Compact Yet Complete Packing List
- What: Packing plus one child
- When: Traveling
- Why: Carry less stuff, enjoy more
- Where: Away from home
I am so pleased with myself. I took only one kid (the novelty!) on a five hour plane trip for a long weekend, and got all our stuff, including gifts for the occasion, into one carry on bag.
We went with a stroller, JetKids Bedbox, my personal bag, and our roller board suitcase. I could’ve left the stroller and made it through the airport much simpler with only the Bedbox for transport, but we used the stroller at our destination every day. It also gave us early boarding privileges, which we only used on our departing flight (not by design, but details), so that helped.
Heading out, I ended up with the BedBox over my shoulder and my bag on my back because my son tired of pulling the BedBox along while seated in the stroller. That left me with three things – stroller, roller board suitcase, and Bedbox, and only two hands to hold them. I tried linking the BedBox to either the stroller or suitcase but found it easier to hitch over my shoulder.
I used two packing cubes, one for each of our clothes, and had room to spare in both. I had a bit of a hard time since our weather moved into fall and our destination certainly still remained firmly in summer temperatures, but I opted for layers for both of us (which also means we wore the bulkiest items). I took two pairs of shoes for each of us, one pair of sandals and one pair of solid walking shoes.
For my son, I packed pajamas, a swimsuit (which we didn’t end up using, but I’ve bought too many on other trips and have learned my lesson), a fleece for the cooler indoor temperatures resulting from air conditioning, two pairs of pants, two pairs of shorts, two long sleeved shirts (he hates sunscreen and prefers longer sleeves even in the summer), two short sleeved shirts, four pairs of socks, five pairs of underwear, and a hat.
For myself, I wore a denim jacket over a long sleeved t-shirt over a tank top and leggings with a good pair of walking shoes. I choose my Keens (KEEN Women’s Presidio MJ Shoe on Amazon) this time simply because I got sick of looking at my SeaVees (SeaVees Women’s Baja Slip-On Trina Turk also on Amazon) after our last multiple week trip only a couple weeks ago. I added a necklace and used my jacket for pockets, which I find indispensable when traveling. I tossed my regular purse into a bigger bag so I had extra room to pack things inside as needed but could still carry the bag as a backpack.
For clothes, I took one skirt, one pair of leggings that doubled as sleepwear, a tank to sleep in, my swimsuit, three pairs of socks (I wear sandals a lot), a dress, a tank top, a tunic length shirt, and a cover up long sleeved super lightweight shirt to provide extra sun protection. (That one can be worn two ways.) I washed all our clothes once after three days (the evening before returning), because we had been outside at a festival and gotten hot and sweaty all three days. We left Wednesday afternoon and returned Sunday evening, and it was such a pleasure flying with only one child after flying with all three for more than six years!
I put the usual stuff in our entertainment bag (coloring kit, headphones, Kindle, crayons, toy truck, and activity book) but ended up using very little of it. I also packed a sippy cup without a straw and a water bottle for myself, as well as bag of snacks and treats.
I checked my roller board for the return trip, because I didn’t want to have the hassle of carrying it onboard. That worked out, too, because I didn’t care as much if the airline lost my luggage, whereas on the way I wanted all our clothes and belongings to be sure to arrive with us. I did, however, remove one full set of clothing for each of us and stow it in the BedBox underneath the mattress and other things in case of any unforeseen circumstances. (Ever had a kid vomit on a plane? You want fresh clothes. Also, if you land somewhere other than your intended destination, a full set can often get you through until they reunite you with your luggage.)