don’t have to lose your mind (and you can teach your older children how to do it for themselves!).
Here are 7 tips for packing for kids:
1. Keep It Simple.
Unless you’re going skiing, the big bonus to travelling somewhere warm and sunny is how much easier it is to pack. It’s all too tempting to overpack but in the end you really only need a few things for the kids: pyjamas, bathing suits and cover-ups, sandals, and a couple of day outfits. Babies require a few more of each item because they tend to soil their clothes a lot!
2. Stay Organized.
You can coordinate outfits beforehand and put them in Ziploc bags. For really young children, you can put colour-coded stickers on each bag; for older kids you can number the bags or abbreviate the days of the week. The dirty clothes can go right back into that same bag or into a larger bag you keep in the room for that purpose. Unpack! Use those dresser drawers and closets. It saves sanity when you don’t have to go through piles of clothes every day.
3. Multipurpose Items
A cotton sundress can double as a beach cover up. A waterproof pair of sandals can double as shoes to go to dinner in. As a general rule, we like to pack only 1 pair of sandals for the kids. We have them wear their running shoes to the airport and for excursions where they’ll need a sturdier shoe.
4. Get The Kids To Help
We want to teach our kids how to pack for themselves and we want to make sure they bring along their favourite clothes that they will actually want to wear. You can make a list for the older kids with the number of each type of item. Just have them stack it next to their suitcase so you can double check and actually pack the suitcase. Make it a fun game for them!
5. Keep The Fun Stuff Separate
With kids, you always pack more than just clothes. Their “must-have” toys, comfort items and things to keep them entertained should go in a separate bag for easy access in the plane. When the kids are older, they can keep their own bag to stow on the plane themselves.
6. Put Toiletries In A Separate Bag
We love monogrammed bags but a clear Ziploc bag is best for getting through security. Put their toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, and any other items into a separate bag. We love bringing along a travel-sized detangler for sun kissed hair and spray body lotions to moisturize quickly.
7. Take Advantage Of Laundry Service
Even just one load of laundry can do wonders to alleviate the growing pile of dirty clothes. It may very well be worth it to pay for this service. Make sure the kids rinse and lay out their bathing suits to dry and keep clean and dirty clothes separate.
These are just some things we do with our crew that definitely helps take the stress out of packing. We have learned through experience that our kids tend to wear the same few items over and over, and while we still overpack on occasion, we’ve definitely come a long way. Now with no need to fuss over the kids’ packing, you’re free to focus on your outfits for day and night (and rock that bathing suit!).
From our families to yours… Happy Travels!