Back in 2013, we went to Arizona for a family vacation. At the time we were a family of three with another one on the way. I shared how I packed for this flight with the three of us and two carry-on bags. I figured I would re-share my packing tips with you all, seeing as holiday traveling is right around the corner! Hope you enjoy this blast from the past!
In July 2013, we went to Arizona for a family vacay. It was such a perfect time to get away from the Midwest because the weather was being so touchy. It was about 105 degrees in Arizona during the day but around 80 at night, which was perfect! So about a week before the trip, I began thinking about packing. We decided that between the three of us we would only bring two carry-on size suitcases, the Hubs’ golf clubs in a checked bag, one large diaper bag and the stroller.
Once I figured out which suitcases would be the largest but still considered carry-on size, I began making my lists. Crazy puppy stayed at my in-laws so I had to pack a few things to keep him occupied for the week!
On my lists, I write everything for each individual person who I am packing for. Each person gets their own sticky note with every single thing they could need, including chargers, shoes, toiletries and outfits. I counted out how many naps the little man would take and packed 5 extra overnight diapers, just to be safe. I also took mesh garment bags that you put in the wash to hold our socks and undergarments. It’s so much easier traveling with your socks all together and not scattered all over the suitcase.
I started with my list. I gathered up all of my clothes and made sure I had enough outfits for the weather. I laid them out on the bed to make sure I had everything I needed. I always find it easier to see everything then pack, rather than pack as you pull things out for the vacation. This way, I can get rid of items that do not work with outfits I have already put together! I made sure I had every single outfit planned. I know this seems excessive, but then I am not packing more than I need to. I then pulled the outfit I would wear on the plane and set that aside so I didn’t pack it.
Like I always do, I took the bigger items such as pants and sweaters and rolled them and lined the bottom of the suitcase with my larger clothes. This makes up the bottom layer of the suitcase. I made sure I pushed everything in there nice and tight to get as much room on the bottom layer of the suitcase as possible. This also helps with reducing wrinkles in your clothes if you make sure they are rolled smoothly. I didn’t have any dressy tops or pants, but if I did, I would get a garbage bag or dry cleaner bag and roll the clothing item in that bag. If you get all the air out, you won’t get any wrinkles in your clothes! I learned that trick from my grandmother, who only packed her clothes in bags.
Next, I put all the smaller items such as tank tops and my swim suits in the suitcase. I made sure to roll all the smaller items and squish them in there so that my clothes only took up one layer in the suitcase.
Then I packed the little man’s things. Again, I laid everything out on the bed before packing. I wanted to make sure I had enough of everything for him. I made sure I packed two hats, swim trunks and swim top, t-shirts, shorts, long-sleeved tops, long pants, pajamas, sleep sacks, socks, shoes,his sheets for this crib, diapers, overnight diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, plates, spoons, and a sweatshirt. I know we would have a washer and dryer at my parent’s place, but I felt it better to be safe than sorry with his things.
I took all of his clothes and rolled them all to make a second layer in the suitcase with my clothing. I left out his diapers, wipes, bottles and sheets. This suitcase had plastic zippers to hold items, so I used that to store extra formula, and our liquids, along with my undergarments.
Whenever I roll clothes, I start at the top and roll to the bottom of the shirt or pants. I find this easier when packing. I fold everything in half and then roll the clothes tightly. If I was packing a nice top or pants, I would put them in plastic first, then roll the clothing item in the plastic.
Finally, I took out the Hubs’ clothes and laid them on the bed. I started with his pants and shorts and rolled them up to make the bottom layer of the second suitcase. Then I took his shirts and rolled them up to create a second layer in the suitcase. Since he brought some polo shirts, I had to pack them so that they wouldn’t get wrinkled because I hate ironing. I made sure to fold the shirt into thirds, then I rolled them starting at the bottom of the shirt and rolling toward the collar. I have found this to be a better way to travel with polo shirts as the collar does not get bent out of shape.
I used the mesh part of the suitcase to store my shoes, diapers, bowls, spoons and bottles. We put the Hubs’ shoes in his golf bag.
Finally, I packed the remaining items for the baby in the suitcase. I stuffed the diapers in baggies between the hubby’s clothes. I put the chargers in the top mesh part of the suitcase, along with the little man’s socks.
In the diaper bag, I had a bottle cooler with pre-made bottles of formula, LOTS of diapers, wipes, some toys, my iPad and a changing pad. One of my girlfriends recommended a changing pad with a strap on it so it makes it more manageable to carry to the bathroom. This worked wonders, seeing as the little man only slept for 40 minutes of the three and a half hour flight!
I can say that by making the lists and laying everything out really helped keep us organized. The only problem we ran into was that I didn’t drive to the airport. If I would have driven, we would have had a key to my parents’ place once we got to Arizona! It was the one thing I left off my list. Trust me, I will never forget something like that again! I definitely learned my lesson. EVERYTHING goes on the list!