Organized Travel: Packing 3 kiddos into 1 suitcase

Jul 30

Today is a tough one for this mama. This morning my crew is on their way to California. For good. I can’t explain how surreal it was this morning, in the darkness of 5am, to say good-bye to each one of them. There were a lot of kisses and hugs. Mommy kept it together…Until. Until they drove away. Then the tears. Wow, was it hard to walk back into an empty, quiet house. A house full of their toys and treasures. I knew this day would arrive quickly and had been preparing myself emotionally for what feelings might pop up…but I wasn’t expecting it to hit me this hard. And not today. A day when the packers are here loading boxes.

Feel badly for them! oh, what they will see…ha!

Good thing there is a zillion things to keep my mind occupied. The thought of my kids going to grandma’s house and having a great time for the next 2 weeks is also what keeps me going.

Since I packed up my 3 kiddos yesterday for a 2 week stay at grandma’s house (and they are on my mind…And because organizing takes me to a happy place!), I thought this would be a good day to share exactly how I pack my kids for a trip. I’m pretty brutal when it comes to how much stuff i allow on any trip. And I always pack them into one suitcase.

Yes. Just one!

Now, it does help to have access to a washer and dryer when on an extended trip like this. I realize not everyone has the ability to do that on a trip with children (disneyworld, hotel living, etc), but whenever I travel with our kids, I limit the items and find a way to wash their clothing one time. This helps immensely with how much clothing I’ll pack for them.

For this 2-week trip, I packed each of them a few warm weather outfits and a few cold weather outfits. Along with the usual items like an extra pair of shoes and extra clean shirts. When I get their items pulled out, I use a large surface to spread out and make sure nothing is forgotten…

Our daughter…

Our oldest son…

Our middle son…

And it’s all going in here…

In the front zippered section of the suitcase, I pack our daughters pull-ups and wipes (we are heading into some serious potty training after the move!). When we need a clean bottom, easy to find these…

The inner zippered pocket of the suitcase top is loaded with the boy’s underwear and socks. That way we aren’t digging to find those small items…

Then I load in the clothing…

Ihe clothing is simply stacked neatly inside and then I fill in the gaps with items that are ok to be rolled up, like swim trunks…

Moving on to the middle section…

And the final section..

All 3 kiddos packed…

I split the suitcase into 3 sections so I know where to easily and quickly find each of their outfits. Outfits are bundled together; The shirt folded inside the bottoms. And hair clips are attached to each outfit for our daughter…

There’s even room for our daughter’s pool floatie, a plastic bag of sunblock and pool toys, and our oldest son’s baseball mitt, because of course he’s going to an angel’s game. Told you, we’ve got a future mike trout on our hands…

all packed!…

When it comes to their toiletries, they are also packed into one bag; 3 toothbrushes, 1 tube of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, bedhead spray, a brush, hair accessories for our daughter, and a few misc medicines. If you want to see a closer look into their toiletry bag, i talked about that here. This bag typically goes into my suitcase…

while I’m packing their clothing, I also lay out what they will be wearing the next day for the airplane/car….

This morning, they each hopped out of bed with excitement (airplane trip!), got dressed, grabbed their carry-on bags, and ran out the door. So much for missing mommy, right?!

That’s how I pack my kiddos into one bag, but i’m not the only organized packer out there. And I certainly could stand to learn some new tips. So I’ve tracked down some great packing tips for kids from around blog land to share with you!…Enjoy!

stress-free packing for kids by i love you more than carrots…

packing for trips by snapshots of a good life…
top tips for traveling with kids by a personal organizer…
packing for vacation with kids by shopathome.com…

 

how to pack for a trip with kids by stay at Home-ista…
printable packing lists by travel mamas…
packing list for big kids (6-8) by MiniTime…

packing by these four no more…

packing light for kids by HomeAway Community…

an effective and efficient packing system by faith, family, and fifty states…

5 great tips for packing with kids by forever organised…

and don’t forget, you only have 1 day left to enter this weeks giveaway for a fire-resistant safe from SentrySafe!!!…

click here to enter! winner is chosen tomorrow! 🙂

have a great day!

comments +

  1. jasi says:

    love this post. and it really speaks to me because my dad realized long ago that with a house full of girls he was going to be tugging luggage half of our trips. he made a harsh rule "only bring what you can carry" threatening that we each had to carry our own stuff. well, we learned space economy right quick and it stuck with us all our lives. have to say your post is awesome. and i'm eyeing those packing cubes on home-istas site. they look amazing!

  2. Ashley Paige says:

    hi samantha! thanks so much for including the link to my stress free packing for kids post! (i love you more than carrots!) i may have gone overboard with the zippies, but i swear it makes such a difference! safe travels to you! 😉 -AP

  3. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the inclusion of the post "Traveling with Kids"! I know how stressful moves and travel can be and here you are tackling both at once (and blogging! 😉 My kind of hero! Sending you my best wishes for you and your little ones of a safe move and a wonderful new beginning in your new home. Cheers, Helena (A Personal Organizer)

  4. Thank you for including the Travel Mamas printable packing lists in your post! You sure are one organized mama!

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