How I Pack For A Trip!


, How I Pack For A Trip!

Today’s post is all about how I pack for a trip!

Now, I did not plan on this post when we were actually packing for our trip or else I would have taken pictures of our suitcases all open and easy to see so that you could have a visual.  This post came to be because after our most recent vacation, when I started posting these pictures…

, How I Pack For A Trip!

…of rain boots and umbrellas, suddenly, many of you wanted to know “how I pack for a trip?”.  So today, I’m sharing.

Not to brag or anything, but I think I have pretty darn good system :).  It works for families of all sizes, any number of suitcases and any sort of destination…and it’s not Earth-shattering, so perhaps many of you do it too!

***Side Note***

When we travel for shorter trips like this…

, How I Pack For A Trip!

Kensington and me heading to Boston, we only carry on.  Let’s face it, life is just easier when you carry on.

But sometimes, you have to pack suitcases and when we do, this is our system.

1. Make a list.  I know this probably sounds silly, but a good list makes all the difference in the world.  I include everything from socks to undies to phone cords, magazines, soap and more.  I put everything on my list.

2. When I’m ready to start packing, I put everyone’s things out on their bed (Andrew puts his own stuff out, I don’t select his things but he puts them out next to mine so that we can see it all).

3. Once everyone’s things are out on their bed (every single thing they’ll need for the trip), I double-check it all and then carry it down (using an empty laundry basket) to my room so that everything we need for the trip is in one central spot.

4. Next, I look at everything and determine how many suitcases we’ll need.  This varies.  On our last trip, we were gone 11 days, so we took four suitcases for five people to be gone 11 days (this left us a little extra room for souvenirs to bring home).

5. Next, we bring in the suitcases and open them up in my room…and then, the magic starts :).

6. We pack each suitcase by the day on our trip, so for this last trip, in one suitcase was everything we needed for days 1-3 (and then in another was days 4-6, and then 7-9 and then 10 & 11).  Basically, this means a fourth of everyone’s things are in each suitcase, right?  So…what if the airline loses a suitcase?  Then everyone loses a fourth of their stuff but at the same time, everyone still has 3/4 of their stuff and no one is completely without.  This also means that when we get to our destination, we only open one suitcase at a time (and stow the other ones).  When that suitcase is empty, then that’s where dirty clothes go and you open the next suitcase.  When I’m traveling with my family, the last thing I want is to open every suitcase in our hotel room and start rifling through everything at once.  If we were traveling for a shorter amount of time, we might need fewer suitcases, so in that instance, we would maybe divide things in half…either way, we’re keeping it divided up and organized.

7. A lot of people wanted to know about the Wellies and umbrellas.  We always check the weather very carefully before we go.  It’s as simple as that!  We knew there was a chance of rain on a few days, so we packed this stuff.  In this instance (since Wellies are so heavy and we didn’t know in advance exactly which days it was going to rain), we divided the Wellies and umbrellas between the suitcases to distribute the weight.


, How I Pack For A Trip!

As far as carry-on luggage goes, each of our kiddos are allowed to bring one bag that they have to keep up with.  I pretty much let them pack whatever they want in that bag (I always check it before we leave to make sure everything is TSA approved) and they just know that it is their responsibility to hang on to it.


, How I Pack For A Trip!

For the most part, our trips aren’t long enough to warrant laundry needing to be done while we’re there…but sometimes, we do have to do a bit of laundry while away.  This was especially true in China.  (To see my Adoption Packing List post, click HERE.)


, How I Pack For A Trip!

That’s it.  It’s nothing fancy, not complicated or tricky.  I like to have everything we’re taking in one space so that I can see it all at one time (this also helps me determine if I need to weed things out because if it looks full in my bedroom, it’s going to be really full in a hotel room).  Here are just a few other random tips I’ve learned over the years:

1. Bring as many disposable things as you can.  I like to come home with as few bathroom products (shampoos/soaps/razors/lotions) as possible.

