Travel with kids can be fun and wonderful learning experience for them. But, travel with kids can also cause stress for moms. Disorganized suitcases, forgetting important items you need and over packing can overwhelm a mom before a vacation starts. Vacation packing doesn’t have to ruin your vacation.
Note: I would like to thank EzPacking for sponsoring this post and providing me an EzPacking bundle to review. All opinions and ideas in this post are my own.
A few years ago, my husband and I took our 2 oldest children on a vacation (from Florida to South Dakota). It was a long trip (about 10 days). I remember packing a suitcase for each of us. I had the biggest suitcases I could find. I think I packed everything but the “kitchen sink” as they say.
Because I had so many things with us, I was constantly, repacking and organizing suitcases and bags. The large luggage required too much space making small travel spaces and hotel rooms extra cramped. If I were doing it over again today, I would…
5 Tips for Organized & Stress-Free Vacation Packing
Focus on Essentials
As I mentioned, when I pack for vacation, I want to have everything with me. But this approach is not practical, especially not when you are traveling with kids. Focus on the essentials when you pack for vacation. What items do you really need? Do you have to pack your own hair dryer (like me) or can you use the hotel hair dryer?
Depending on the length of your trip, you may want to plan an afternoon or evening of rest that will allows you time to wash clothes. Longer trips require more clothes and trips in cooler months require bulkier clothes. Focus on bringing only the items you need and that will be most useful to you. Remember, the more you pack, the more you have to carry with you and if you travel by plane, you will have weight limits on luggage.
If you are traveling with small children that use diapers, wipes, etc…, you might want to start with enough diapers and wipes to get to your destination and then stock up (again, the less you have to travel with the better).
Make a List, Check it Twice
A week or two before your trip, start making a list of all the daily items you and your children use. Do you or one of your children have special medicine? Don’t forget the sunblock. Bathing suits. And especially not the camera.
Complete all your packing on the night before you leave, then review your checklist one more time to be sure you have not forgotten anything.
Don’t Forget Your Favorite…
When you travel it’s nice to have a favorite personal item. Your children may have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal they sleep with. Your trip will be more enjoyable if you include your child’s favorite item.
Use Travel Sized Items to Reduce Bulk
Most likely you have an extra tube of toothpaste and a bottle of shampoo at home. But these large items take up space in your luggage (and are not allowed as part of carry-on’s on airplanes). Travel sized items will reduce bulk and take up much less space. You can also usually get shampoo and soap at hotels.
I tend to go overboard with these small personal items.
Don’t forget rule number #1, focus on the essential. Only bring an item if you absolutely need it and will use it every day. Try to leave at home the “nice to have items” because most likely you won’t use them and they just add weight to your luggage.
The EzPacking Extra Small Cube is perfect for all your personal items and is just the right size to pass TSA travel requirements if you are flying.
Use a Travel Organization System
A travel organization system will keep your suitcases organized and reduce stress during your trip. The EzPacking complete bundle is a cube-based system that allows you to sort and organize your travel items within your suitcase and is perfect for family travel.
The travel cubes allow you many versatile packing options. For example, you could pack like items together (i.e. tops/blouses, pants/shorts, personal items, etc…). Or if you are packing for 2 or more children, you could pack each child’s items in their own cube (for kids, you can also purchase color coded cubes so each child has their own color).
While you are traveling, you can also repurpose the cubes by packing personal items you need for a day trip in one of the bags. Or if your suitcase is overweight at the airport, but quickly pull one of the cubes out and carry it on board.
With the EzPacking complete bundle, moms will be able to enjoy their vacations stress-free because their suitcase will stay organized, no more spending time hunting for the lost item in the jumbled pile of clothing and no more fussing from your kids.
I was able to include 2 fully packed large cubes, 2 fully packed medium cubes, a small cube and 1 shoe bag easily into my carry-on sized suitcase. Since the cubes help compress items and reduce the space needed to pack, I was able to include more items than usual when I pack without the cubes.
Since I love to have a few extra pairs of shoes with me when I travel (you know day shoes, night shoes, shoes to match everything – yes, I know I need to remember rule #1 and only pack the essentials). I really loved the shoe bag. It’s perfect to keep dirt from your shoes off your clothes and most women and children could include 2 pairs in this bag, it’s a nice size.
The EzPacking complete bundle includes cubes for a large 26”-30” suitcase or could be used in 2 smaller carry-on sized suitcases. The complete bundle kit includes:
2 Large cubes (perfect for everyday wear)
2 Medium cubes (perfect for children’s clothes or smaller items)
2 Small cubes (perfect for pajamas and personal items)
2 Extra small cubes (perfect for toiletries and other small items)
2 Shoe bags
1 Laundry bag
1 Folding Board set (to keep shirts wrinkle free)
1 Folding duffle bag (great for day trips, easily folds and slides into the side of your suitcase)
The EzPacking complete bundle gives you everything you to organize your vacation packing and stay organized your entire trip.
As a reader of Smart Mom Smart Ideas, EzPacking is offering a special 15% discount just for you. Don’t wait, the discount is only available until May 2nd.
Next time you are planning a trip, make your travel and vacation packing stress-free with these tips and Free vacation planner.
What’s your best vacation organization tip?