Friday, July 4, 2014

Packed Up

This is how we packed for three people (One mom and two kids) for our one-month trip to Mexico.  I'm recording this more as a reference to learn from our mistakes for next time.  I'm sure I still managed to both overpack and forget things.  We will be staying at our home where there is laundry and a kitchen for making meals - but of course we are on vacation, so I don't want to be stuck doing laundry every day.  I'm hoping this packing job will allow for comfort balanced with manageability while traveling.  Also - packing cubes - where have you been all my life?  

Black Rolling Duffel Bag 1:

1.  Leo: packing cube containing 8 outfits.  Top and bottom rolled together.  Mix of pants/shorts and long/short sleeves.  
2.  Diapers: packing cube containing 10 cloth diapers.  Stuffed and ready to go.  With Zoe wearing gutchies half time this should be plenty - but I'm not above buying a pack of disposables if I can't stay on top of laundry.
3. Socks and Gutchies: packing cube containing 10 undies for each kid and 8 pairs of socks for each kid.
4.  Unmentionables: packing cube containing 4 pjs, 6 pairs of socks, 9 pairs of underwear and one spanx for mama.
5.  Mama: packing cube containing 4 outfits for mama, rolled individually.
6.  Support: packing cube containing nursing tanks and bras for mama.  

And here it is all packed up.  I love that I can take everything out to look for something and repack it in under two minutes.  

Black Rolling Duffel Bag 2:

1. Mama: packing cube containing three outfits for mama.  Notice I spread my clothes out over both suitcases...if one gets lost in transit I will have at least a couple things to wear.  The kids' clothes are a bit easier to replace, but now I'm wishing I'd done the same for them. 
2.  PJs: packing cube containing 6 pairs of pjs for each kid.  Long sleeves for cool nights.
3.  Zoe: packing cube containing 10 outfits for Zoe, including two dresses.  Zoe's clothes are the smallest - meaning I can fit more outfits into her cube.  This works out because she is also the messiest.
4.  Flip Flops: for mama
5.  Dresses: Two dresses for mama rolled into a small market bag.  We have larger versions of this bag in Mexico for shopping at the mercado and I thought the kids might like to have theirs. 
6.  Pool Ring: An inflatable pool ring that Zoe can sit inside.  I rolled it tight and stuffed it in a small cloth pouch (the kind Charlie's laundry detergent used to come in).
7.  Shoes: A pair of slippers for each kid (can't go barefoot EVER because of scorpions) and Zoe's sandals.  Each pair will be stuffed into one of the side pockets.
8.  Empty Bag: I stuffed this empty back into the bottom of this duffel just in case we need more room on the way home - or stuff seems to multiply during the trip.  

Here it is all packed up and on top I stuffed a flotation vest for Leo.  You know, because that's a good use of limited luggage space.  


I bought this backpack especially for this trip and I really love it.  You can't really see it in this picture, but it's a lovely blue with orange lining.  It is carryon size and fits SO. MUCH. STUFF.

1.  Ergo: Don't leave home without it.  I was surprised at how small it rolled up.
2.  Cardigans: One for each of us.  Good for cool evenings or cold airports.
3.  Toiletry Case: This deserves a post of it's own.  Seriously.  
4.  DVD player: To play DVDs that we may buy or borrow on my computer.  We don't have cable in Mexico and it will be nice to have some entertainment options.
5.  Laptop: with neoprene case.
6.  Sunshine: Packing cube with swimsuits and sunglasses for all of us and sun hats for the kids.
7.  Cords:  All our chargers and USBs.
8.  Change of Clothes: One fresh outfit for each of us - just in case we get stranded somewhere.  Oh the joys of flying standby.
9.  PJs: One pair of pjs for each of us - just in case of an unexpected overnight stay.  Plus laundry bags.
10.  Snacks: Trail mix, pretzels, peanut butter pouches, cheddar crackers, freeze dried fruit.  We could survive 48hrs on this.  I think this might have been excessive.  The cooler isn't necessary for the flight - but I thought it might be useful for day trips during our stay in Mexico.
11.  Collapsable Water Bottle: It doesn't take up any room when empty and is a lifesaver when finding drinkable water is a challenge.