2. You can never have too many baggies (in gallon and sandwich sizes) and trash bags.  They’re great for leaking bottles, corralling smaller items, holding dirty clothes, etc.

3. Go to the dollar aisle at Target for all of your beach needs and then leave them behind.  There’s nothing worse than having to spend a fortune on a resort beach bucket when you and I both know you can get a similar one at the store for a buck…plus, they’re typically all sandy/gritty/dirty/grimy, so it’s no big deal to toss it when it only cost you a $1.

4. Bring along an inexpensive tote that you can pack up in your suitcase and pull out and use in case you need a second carry-on bag, a beach bag, an extra diaper bag, etc.

5. Divide out everyone’s shoes between your bags to distribute weight.  We each brought about four pairs of shoes on this last trip, so it worked out beautifully that every suitcase had one pair of everyone’s shoes in it.  That distributed the weight and it gave us all shoes in the event that a suitcase was lost at the airport.

That’s it!  Those are my tips friends!  Please, please, please share your tips today too!  I know you ladies probably have a lot of great advice and super fun tips about packing and traveling.  Please comment and share!

And don’t forget, you can see all of our travel posts in one place now, right HERE.

, How I Pack For A Trip!

Have a blessed Tuesday!  Don’t forget that tomorrow is STRANDED!  The theme tomorrow is What three famous people would you like to be stranded with on a deserted island?

Don’t forget to blog and link up!

, How I Pack For A Trip!
  • Eileen July 12, 2016 at 5:07 am

    After a bad experience where all of my tops ended up in one suitcase and all of my bottoms in another, and then one suitcase got lost, I always pack by outfit now. We do the exact same thing for packing – everything we need to bring goes on my bed, and everyone’s clothes are packed by outfit and grouped together by day. It makes getting ready each morning SO much easier, and you don’t have to worry if a bag is lost! We also only bring toiletries that we can toss at the end of the trip. If I notice our toothpaste tube is getting low at home, I’ll put it aside to bring on our next trip so we can throw it out at the end. We also all wear our heaviest or bulkiest shoes on the plane (usually sneakers) and if we’re bringing a sweatshirt or jacket, we wear that on the plane too. Less to pack! Finally, I always pack one outfit for each person in our carry on for the plane. You never know if someone is going to get sick or spill something all over themselves – it’s always helpful to have something to change into.

  • Regine Karpel July 12, 2016 at 5:11 am

    Thank you.

  • Erika Slaughter July 12, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Some people might already be doing this but the Slaughters were not. It was earth shattering and made our last two trips WAY easier!!

  • Taeryn July 12, 2016 at 5:23 am

    I love the concept of packing in 3 day segments and have never thought of doing it that way! I have read that it’s a good idea to split things between cases in case some luggage goes missing but it always seemed like it would be chaotic to have everyone’s stuff mixed up! Do you split everyone’s toiletries between each bag ie every case has one set of toiletries? Do you put electronics that you need everyday into the first bag and then just keep them out the whole trip?
    Thanks for a great blog by the way! I live in London but find most of your posts suprisingly relevant to being a mom here in the UK too! Xxx

    • Mix and Match Mama July 12, 2016 at 5:35 am

      Typically, important toiletries (like makeup, toothbrushes and such) go in our carry on bags along with all electronics. We split up the other stuff between the suitcases (to distribute weight more than anything).

  • Anna Chock July 12, 2016 at 5:25 am

    I recently started using packing cubes…seriously why have I not been using them the last 20 years I’ve been traveling?! They keep items super organized, save a TON of room so I can pack additional very important items (shoes!), and it’s so easy to keep items that need laundering separate from those that are clean. I also slip a few dryer sheets in the cube(s) for laundry so it keeps the smell fresh in the entire suitcase. Great tips, Shay, and thanks for sharing as always!

    • Melanie July 12, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Ive never heard of a packing cube!

  • Sharon July 12, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Love this. My family of 4 is about to go to Ireland for 2 weeks. I bough packing cubes thinking this was going to help stay organized…. I may just ‘steal” your idea of packing by days. Thank you!

  • jamie July 12, 2016 at 5:50 am

    what fantastic ideas! the only thing i wondered is: do you ever think in your head “i want the cute outfit i packed in suitcase four….” when you’re only on suitcase number one? we don’t travel much, sadly, but this was so informative and i’m absolutely going to share your ideas!

    • Mix and Match Mama July 12, 2016 at 6:09 am

      Um, not really, but if I did, I would just open case four and grab it. Nothing should stand in the way of me and a cute outfit, right?! 😉

  • Emily Beaman July 12, 2016 at 6:10 am

    So glad you posted this! We are leaving Tuesday for 10 days with 2 babies under 2! Definitely taking this approach!

  • Sheaffer Sims July 12, 2016 at 6:11 am

    So, I’m the worst packer EVER. I seriously take extra clothes to the ranch “because I don’t know what crummy t-shirt I might want to wear”, so this post fascinates me. Such good tips!

  • Deanna July 12, 2016 at 6:12 am

    I considered myself a very organized packer, but this post was a game changer for me! Fantastic advice; thank you!

  • Lizzi Galland July 12, 2016 at 6:26 am

    This is great packing by day! We just recently went on a trip where we changed hotels frequently and it would have been way better to open one suitcase instead 4 and rummage through ????Now I know!

    Also I’m sure you have posted this… But what’s your favorite carry on bag?

  • Natalie July 12, 2016 at 6:35 am

    This is genious! I am totally packing this way for our next trip. Thanks!

  • Narci Dreffs July 12, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Such great tips!! I’m doing this next time we fly!! So smart!

  • Sharon July 12, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I keep a bathroom bag packed and at the ready at all times. When I come home from a trip, I refill what is necessary so that it is ready to grab next time. Get duplicates of the items you need for the bathroom and packed in its own bag.
    If we are travelling by car I also have an overnight bag packed for late night, one night enroute hotel stops. That way we don’t have to unload the whole car and bring in bulky suitcases. One bag that holds the bathroom bag, pajamas and the next days clothes.
    I have also started using packing cubes – love them. I have always cross-packed suitcases for trips but love the idea of dividing by days – gonna try that next time.
    I travel for work and am gonna try that system within one suitcase with the use of my packing cubes. Each cube will hold a day – I think it will make my short evening and mornings in my hotel rooms way more efficient.

    • Katie C. July 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      I do the same thing with toiletries. I learned it from my pilot husband who has to always be ready to go at a moment’s notice. So I keep my toiletry bag packed with duplicates of what I use on a daily basis so I don’t have to pack them every time. #gamechanger

      A friend of mine recently suggested the app called “Packing.” It allows you to build and save packing lists based on where you are going.

  • Elizabeth Feldpausch July 12, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for sharing!!! After your recent trip I kept thinking about this and meant to ask! 🙂 id love to see a picture of a packed suitcase after your mext trip!

  • Beth July 12, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Shay, I am coming to San Antonio July 23-25 for a DCI competition. Any suggestion of what to wear on the day I have free? My first day I will be inside the Alamodome all day, so I figured I would need something to not get cold.
    Any suggestions of what myself and my 16 year old son should not miss on our one day? I am working on packing, and not sure what kind of bag to use on the plane. Obviously I don’t need to take much with me. Thanks in advance!

    • Mix and Match Mama July 12, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Oh goodness! It’s going to be HOT! Pack shorts, sandals and tees!

  • Alicia F July 12, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Oh, man. This is brilliant! My boys tend to dig through ALL their clothes and mix up the dirty clothes. Thank you. It is a great idea1

  • Marla July 12, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Dang! I always take too much (just in case I might need this) and it just goes in! I’ve never even thought of this ever?! Lol! I always wondered how you packed all that stuff for a trip!

  • Kelly July 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

    For the kids I have used gallon sized baggies to pack their clothes – a Baggie labeled for each day.
    I like your idea of separating suitcases based on days -it makes a lot of sense!

