Going away for the weekend can be very relaxing, or stressful if you have kids. Sometimes I look at my husband and ask him what’s the point. No seriously… what is the point? We load the car with so much stuff and we’re only gone for a night. With only two kids (and one of them unable to even walk yet) you’d think we were moving out. The amount of stuff is kinda insane. Pack and Play, toddler bed, diapers, food, toys, games, books, food, sippy cups, wet wipes, shoes, jackets, hats, more diapers… you get it, it’s so much and I haven’t even gotten to the clothing yet. (16 different changes of clothes for 2 days cause you never know if someone will have a blow out or throw up #momlife)

I’ve made it a goal of mine to try and simplify the process as much as possible. Less is more and that starts with your actual bags.
There is a lot you can’ avoid brining when traveling, like the pack and play or stroller, but you can reduce the amount of extra bags you have. I used to pack a bag a person, makes sense right? It actually makes things a lot messier.
It’s a lot easier to lug up 1 suitcase for the entire family vs. several little ones.

You may be wondering: But what about the essential items you need? Won’t it be hard to grab those if they are at the bottom of the one suitcase?
Good Point – I’ve got you covered.

I use a really versatile backpack as my diaper bag (I got mine from Mountain Equipment Co-op but any bag will do). First off, it’s a backpack so that leaves my hands free (key when you’ve got little kids). One tip is that the bag should have water bottle holders on the outside, a compartment for your stuff (wallet, papers, phone), and a separate compartment inside the main bag so that you can divides the diapers and wipes from everything else (easier to get at).

In the backpack itself, I have all the go-to essentials including these must items: Silicone Baby Bibs, Munchkin Paw Patrol Click Lock Insulated Straw Cup, change of clothes for the kids, breast feeing cover, diapers, wet wipes, “On The Go” Wet Bag (for anything that is nasty in the bag), hand sanitizer, hand cream/healing balm, snacks for everyone (think packaged stuff that has a long shelf life), baby food pouch, sunscreen, and anything else that I know i’ll need quickly. This ensures that at any pitstop, we have everything we need without having to open the larger suitcase.

When it comes to packing the main suitcase for the entire family, really focus on less is more. Try to limit shoes to 2 a person, and ideally you’re only putting one pair of shoes in the actual luggage cause they’ll be wearing one pair during travel time. Now ladies, I know this is a hard one, but you can do it!! Sandals which are good for walking around and the beach (think Birkenstocks) and then based on what you plan on doing a pair of nice shoes or a pair of running shoes. Remember LESS IS MORE! (For bigger trips maximum 3 pairs of shoes should donit – nice, sandals, runners)

So there you have it, your trunk will still be full… but at least it’s minimized. Based on our families needs, our weekend trip will consist of the following:

  • 1 Suitcase for entire family
  • 1 backpack with immediate needs (it’s in the car with me)
  • stroller
  • pack n play (all linens are packed inside it’s own bag)
  • Toddler bed (all linens are packed insides it’s own bag)
  • A beach bag with our towels and swimmers as we are spending the day at the beach before checking into our hotel.

And that’s it! (If you don’t have kids that seems like a lot, if you do… you know we just broke a record!!)

I hope this helps inspire you to minimize your stuff! Until next time!


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