Packing Hacks for Traveling With Kids - Top 10 Tips

Travel2 years ago
Luggage in an airport

When traveling with children, either down the street or across the globe, there are always going to be a surprising number of items you are going to have to bring with you. And if you are looking to make the most of the space in your suitcases and carry-on, it can be a struggle trying to pare down your luggage to the bare essentials.

After you have packed all the necessary gear, clothing items and toys for your children, you may find that you need to take several more suitcases than you had hoped.

However, there are ways you can streamline your travel packing to save space in your luggage and still ensure that you have all the essentials for your children when you arrive at your vacation spot. Read below to discover our Top Ten Travel Packing Hacks for Travelling with Children


Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Experienced Users

Intro offer

60,000 Points

Annual Fee


Recommended Credit


60,000 Points

Chase Sapphire Reserve.png


Top Ten Travel Packing Hacks for Travelling with Children

Before you begin following our tips on packing for children, take the time to take a look at your own packing choices.

Are there any heavy items you could happily do without for the week or two you are away?

Can any of your items perform double duty to create more empty spaces in your suitcase?

Does your hotel offer laundry facilities? If so, you could consider cutting down on the number of clothes you are packing.


Plan All Your Children's Outfits Ahead of Time

Rather than simply packing up a random amount of clothing items, lay out your children's outfits for each day you'll be away. This way you'll be sure that you bring enough of each clothing item and don't end up packing extra clothes which don't get worn on the trip at all.

Make sure you think about practicality and pick comfortable shoes for your children that they can wear on multiple days.


What Items Are Already Available at your Destination?

If you are staying at a hotel or Airbnb, check out which items are available to use when you arrive. Most hotels will have cribs and may also have other items such as high chairs, changing tables and booster seats.

If you are visiting friends or family who also have children, ask which items are there that your children can share.


Does Your Hotel Have Laundry Facilities?

If you are staying at your hotel or rental home for an extended period, make sure to check out if there are any laundry facilities available. Some hotels will have laundry service and if you are renting an Airbnb, they may have a washer and dryer. Washing your clothes while you are away will cut down on the number of outfits you need to pack.

Picture of the inside a persons luggage


Which Low-Cost Items Can Be Purchased When You Arrive?

Although you will need to pack clothes and toys in your suitcases and enough toiletries to cover your travel time, you can easily head into a store once you arrive at your destination to buy other items once you arrive. If you aren't going to be there very long, you can buy small or sample packs which will be used up by the time your trip is over.


Only Pack Items That Are Truly Necessary

In an ideal world, parents would be able to bring every item they might possibly need and are used to having close to hand. But when it comes to packing for traveling with children, think about which unwieldy items you could do without. A stroller may be convenient for moving through the airport, but could a carrier serve the same purpose while taking up much less space?


Make the Most of Multi-Purpose Items

One of the most effective packing hacks for traveling is to start thinking about which items can serve multiple purposes and make it easy to leave other items behind. For example, a blanket can be used as a comfort blanket while you travel and to keep your child warm in the evenings once you arrive.


Create a Shared Toiletries and First Aid Bag

There is no sense in one household bringing three different sets of shower gel and shampoo. So, pool all the family toiletries in one toiletries bag to ensure that you are not doubling up and bringing along unnecessary items. The same goes for first-aid items and sun lotion.


Give Older Children a Packing Limit

If your children are old enough to pack for themselves, then make sure to set them clear limits. So, once their bag, backpack, or case is full then they won't be allowed to take any more items.

This will encourage your children to be selective about their choices. Always make sure to do a final check-through before you leave. You don't want to arrive halfway around the world and discover that you've brought a suitcase full of toys and nothing else!


Make Sure to Organize, Bag and Label Everything

One of the best travel packing hacks is to invest in some packing cubes or Ziplock bags. This will help with setting packing limits for older children and let you set limits for certain items, for example, one bag could be for toiletries, another for first-aid, and another for socks and underwear. If you are struggling to fit all the items in the allocated space, take everything out and think about what could sensibly be left behind.


Don't Pack for All Possible Weathers and Contingencies

One of the most difficult tips on packing for some to embrace is to disregard the idea that you need to bring coats and rainproof gear with you. Parents are used to making sure they are prepared for all contingencies when it comes to their children, but you may need to loosen the reins a little if you want to make your packing weight limit.

If you are heading to a location that is generally expected to be sunny, leave the raincoats behind. If you do meet unseasonable downpours, you can always buy inexpensive rain ponchos at your location.


Summary: Packing Hacks for Travelling with Kids - Top 10 Tips

When it comes to packing hacks for traveling with kids, discipline is key. You need to be strict with yourself, follow our tips on packing, and assess each item before you put it into your suitcase.

Is the item essential? Could another item you've already packed serve the same purpose? Is it a cheap enough item to purchase when you arrive?

Follow our packing hacks for traveling with kids above, and you'll be surprised by how fewer bags and cases you will need to drag to the airport the next time you head out for a family vacation.

Luggage in an airport terminal