  • Emily July 12, 2016 at 7:49 am

    #6 about packing different days in different suitcases and only opening one at a time is BRILLIANT. Thank you! I will be incorporating this!

  • Kate Williams July 12, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Which travel stroller do you use and do you recommend it? Love the purple color! Thanks! ☺️

  • Kara Smith July 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Omg, I’m the worst packer. I always bring way too much so I found this so fascinating. Thanks for the tips. We have a weeklong trip coming up!

  • Heather Williams July 12, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I have traveled quite a bit for my job and one of my clients, suggested to me pillow packing. I have continued this method for my family of 3. I try to stick to a color theme and dress according to destination and plans… ( know weird, but it really works for the business traveler). I put my slacks, or jeans I lay one pair down and lay another pair on top and fold the bottom pants over the top its a layering process. For my tops, I lay my longs sleeves on the bottom and lay the rest of the shirts on top, then I fold the arms across one another and then I fold the bottom half of the shirts to the arms and lay them in the suit case on the pants or you can switch, the I have lots of room around the edges for shoes, umbrellas and bathroom and hair necessities.

  • Sarah Lewis July 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Such great tips! This would have helped so much at the beginning of June when we lost a bag for 2 days and i was in a wedding with nothing. 🙁 DEF using these tips!

  • Stacey W. July 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

    This was a great post! I don’t travel a ton, but I’ve never thought about splitting up everyone’s clothing by days instead of packing things by person.

  • Sharon July 12, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I always carry a change of clothes in my carry on. 2 of my last 3 trips involved cancelled flights and being stuck overnight without my luggage.

    Our family rule for carryons (and suitcases since the kids are older): You bag it, you drag it!

  • Melissa Sexton July 12, 2016 at 8:42 am

    My mother bought me the Joy Magano toiletry set a few Christmases ago. I didn’t use it for a full year until my husband a and I took a cruise last summer. It is awesome! It rolls into a normal train case size but has all these seperates zippered pouches inside. So I can take one pouch out for the shower, one pouch for my husband, one pouch for makeup, one pouch for kid’s stuff, etc. I always keep it packed and restock it at the end of any trip, so when it is time to pack, I just grab it and go! We even use the smaller pouches for electronics and jewelry! Love it!

  • Meredith July 12, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Great tips! I always use Pack-It cubes from the container store. They are the best! Also, I have a pair of pack able Hunter boots-they are lighter than the regular ones, they fold in half and come with a drawstring pouch. They look just like the normal heavy ones, so I use those for travel and leave the heavy ones at home.

  • Kristen Gerdel July 12, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Great tips! We are heading to Florida in a couple of weeks and I am going to use your packing method. Thank you.

  • Kristin July 12, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Love the idea of splitting everyone stuff up that way. We haven’t taken our kids on a plane yet but when we do, I will definitely remember this! One thing that has helped us is keeping our lists! We generally go to a couple places year after year so we keep the lists for our Branson trip, lake house trip etc and even tweek them year to year and then we have a pretty good idea of exactly what we will need or could do without. I also love to bring a large laundry bag and throw all of the laundry in that one bag and dump it directly into the laundry room when we get home. It makes unpacking so much faster. Thanks!

  • Darcy Sexson July 12, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Packing by day – such a game changer! Thanks for the advice! 🙂

  • Samantha Young July 12, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I had to laugh reading this post. I do the same thing lay out everything on my bed. Most of the time I am packing for work trips each week. I lay out each outfit on my bed complete with everything I need for that days outfits including jewelry. I always pack an umbrella & a very cool raincoat that folds up in a tiny bag (from Nordstrom’s). This system has saved me hundreds of dollars I used to spend running out to buy things I forgot to pack. I never have to scramble to find a mall except of course when I just WANT to shop! My last trick everyone should do is “ROLL YOUR CLOTHES YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW MUCH MORE YOU CAN FIT IN A SUITCASE”!

