people, kid, child

travel with young children – part 1 – packing tips and tricks

travelling with kids is always an adventure

For anyone who has kids or has ever travelled with kids, you know that it can be challenging at times, but also incredibly rewarding. If you are reading this because it will be your first trip with kids, I hope you find some of these suggestions useful and practical. I have put together a few tips and tricks that have helped me over the years. These are things that I have either read on other blogs or in magazine articles, advice I have received from other moms or things that I have discovered along the way on my own trips. Most of the advice is for longer trips and airplane travel, but can also be applied to short, weekend getaways as well.


Having kids means bringing lots more than just the basics you might be able to get away with as an adult. You always have to  be prepared for unexpected bathroom accidents, spilled food, carsickness, boredom, hunger, and the list goes on. I have to praise those parents who are able to keep their luggage to a minimum even when travelling with young children.

One of the absolute BEST investments we have made was to buy a children’s suitcase with four wheels that they can ride on. Although you might think that this type of suitcase will be bulky and heavy, the advantages that they bring, definitely outweigh any inconvenience. Plus, they are rectangular and quite compact so they can be rested on top of a normal suitcase when your child isn’t riding it. And, they fit perfectly in the overhead bins of airplanes or as a foot/leg rest in front of the child’s seat in a car or airplane. 

We bought our first one for my daughter when she was two and my son was still a baby. She absolutely loved being pulled through the airport on her tiger suitcase and we got from place to place much faster than we would have if she had had to walk. If you have two kids and you are travelling alone, this might not be an option, but if you have the option of putting one of your children in a carrier on your back or chest and pulling your other child along, it is a great solution.


Another advantage is that your child always has somewhere to sit. There have been times when we have waited in hour-long check-in lines at airports and the last thing you want is to have your kid sitting on the dirty airport floor or having to carry him/her the whole time. This is especially useful if you have more than one kid plus luggage. 

As your child gets older, having their own “fun” suitcase is a great incentive for them to want to pull or ride their suitcase through the airport on their own so you don’t have to carry it or pull it. It gives your child a sense of responsibility and freedom even from an early age. 

As this is the bag that will go everywhere with you, it is a good place to put the necessities for your kids. My kids sleep with a stuffed animal at night and it always goes in this suitcase to ensure that it arrives at our destination. I also always pack an extra change of clothes (usually two), their toothbrushes and toothpaste, pyjamas and diapers and wipes (if they are still using them). A trick I read about that I have found incredibly useful is to separate all the different outfits into medium/large plastic zip bags.  This is useful because it keeps everything compact and organized and if you do have some sort of an accident or spill, you have a plastic bag to put the dirty clothes in. 

what to pack

As I said before, I have to give credit to those parents who are able to “travel light” with kids. Learning what to pack for your specific needs can take a little bit of trial and error, and it will vary depending on your destination and the age of your child, but with each trip you take, you will have more of an idea of what you need and what you can probably leave at home.


As I said earlier, the kids suitcase with wheels has been a lifesaver for our family. We usually try to pack all of our main clothes and things into one large suitcase for the whole family (mom, dad and two kids) and then each of us has a carry-on item. The kids with their suitcases and dad with one backpack and mom with one suitcase on wheels. 

The way we manage to pack everything into one suitcase is by using packing cubes. If you haven’t heard of them yet, they are basically small individual bags that you pack your clothes into and put inside of your large suitcase. There are multiple sizes and specific bags for shoes, dirty laundry, etc.


I have invested in sets of different colours for our different family members so that I can arrange each person’s clothes into their colour and when we get to our destination, everyone can find their own clothes with very little effort.

Large or medium sized plastic zip bags also work really well for keeping clothes compact and organized, but you shouldn’t use this trick for anything that wrinkles easily. I usually use them for socks, undergarments and pyjamas.

You can also find videos on youtube about how to roll and fold your clothes to keep them more compact and save space.

I never run out of space anymore by using a combination of these three tricks, but I do manage to have overweight suitcases because these methods allow me to fit so much into one bag.

Those are all my packing tips and tricks, and I hope they help you on future trips. Stay tuned for my next post with more travel tips and tricks for hotel stays with children and plane travel with kids.

What do you think?

As always, I’m interested to hear what you think and to know if you have anything that helps you when travelling with young ones. Please leave me a comment below, message me on Instagram or leave a message here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *