What Do We Pack in Our Suitcase?
Some friends asked me for some tips on how to pack for traveling with a kid. Mostly, how to fit everything for a week+ holiday into a medium-sized luggage. Well, first of all, we only have 1 child. So we travel lighter than family with more kids. Second, we don’t exactly bring only one luggage. We have hand-carry bags, too.
Basically, this is our setup, for all holidays lasting more than 3 days (so far, up to 2.5 weeks):
Usually, we try to pack everything into a medium sized luggage. The reason for this is that we usually fly with budget airlines, and they have pretty strict limit on the luggage weight. Larger luggage means heavier luggage, and we have to pay more. A full medium sized luggage usually weigh around 15-20kg, which is the normal limit for budget airlines.
Each of us bring one hand-carry bags into the cabin. So, there are three hand-carry bags. Not more than one per person, to avoid forgetting a bag behind.
Most of the time, we bring Aina’s umbrella stroller with us. It’s a lightweight stroller, so usually the airlines allow us to use it all the way, right until we enter the cabin.
So, all in all, we carry 5 items:
- one medium sized luggage
- one handbag for me
- one backpack for Ari
- one backpack for Aina
- one umbrella stroller
Now, let’s go into the details on what’s inside each bags/luggage:
Ari’s backpack contains:
- our jackets/cardigans (3 pieces)
- a pen
- documents (travel insurance, vaccination certificate, etc)
- maps & guides
- money belt
My handbag contains:
- tickets & passports
- super large scarf (aina uses it as a blanket in the plane)
- lipbalm (lips get dry in the plane)
- portable charger for iphone & ipad
- extra battery for the camera
- portable hairbrush
- tissues (wet and dry)
- her toys
- pens, markers, color pencils
By the way, the rules regarding toys, books and stuffed animals are, as long as they fit into Aina’s backpack, she can bring as many as she can. And she has to carry them herself (in the backpack, that is). Hopefully, she learns to be responsible for and not overpack her belongings.
Medium sized luggage
For clothes, we usually bring only 3-5 outfit per person that we can mix & match. We also plan to wash our clothes during the trip. Technically, we could bring less clothes, but I still want to look stylish, so, I still bring dresses and skirt.
This is roughly what we bring:
- 5 tops for Ari
- 4 tops for me
- 3 tops for Aina
- 1 dress for me
- 2 dresses for Aina
- 3 bottoms for Ari
- 4 bottoms for me (shorts, pants, skirts)
- 4 bottoms for Aina
- 4 pieces of Aina’s underwear
- 4 pieces of Ari’s underwear
- 4 pieces of my underwear
- 3 pieces of bras
- 3 pairs of socks/tights for Aina
- 3 pairs of socks/tights for me
- 2 pairs of socks for Ari
- 3 pairs of sleeping clothes for each of us
- 2 belt (worn)
- 1 pair of swimsuit for each of us if we’re going to the beach.
- 1 piece of coat if we’re going to chilly places.
- 1 winter hat and scarf for each of us, if needed.
- 1 sweater/cardigans/jacket for each of us, but these are going to be carried into the plane.
- 1 pair of shoes/boots for each of us, which will be worn. If we need extra shoes/sandals, we take something small and flat. If we’re staying in a hostel with shared bathrooms, we usually bring flip flops for shower.
- 2-3 pieces of towel. Although if the place we stay provide towels, then we don’t need to take any with us.
- 2 pair of sunglasses
- 2 pair of glasses (Ari and i don’t have 20/20 visions)
When Aina was younger (below 2 years old), I had to pack up some disposable diaper and formula into the suitcase. And feeding bottles with portable steamer, too, because Aina wasn’t fully breastfed. Traveling will be much easier if she was fully breastfed. But we still managed to pack it into 1 medium sized suitcase.
Next is the toiletries. I usually have small empty bottles to use for traveling. So I don’t have to bring big bottles of shampoo and conditioner in the bag. Shampoo in sachets works too.
- 1 bottle of adult shampoo
- 1 bottle of conditioner
- 1 bottle of adult soap
- 1 bottle of kiddy shampoo
- 1 bottle of kiddy soap
- 1 small tube of face wash
- 1 small bottle of contact lens cleaner
- 2 contact lens cases (Ari and I wear contacts)
- 3 toothbrushes
- 2 tubes of toothpaste (Aina has her own toothpaste, so we have to bring 2 tubes).
- 1 small pack of detergent (for hand-washing things)
I don’t usually bring the complete beauty regime during vacation, and only bring the basic ones. I leave the eye cream and stuff at home.
- 1 small tube of face moisturizer
- 1 small tube of night cream
- 1 tube of sunscreen (to be used by the three of us)
- 1 tube of face sunblock
- emergency medicines
- cotton pads/cotton swabs
And make up is very basic, too.
- 1 eyebrow pencil
- 1 eyeliner
- 1 blush on
- 1 lipstick
- 1 two-way cake foundation/powder (in the handbag)
- 1 lip balm (in the handbag)
Electronics are mostly chargers, since we usually bring along the ipad, iphone, camera & laptop.
- 1 camera charger
- 1 laptop charger
- 1 cable charger for ipad/iphone
- 1 wall socket adapter
Don’t forget to pack up the gifts for the people you plan to meet there :)
Now that I have listed them all, it looks like I brought tons of stuff! But really, those things fit pretty easily in the grey suitcase. We still had quite a space after we put everything in. This way, we can still shop in the destination.
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