  • Melissa July 12, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Love that system! Especially if you are doing multiple locations over the course of a trip! I am also a HUGE fan of packing lists. My husband and I keep our varying lists in EverNote so we can go back and look at them when we are packing for the same or similar trip so we can remember what we had. I also try to add or delete stuff from the lists when we’re on the way home so I know what I might need or not need later on. All of that said, I went on a 40th birthday trip with my girlfriends last weekend and I packed a TON (still carry-on) and wore almost none of it! Hilarious! So different when you don’t have your kiddos along!

  • Meredith Lowery July 12, 2016 at 9:35 am

    This is great! Wish I would have known about this system when my daughters were younger. Not sure I can talk my 13 and 11 year old daughters into this now! Ha!Ha! My 13 year old spends A LOT of time making lists for packing and still overpacks. Well, we ALL overpack! 🙂

  • Ariadna July 12, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Packing by days is such a great idea!! We’re planning a family vacation for next spring and I have already started a packing list (my husband made fun of me when I told him), but I’m just so excited and I keep thinking of random things we’ll need since we’re going to Hawaii, I thought random stuff we don’t use like watershoes, rashguards, waterproof cameras and stuff like that. Plus, it’s helpful to me if I start looking for something now and keep my eye out for sales once the summer season ends. But I’ll keep this tip of packing for days, at least distribute our stuff evenly since we’ll be staying with friends, packing by days might not be necessary. Thanks for the great tips!!

  • Loren July 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

    THANK YOU for this post. I am going to use this packing strategy on our next trip!

  • Sandra Rosellini July 12, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? My husband & I have never shared a suitcase, but we will on our next trip! Thanks, Shay! Love your blog & all the pics of your precious family. How can you be all grown up! ????

  • Maria July 12, 2016 at 10:10 am

    What a great idea to put a little bit of everyone’s stuff in separate suitcases in case one gets lost, never thought of that!

    And on a completely random note (I don’t know if you’ve already done this), I would love to read a post about your thoughts on raising children, what kind of “methods” you’ve used over the years and so (sleep-training included!). Your kids seem very well behaved (from what we can see on the blog 😉 ) so that would be fun reading if you feel like sharing!

  • Jaren July 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Oh my gosh! This is excellent advice! We just went on an 11 day road trip and we seriously hauled every suitcase into every hotel room! Such a smart idea Shay!

  • Jana July 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

    You’ve definitely changed how I plan to pack on our next long trip. I haven’t flown with my kiddos yet, but I don’t think I would have thought to pack by “days.” I’ve always packed each person their own bags. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lynn July 12, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Any suggestions on what to bring for the kids to do while on the plane? We are traveling to Slovakia in 3 weeks and I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old (1st international trip for them).

  • Debbie Dunbar July 12, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I always make a list of everything and then check it off and lay everything out to pack similar to what you do but I have never thought of packing for groups of days. Genius! Thanks for a great, informative post!

  • Meg July 12, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Thank you for the tips…I think I’m going to try the different days in different suitcases on our next trip 🙂

    Question/request….would love to see your Nordstrom sale picks on this weeks Friday Favorites 😉

  • Danielle July 12, 2016 at 11:13 am

    When my daughter was young (3-7) she was VERY picky about what she wanted to wear would rip appart the suitcase getting what she wanted, wear it for 5 min and then change again… it was a mess. I started having her lay out her cloths (yes, even at 3- we did it together) for each day, pants, shorts, undies, socks, long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, and PJ’s for each day we were going to be gone. We would then roll everything up and put each “day” into a gallon sized ziplock. Each day of vacation she got to pick one bag for the day – at the end we just put the dirty clothes back into the bag and started fresh the next day. It really helped with all the battles – she got to feel like she had a choice in what she wore an I got to control the amount of clothing being used that day. A win win! Even now at 16 she still lays everything out for each day…

  • Kasey @ Working Mama Monologue July 12, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Great advice and great timing! We’re leaving for a 7 day Alaskan cruise next week. I’ve never been on an cruise, never been to Alaska and never traveled that far or that long with my 18 month old! Wish me luck! I’m worried about overpacking and suitcases taking up too much space in the tiny rooms on a ship but I also don’t want to run out of diapers! Any special advice for cruises? Thanks!

