While I enjoy planning my trips, packing for it is definitely not my favorite. When I had no children, I could sappreciate to hastily pack a few things and leave. Now that I have to pack for all of us, it has become a tiresome and dull task. I carefully select every piece, one by one, favoring the lightweight and compact items.
Size and weight are an issue, thinking of transfers from one place to the other. One of us will have to carry our baby, while the other carries a backpack. The latter being too small to contain all items, we’ll take a mid-sized suitcase too. I managed to fit clothes and accessories for all three children in the suitcase.
My tips when packing for a long trip with children:
- I prepare a set of clothes for each for 7 consecutive days. On average, we wash clothes every 5 days, having 2 extra sets gives us some peace of mind. We’ll never be in desperate quest for laundry service in the middle of nowhere (I also pack some soap to quickly wash small items in a sink when needed).
- I prefer versatile items: sandals that are comfortable enough to be used both at the beach and on short hikes, compact rain jackets that easily fit into a backpack…
- I separate items in smaller bags: boy’s trousers in one, girl’s underwear in the other. I can always quickly and easily find back the piece of clothes I am looking for.
- I keep a detailed list of all objects that I have already packed. It helps me quickly check if I have packed enough or if I am missing essential items. Most importantly, it helps me - during a final check - remove articles that are redundant or unnecessary.
- I put extra care in packing pharmacy items. The places we visit are hardly remote enough that we can’t buy an extra pair of shoes or a sun hat locally. This doesn’t apply to drugs. As opposed to food, we are not so keen on tasting local medicine and always carry our own pharmacy.
- My children have their own backpack, in which they carry their favorite toy (strictly one piece each!), a small notebook and some coloring pens.