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:

  • ipad
  • laptop
  • camera
  • our jackets/cardigans (3 pieces)
  • a pen
  • iphone
  • wallet
  • documents (travel insurance, vaccination certificate, etc)
  • keys
  • sunglasses
  • maps & guides
  • money belt


My handbag contains:

  • tickets & passports
  • pen
  • super large scarf (aina uses it as a blanket in the plane)
  • lipbalm (lips get dry in the plane)
  • iphone
  • portable charger for iphone & ipad
  • extra battery for the camera
  • band-aids
  • wallet
  • keys
  • sunglasses
  • portable hairbrush
  • tissues (wet and dry)
  • notebook/sketchpad

Aina's backpack:

  •  snowy
  • her toys
  • notebook/sketchpad
  • pens, markers, color pencils
  • sunglasses
  • hat

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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  1. avatar
    Anggie May 3, 2012 11:44 am

    Noted.... :D

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    Desy Wulansari May 1, 2012 4:30 pm

    Very very useful. Emang praktis kalo cuma 1 suitcase ya. Kalo kami (saya+suami+1 toddler) biasanya masing-masing orang 1 suitcase + 1 hand carry..dengan janji masing-masing kudu responsible bawaan sendiri, tapi tetep aja ujung-ujungnya saya yang paling repot ngaturnya.

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    aniwul April 25, 2012 5:33 pm

    Makasih ya nom buat masukannya..ehmm tp mau nambah nih :p pgn tanya2 soal BLW boleh ngga?? Hee maaf mlh jd melenceng :d

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      thalia kamarga April 26, 2012 12:55 am

      hehe, boleh dooong! tapi daripada bahasnya disini, mending disini aja: http://theurbanmama.com/forum/topic346-mpasimpasu-babyled-weaning.html

      udah rame yang cerita2 ttg BLW disitu :)

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    keke alexa April 25, 2012 11:07 am

    wahh pas banget,sabtu mau ke anyer jd bisa sekalian ceki2 sapa tau ada yg kelupaan....kalau aku krn anak dua, jd bawa dua koper mini, 1 buat aku + suami n 1 koper buat anak2...dan setiap travelling aku biasa bawa underware sekali pakai buat aku dan suami...lumayan ngurang2in pakaian kotor hehe

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      thalia kamarga April 26, 2012 12:56 am

      wah, light traveler juga nih! aku malah blum pernah nyoba underware sekali pakai... enak ya? kok aku parno sobek ya? haha.

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    aniwul April 25, 2012 7:38 am

    Hai mama aina..salam kenal ya..artikel nya mencerahkan kegalauan saya hehe..selama ini bawaannya banyaaaaakkkkk (anak br 1 -_-)
    Mau tanya mom, bole yaaaa..hehe..baju2 aina di atas udah termasuk bj tidur kah? Trus kl cuci baju, biar cpt kering gmn ya? Kdg sy cuma nginep 1 mlm di 1 tmpt, bsknya uda melaju ke tujuan lain lg..trus2 soal makanan gmn yah? Anak sy (19m) so far masih mkn dg menu terpisah, jd bawaan peralatan mkn nya lmyn berat euy..mohon saran ya mom..makasih byk :)

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      thalia kamarga April 25, 2012 9:50 am

      iya, udah termasuk baju tidur. biasanya salah satu kaos dijadiin baju tidur (kalo dingin, salah satu tights juga).

      untuk jemuran biar cepet kering, kalo nginepnya di hotel yang ada ACnya, gampang. dijemurnya pas AC nyala. misalnya pas kalian lagi tidur di hotel. biasanya paginya udah kering.

      kalo makanan, hmm, kalo yang ini gimana ya? aina sistem makannya BLW dari 6 bulan sih, jadi makannya selalu bareng kita dan ga terpisah barang2nya. tpai mungkin bisa dikurangi aja yang ga terlalu perlu...

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