Travel test run number two

We are heading to California today for my brother’s wedding. I am using it as a way to test packing.

The kids and I are all using our new bags.  I am planning on checking two bags and using one as a carry on. So, the ones that are being checked I tried to pack as much as I could into them. Originally I had started out with the three bags and a travel tote bag but then I had a realization that I could fit everything that I had in the carry on into one of the other bags, and move some of the stuff that I did not need in a carry on from that bag into another bag. That seemed to work perfect and it is one less bag to keep track of.

I packed stuff I wanted to test out. I bought two large size travel towels. They really don’t take up much space in the bag. I am also planning to use one as a blanket on the plane since I get cold.  I also packed the camera and mini-tripod to see how that works. I packed my daughter’s binoculars as I plan to bring them to the big trip and wanted to make sure they would fit. The only thing I did not pack that I wanted to pack was my daughter’s camera…it is slightly on the large side but I am confident I have enough space.

I am trying out a new black fleece that I bought two months ago. I wanted a jacket that I could wear under a shell, but I also wanted something that was dressier than my normal fleece. So I will see if I like it. Hopefully I do as it will be my essential piece for my luggage this summer.

One thing I realized while I was packing for this trip is that I need more packing cubes. I love those things. They are so convenient and I recommend them especially for little items. Granted you could use ziplock bags but the cubes are so convenient.

I am also NOT going to be packing our snow pants. You can rent them at ski resorts in New Zealand and we will only ski once. They will take up too much space in our bags to only wear once. When I pack in a couple of months I will have to reread this post and remind myself NOT to pack them.

So, we shall see how the next five days go and what my thoughts are after that.

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Packing for a trip to the grandparents

We visited my parents this past weekend. I decided to use it as a chance to see if I could pack two of us into one carry on. I managed to pack three of us into a carry on. I also managed to pack an extra pair of shoes for everyone too 🙂

For the kids I packed two pairs of convertible pants and one pair of shorts. They wore jeans to my parents house. One thing I did not pack enough of was underwear. One of my kids was having some issues and we actually ended up buying some more. It taught me to always pack two more than we think we will need and that worse case we can always buy anything that we need or forget.

How did I pack three of us in one bag? I used Eagle Creek packing cubes. I am a huge fan of these now. They help keep my luggage organized and I know where everything is. Each of us got two cubes. One for shirts/pants/pajamas and one for socks and underwear. This was great because then once we got to my parents I could easily divvy up the suitcase contents to each person. Also as the weekend continued I could make one packing cube for dirty clothes and one for clean clothes (side note:unfolded clothes take up more space – you may want to consider folding your dirty laundry).

So now I know that going to Europe with only two carry ons for clothes is manageable. Our goal is to only bring three bags with us for four people. I know the week before we go I will have my husband help me pack so that I don’t go overboard and try to bring more than is necessary.



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Packing light on a visit to the grandparents

We visited my parents for Easter. My goal was to pack for three of us in two suitcases. When we head to Europe we are trying to pack for four only using two suitcases, so I was seeing if this is something even obtainable. I was able to fit everything in two suitcases and I am confident we can do it for Europe now. Also, I did not bring my kids pillow pets or blankets with us. Both of them managed just fine.

So, between two suitcases I was able to pack running gear for myself, laptop, various electrical cords, church clothes for everyone, pajamas, pants, sweatshirts, etc. I needed to do laundry one night but that was okay because that is what we will need to do in Europe. Another benefit of packing light – I had fewer clothes to put away when we got home.

So, these are the things I have decided on so far for packing for the kids:
1. No swimsuits –> I think only one place we will be staying at will have a pool. And I don’t think we will even have time to swim in the pool because of the amount of sightseeing we will be doing.
2. Everyone gets to bring with them 3 pairs of pants/shorts. I figure we will all wear jeans on the plane. Then in the luggage the kids will have two pairs of pants and one pair of shorts. The pants I got them for the trip have the legs that zip off. That way they now have two more pairs of shorts if needed. For myself I am wearing my jeans and packing two pairs of capris and one pair of shorts. I refuse to allow myself more than that. So each of us will have four pairs of pants which should be enough between laundry days.

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The kid’s luggage

We took the kids to Arizona and New Mexico last year. We did not plan on checking bags. As a result, we wanted the kids to each have a bag that was not too big and that they could handle. We discovered the REI Wheelie Bags. These bags are perfect for kids!


The bags are big enough to fit plenty of clothes in. They have a large compartment and two separate compartments. One compartment I typically use to store socks/underwear/swimsuits. The other compartment is smaller but I can still store a stuffed animal or a small pillow pet. Additionally, the bags also have a small book bag that can be disconnected from the larger suitcase. This is great as a carry on for an airplane. Finally, the bags are on wheels. Last year when my daughter was 3.5 she was able to handle her own luggage.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if we’ll be bringing these bags with us on our trip. We are really, really, really trying to pack light. I am hoping we will get all the clothes we need for four people in two suitcases. If we do that then my husband and I will bring our suitcases and the kids won’t have theirs.



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