Friday, February 5, 2010

Organized Travel--Packing Tips

My family and I travel frequently and sometimes at the last moment! I have a system for making it easier and faster to pack for our family trips. Please keep in mind that my husband and I have two children, ages 9 and 1. Here are the things that I do to keep traveling organized:

  1. Luggage/bags: I keep our large luggage and travel bags in one spot in our basement. If you do not have a basement, store them anywhere you have extra space. Place smaller bags inside larger ones to take up less space. I keep our smaller weekend/overnight travel bags in our master bedroom closet. It makes it easy for last minute road trips.
  2. Childrens' Toiletries: For the children, I have a small basket with their travel needs in it. I put their things into a small, clear pouch. I try to use refillable, travel-size containers whenever possible. Some things I keep in the pouch are travel-size shampoo, body wash, body powder, vaseline, and diaper rash cream. I have a thermometer and medicine dropper in it as well. I also put any medicine in there that either of the boys may need. You never know when they can get sick! I try to always plan ahead!
  3. Adults' Toiletries: I do the same thing for us. I have travel necessities in a clear zip-lock bag. I usually end up bringing the large version of shampoo, etc. for us. For me it just seems easier, especially on longer trips.
  4. Childrens' Clothes: A few days before we leave, I check the weather to the destination that we are going. This helps me prepare what to pack. I lay the boys' clothing out by outfits into neat stacks. Each stack represents one day. I try to pack clothing that can mix with different outfits.
  5. Adults' Clothes: I am the worst at overpacking! I have learned now that traveling with children, I really needed to downsize my own clothing and shoes! Now I plan all my outfits, including shoes and jewerly, and lay them into neat stacks just like the boys' clothes. I try to stick to a similar color scheme with interchangable pieces for different outfits. This helps me to only pack a few pairs of shoes verses needing a separate piece of luggage just for my shoes! My husband seems to never overpack and usually takes up the least amount space of all of us!
  6. Misc.: About a week before we leave, I make a list of items that I can potentially forget. The day before we leave, I check off the items off my list. If they are not in the luggage, they go in a pile near the door. Items such as, passports, cell phone chargers, camera chargers, any documents needed, diaper bag, baby front carrier, etc. go in the pile near the door.

I am very organized, so usually finding things at the last minute are easy for me. I rarely forget anything! If you keep the travel items in the same area all the time, you will not have to search for anything. This makes last minute travel a breeze and not stressful at all! If you have any other tips you would like to share, please post a comment!


  1. We too travel quite frequently, however there are only the two of us with no children so that might make traveling a little easier. Every trip we make whether it is a short weekend getaway or a long vacation and whether it is by car or air, we usually do the same things with the house and pack the same things for clothing with a few alterations due to the destination. I have made an excel spreadsheet listing all of the things that need to be done. We check off items as they are completed and add items that might be unique to this trip. And since we live in an area that has hurricanes, we have a list that can be quickly printed out and completed when we are asked to evacuate.