Diaper Bag:

My two year old Skip*Hop messenger bag is beginning to come apart at the seams - but I think it had one good trip left in it.  We've worked this bag hard.  I love it because it easily hangs off the stroller handles and has lots of pockets. 

1.  Sunglasses: A second pair for each of us might have been excessive.  
2.  Diapers and wipes: four disposable diapers and a pack of disposable wipes in a cloth pouch.  I do feel like we are so close to being out of diapers that I don't want to ruin our streak of cloth diapering...but I'm done lugging dirty diapers over international borders.
3.  Wetbag: Just in case there is a need to quarantine clothes.
4.  Gum: In the least travel-friendly container ever.  Maybe I should dump it into a plastic baggie.
5.  Magazines: Real Simple and Living.  I am determined to read these at some point.  Determined, I say.
6.  Kindle:  Shows, games and books loaded for all of us.  
7.  Umbrella: Because it's rainy season!
8.  Outfit: A change of clothes for Zoe, because like I said: Messy.
9.  Headphones and emergency lollipops: I will bribe my children if it comes down to it. 
10.  Comb with baby hair ties, sanitizing wipes (more for surfaces than hands), headache medicine, pencil and a pen.

Kids' Bag:

The kids *can* carry this, but mostly it will be in the under carriage of the stroller.  

1. Stuffed Animal: One for each kid.  Leo obviously chose William Jess.
2.  Art Supplies: Crayons, clay, markers, and mini water paints.
3.  Memory: Matching tiles to play a game of memory with Leo.
4.  Notebooks:  One for each so they can keep their art to show dad when we get home.
5.  Books: A selection of lightweight books.  I hesitated to bring these since we have the kindle, but they just love flipping through books so much.
6.  Cars and Action Figures: They each got to choose one vehicle and three action figures.

And here is all is.  Thankfully my sister is traveling with us, because I'm not sure I could juggle it all on my own.  Am I forgetting anything major?  What should I have left behind?

Things I seriously entertained trying to bring with me:
  • Zoe's Life Vest: Much bulkier than Leo's.  My sister suggested I make her wear it on the plane since I couldn't fit it.
  • Yoga Mat: Because I might want to work out.
  • Picnic Blanket: We use it all the time!
  • Balance Bike: Because I'm coconuts.  


  1. tireegal7/06/2014

    You forgot to mention the double ? Stroller! What brand is it? You are a master packer! Just a question. Who duffle bags instead of suitcases? Gave a great time!!!

  2. Yes! The double (Maclaren) stroller is the lynchpin

  3. Tireegal7/06/2014

    We got that one too - off Craigs list. I thought I recognized it!

  4. Extra clothes in the carry on is super smart. We traveled a lot stanby as kids, and ended up wearing airport tshirt as Jammie's and dirty clothes the next day once- fun as a kid- but we always took clothes from then on :)

  5. A fellow stand by warrior! I try to never complain about stand by because it has allowed us to travel a lot more than we could have otherwise...but man. When other people complain about travel, I'm like, unless you fly stand by I don't want to hear it. It took us three days to get to Mexico! We were VERY glad to have a change of clothes.

  6. I love this post! I will definitely re-read this the next time I'm travelling:) I'm really impressed with your luggage for a whole month, you should have seen what I brought to Iceland this summer (but to be fair, I had to pack most of our winter gear as well as the summer outfits, since it's Iceland:)

  7. Sandra9/27/2014

    I love how you pack! I've been using packing cubes too and I could say that it made packing and unpacking really easy! What brand are you using? I have the ones by Dot&Dot. I got them from Amazon. Are yours one size or assorted sizes?

  8. I also got ours on Amazon. We got some ebags ones and some generic cheap ones. The ebags are clearly better quality, but I'm glad I got both just to have enough for big trips!