Hand-picked clothes make the packing process easier.
The struggle is real.
Packing for kids is a time-consuming, perplexing activity. I get it.
My kids have been flying across the country since they were in the womb. When A1 was 10 months old, I was pregnant with A2, and we flew 13 hours to Taiwan—with Sophie the Giraffe.
Last year, we traveled with 2 kids under 2 to Key West.
And this past summer, I drove solo with them through Canada, to see my family in Michigan. (Rest stops with these guys are a great cardio workout.)
We all deserve a trophy, or at least an adult beverage, at the finish line.
Thankfully, my personal stylist at Runchkins helps me prepare for trips with a little grace. These hand-picked outfits come complete with accessories. There’s no better way to pack for family vacation!
As spring break approaches, I’m gathering all of my packing tips to make your trip as seamless and stress-free as possible. Remember to keep it simple, stay organized, and breathe. I often forget to do the latter, but the Corn King keeps me in check 😉
Cat’s Tips on Packing for Kids
- Pack light and plan to do laundry. This is the Corn King’s mantra.Most places have a washing machine (someone’s home, an Airbnb, or a hotel) so take advantage of it and pack accordingly.Warning: This scene is rated R for RETHINK what you’re packing. Carrying heavy suitcases when navigating your way in a new city will most likely result in scenes of strong and frequent language, inappropriate for children ☺
- Number of days x 1.5 = number of outfits to bring. I like this formula, derived from What’s Up Moms. It gives you just enough to get you through the trip without over packing for kids. Naturally, my kids love to get dirty. So it’s important to pack a little more than one outfit per day. This doesn’t include pajamas, which I figure by taking the number of vacation days, divided by 3.
- 2 Swim Suits. I pack 2 suits (including rashguards) for each child. That way, you always have one on hand, and brother doesn’t have to wear sister’s stuff to the pool if his suit needs to be washed.
- Double up on shoes. Shoes get lost and fall off. In California, we lost a Croc somewhere between the beach and lunch. Don’t get stuck on vacation shopping for shoes.To be efficient, pack one water-compatible pair and one casual pair. I adore the brown Shooshoos. They’re soft, breathable, great for everyday, but also can be worn with a dressier outfit.
- Stay organized. Many first time flyers with toddlers ask me for tips. I always tell them, “the more organized your bag, the easier your travel experience.”I’m a big fan ziplock bags to keep things in order, especially for items you want to be able to find right away.
- An extra change of clothes for you. While we’re on the subject of diaper bags or carry-ons, I tell moms to pack an extra change of clothing—for kid(s) AND you. Sitting in damp baby-throw-up (while experiencing morning sickness) is not my favorite travel moment. It’s even better when your husband likes to take photos of your misery.In addition, bring a poopy (plastic) bag for poopy clothes.
- Layer up. Pack clothes that are easy to mix and match, but most importantly, to layer. Have an extra hoodie or sweater for the kids to wear when the sun goes down.Your personal stylist will send you pieces that make this easy. Look what mine gave me:The Nano tiered dress is a great layering piece. A1 can wear it when it’s hot, or pair it with the Nano blush shirt, Jojo Maman Bebe white cardigan, or a denim jacket when it cools down.I’m also feeling the Frenchie grey cardigan for A2. The neutral color coordinates with all his vacation outfits—great for casual or dressed up!
- Buy when you get there. Don’t over pack on diapers, wipes, etc. Just bring enough to get you through 1.5 days. The rest can be collected after a quick stop to the drug store.
- “In case of emergency.” For the plane ride I like to have the following on hand, in addition to the usual diaper bag items:
Pacifier or something to suck on for landing. This helps with their ears. (A bottle also works, or use your breast if you’re nursing).
Sanitizing (toy) wipes.
Fully charged iPad with games or favorite videos downloaded.
A miniature wine bottle. Just kidding, kind of.
For long flights: Give your child a “surprise” every 1-2 hours that they are awake. Giving them something to look forward to keeps them occupied and passes the time. Try things like an empty plastic water bottle they can crunch with their hands, or a small toy or snack.
- The big stuff. Rent a car seat (Use those sanitizing wipes from your diaper bag before you put the babes in it), but bring a light stroller. It’s convenient to use through the airport, and then you can check it at the gate.Secondly, if you have a baby, use a baby carrier. It’s a life saver.
Safe travels, to you, my friends. Be safe, and have fun, in that order. But don’t forget to breathe.
Cheers to our successfully packed adventure, and to Runchkins who helped us get there!