Quick Tips for Packing Light & Traveling with Baby
We are set to hit the friendly skies tomorrow. As I'm putting together the last minutes touches for our 4 month trip, I wanted to give some quick insight into how to pack light. After many trips of over packing and lugging my giant suitcases through the metros in Europe, I highly recommend following these tips so you don't learn the hard way like I have in the past (unless you like a serious workout on your travels).
1. Take only the essential items.
Break down what you actually NEED and know you will use. Leave behind everything that's a maybe or items that you can buy in your destination. As far as toileteries, I typically just bring my favorite face lotion and buy shampoo, conditioner, face wash and other items on the road. They have travel sizes everywhere, especially if you are only in locations for a short period of time. Or if you're staying longer like we are, buy a larger size to last you a month or so.
2. Color coordinate your clothing and utilize layers.
As far as clothing goes, I've found in the past that I only use a small fraction of what I actually bring. So pack lightly with clothing. And pack comfortably. I typically bring one jacket that will match with all my items, one very light sweater that can fit in my backpack (and double as a cover when breastfeeding on the plane). I typically pack 2-3 small piles of clothing that will fold nicely in the suitcase and coordinate my outfits so I can mix and match. I make sure I have one fancy-ish outfit for a nice dinner(s) out and the rest is comfy wear and a workout outfit or two. Shoes can be particularly heavy so I recommend bringing the least amount possible. On this trip, I'm bringing one pair of light heels, a light pair of walking shoes, one pair of sandals and I'll be wearing my heaviest workout shoes.
3. Heavy items go in carry-on, backpack or purse.
The biggest hurdle when packing everything into one suitcase for three people is the issue of weight. I tend to wear the heaviest clothing on the plane such as my jacket, jeans and workout shoes. And the heavier items such as our laptops, camera equipment, etc go into our backpacks. We also include our valuables in our carry ons. Don't want to take the chance of them loosing your valuables in the check in luggage.
Those are my three golden rules for traveling light on the luggage side. However, traveling with a child can present a new set of challenges when trying to pack light. We keep the baby items to a bare minimum and have found we only use a fraction of most baby items anyway, even at home. We do however have some must-haves for traveling with our little guy.
1. Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
This "Pack and Play" is fantastic! We literally take it everywhere (beach days, nighttime sleeping, etc) and wear it as a backpack. It's $209 on Amazon and worth every penny in use. It's easy for setup, takedown and travel.
2. Inglesina Fast Table Chair
This $69 portable high chair is the perfect travel item to bring with you on your travels with baby. Easy to use and hide away in your suitcase. Also available on Amazon.
3. Cosco Umbrella Stroller
We found this $20 item at Target a couple days before our trip to Mexico for New Years and it's been wonderful. Everett loves to face forward and watch all the action while we're walking the promenade in Playa del Carmen and it's very lightweight and easy to take anywhere.
4. Car Seat
This is the bulkies, heaviest baby item that we bring on the road with us. Luckily, most airlines check carseats (and strollers) in for you for free so we don't have to carry this around for very long when first arriving to the airport. Depending on your trip, you might want to rent a carseat with a car rental service. However, for us, we typically take car hires/Uber rides so we need to have Everett's car seat handy.
5. Baby Carrier (for those younger infants)
Having a carrier to wear Everett was crucial when he was younger. I needed to use my hands and he liked to be close to me. We won't be taking it on this long trip because he's getting older and too heavy but I highly recommend it when your babe is young.
6. YogaSleep GO Portable White Noise Sound Machine
We personally love this sound machine. We can hang it off the door in Everett's room wherever we travel and with a full charge, it works for 2-3 days depending on nap times and sleeping duration at night. You can get it on Amazon for $30.
7. Anmeate Baby Monitor
This is our travel video baby monitor. It's nothing very fancy but only $58 on Amazon and is very light to pack. We have a nicer one at home but it weighs far too much for the road and this Anmeate one works perfectly.
*One more travel tip for those with little ones... Feed them during takeoff and landings if you can. This allows their ears to pop more easily while they adjust to the differences in cabin pressure. Our amazing chiropractor gave us this tip and we're never had a crying baby for takeoffs and landings. Happy baby = happy parents = happy fellow travelers.
Hope you all found these tips helpful! Looking forward to sharing more travel insights with you as we go. I'm sure we'll have lots of trials and errors on this trip that everyone can learn from! Haha.
Bonne Chance Fellow Travelers!