The Secret of Packing for Travel with Kids: Versatile, Strategic, and Classy

The Secret of Packing for Travel with Kids: Versatile, Strategic, and Classy

The Secret of Packing for Travel with Kids: Versatile, Strategic, and Classy

Traveling can be one of the greatest joys in life. We want to share that experience with our young children. It just means more planning and thought put into packing for a variety of eventualities, while also keeping it compact and light. We have traveled to over 35+ different countries with multiple children and mastered the art of packing for anywhere from one night to 11 months. Here are a few tips that can make the process of packing and traveling easier. 

Versatile clothes that have multiple functions. My back up kids’ clothes are pajamas that can pass as outfits. The best options will be comfortable, with a minimalist style, and neutral colors. I prefer a 100% cotton long sleeve pant sets (shorts in the summer) in a simple navy blue or dark red.  If you want to live life on the edge, don’t pack backup clothes. However, we certainly don’t advise this. Kids are unpredictable and have accidents at all hours of the day. Being able to have a backup outfit that packs small and has multiple uses will help you out of any pinch. I like that they can function as backup cozy pajamas, a comfy plane outfit, or as a backup look entirely. 

Pack strategically using a travel square not by child, but by day. This makes getting clothes out in the morning much easier.  I fold the kids’ clothes in order of how to get dressed, so underwear on the top, next socks, shirt, bottoms. When we are traveling things can be more exciting and busier. Everyone wants to get out of the hotel early to have breakfast and explore. The excitement can make for more chaos. Having the travel squares ready to go saves time and headaches. Also, if we are staying in several different locations over the vacation, it is much easier to only pull out the colored packing squares we need for those few days. 

Keep it classy.  Having nice outfits while traveling is important to me for a few reasons. I don’t want to represent where I am from poorly. I want to be able to take photos for nice memories and not have my children look completely disheveled. Ok, I'll be honest, I also want lovely photos for social media. When you travel light, things tend to get dirty over the course of a fun day and there isn’t much to be done about it - everyone knows kids can be messy, right?! So, what does a “classy” outfit look like? Depends on your style. Dressing our children in three colors (red, white, and blue) has allowed me to keep things complimentary. I will always have a collared shirt for each child, for instance my daughter sports Peter pan collared shirts under her dresses. Basic slacks are a must (my oldest loves sweat pants and if he wears these, I find tight fitted ones nicer). Clean shoes are a must. In cooler months, I will pack the nicest sweaters we own because most often those will be worn to dinner, at the dirtiest point of our day, and seem to hold up the longest!   


Christine Russell Janis writes about life as a mom of four kids, living abroad, and travel on her life & style website You can also follow on social media @a.shade.of.rose.

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