    • Crystal Young July 15, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Pack your suitcase and fill your wallet with money. Then, take out half the clothes and put in twice as much money and you’ll be set! Also, bring an over the door shoe holder to hold all your toiletry items on the bathroom door – storage is minimal.

  • Kari July 12, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    We travel a lot and only do carry on. Each of us, kids too, have a carry on and a day pack. We just returned from 15 days in 4 European countries with that setup–rain and cold to hot and muggy weather too. Laundry of underwear, socks and tees is easy to do along the way. Each trip we seem to take less and less as you learn what you really want. You’d be surprised how little you really do need and how much easier travel is without waiting for luggage to come out (the less time at LHR or CDG, the better); everything easily fits in a rental car/taxi, train travel is easy, walking from the train station or subway station to your destination is easy. We’ve had luggage delayed for days in the past and not just one bag, but it has always been all bags. And it is the pits. Having to take time out to shop for the family for toiletrees, clothes, underwear, basics is not fun. I agree though, lists are the be all, end all.

  • Mary Coltrin July 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    This is great advice. My only problem is with 6 kids we don’t have enough clothes for everyone to wear a new outfit each day if we are gone on a long trip. Just curious, have you ever lost a bag?

  • Genevieve Graham July 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Wow! I never thought to be so organized with packing. I can only imagine how difficult it must be when there are numerous little ones and so many days! really great post!

  • Mikala July 12, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I also love packing cubes! If I have shirts/pants that I don’t want wrinkled, I lay them out flat in a stack on the bed, and set a packing cube filled with underclothes in the middle and then wrap the shirts up around the cube so they don’t get creased! You can even put that ‘bundle’ into a bigger packing cube to secure it. I also always take an inexpensive pop-up mesh clothes hamper for dirty clothes so my family isn’t tempted to throw their dirty clothes on the floor. At the end of the trip, you can put the filled clothes hamper right into a suitcase. Thanks for the tips, Shay!!

  • Angela Ellingson July 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I LOVE these posts!!!

  • Cathy July 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    It always grosses me out to put shoes in with my clothes so a trip to the dollar store for shower caps to wrap around the bottom of shoes just seems a little more sanitary. Also, I always put all toiletries in zip lock bags in case they spill and it is so easy to just grab the bag and put it in the hotel bathroom. That way it’s all corralled and easy to find.

  • Cara July 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I love your tips! I knew there had to be an easier way. 🙂 Thank you!!

  • Natalie Clark July 12, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    This is GENIUS!! Now the issue will be getting my husband to think about packing more than 5 minutes before we leave, but I love it! I love the idea of dividing stuff up by day or when you need it. I just can’t stand when the suitcase explodes when you get there!

  • Ashley Whisenant July 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    We just got back from a cruise with our two year old, and we majorly over packed! I try to use the day method in my head, but I always end up throwing in extra for “just in case” moments. I will really have to try this next time. We also took 4 big suitcases for 3 people and we had to empty them ALL out on the first day. Great tips!

  • Chelsea @ SimplyChelseaBlog July 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    AH!! AMAZING tips! I always pack separate suitcases for everyone, but I am going to have to try to do it your way on our next trip! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Sarah July 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Oh my gosh, I wish you had posted this last week when I was packing for my trip! Because as I’m sitting in a Budapest hotel with my mom staring at three open suitcases, I’m thinking several of these tips might have been helpful … 🙂

  • Lydia July 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I always make sure to put a couple dryer sheets in my suitcases to avoid static and make my clothes smell fresh! 🙂

  • Shan July 12, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I love the tip about packing each suitcase by days and each persons belongings in that day, that’s genius !! I always pack (for a family of 4) each persons items in one case and then having to open them all in the hotel which barely ever have room for even 1 open case ! We’re headed to Niagara Falls this weekend for 3 days so will be testing this system for sure ! Thanks Shay 🙂

  • KimW July 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    LOVE these suggestions – especially to pack each suitcase with everyone’s stuff for a few days… Genius!!

  • Gina July 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Awesome advice! I love it. Also, loving your new website layout.

  • Jenny July 12, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I love using packing cubes!

  • Bethany July 13, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Love this!

  • Susan July 13, 2016 at 4:43 am

    I love that you divide outfits into suitcases so everyone has a few outfits in each suitcase! I will be doing this next time! Thanks! My favorite packing tip is this – I use all of my beauty/shower products until I have about a week’s worth of product left. Then I save those containers for vacations. I can use them up while on vacation and throw the bottles away before we come home – leaving room in the suitcases for the goodies we purchase!

  • Emily July 13, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Packing per days is genius! I’ve never had to pack so much but you can be when I have a family I’ll be using that tactic.

  • Michelle July 13, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Hi Shay, I love reading your travel posts and they have been really helpful in choosing destinations for our family. Are you able to link the places you have been in your travel agency section to your blog links on the trip you took to that location? I’ve often look at the list and wondered, what activities or places did they do in that location? Thank you for all the hard work you put into your blog, it is a favorite in a very small list!!

  • Linda July 13, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Whenever I pack for traveling I always have in mind what shorts and shirts go together or what jewelry I thought went with each the outfit. But when I get to our destination and start unpacking I sometimes forget what I had in mind for each outfit. Last year I laid out each outfit on my bed; shorts, shirt, or skirt and blouse or dress along with the sandals and corresponding jewelry and the specialty underwear if needed such as strapless bra or camisole. Then I took a picture of it with my iPhone. This saved so much time dressing each day. All I had to do was look at my pictures and I could put my outfits together in no time.

    Also here is a hint when traveling with infants. Lay out entire outfits for them as well including undershirts and socks. Then put the entire outfit in a 1 gallon plastic storage bag. It is so easy to grab a bag and know everything you need to change them into is in the bag. This is very helpful if Dad needs to dress the baby! Of course you will pack additional undershirts and socks just in case! This is also a good idea for packing a diaper bag. Just grab a plastic bag of clothes and drop it in the bag knowing everything is in it for a quick change if necessary!

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World July 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Shay, this is BRILLIANT! I have no idea why I’ve never thought of packing by the day instead of packing by the person. We will be trying this on our next trip for sure!

  • Katie Shira July 13, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I love this post! But I am curious as to what you do when it comes to car seats (especially when your kids were small). We travel a lot and want to continue traveling but have a 9 month old foster boy.

  • carol July 13, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    WOW…great tips.
    I am curious though….what size suit cases you used.. I am imagining the quite large variety. Which brings me to…how do you transport ALL the luggage, including stroller from luggage carousel to curb… you use carts, porters, several trips?

  • Bella July 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    This was so simple yet perfect! I feel like I need a holiday now to try it!

  • Laura July 13, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    This is brilliant. I think I’m the world’s worst packer. I’m really going to have to use so many of your ideas on my next trip. Last month I went to Maui and left half my clothes at home. Luckily you don’t need many clothes in Maui.

  • Maureen July 15, 2016 at 5:47 am

    We have also traveled a lot as a family of 5 (3 young kids 7, 5 , and under 2) and Most of our trips we plan to wear, wash (diy or send it out if cruising) and wear again to cut down on suitcases. It helps that my husband has crazy airline status so our bags can be much heavier than normal and still be free. Another commenter asked about managing the bags and our answer has been to rent carts when necessary but also to involve the kids. The oldest 2 have rolling duffles that they are responsible to get to the check in counter (in addition to their carry on). We just spent 2 weeks in Australia (we live in Hawaii so it’s just 10 hours from here) and used 4 suitcases for 5 people and that included all the diapers we needed for our entire trip.

    Also I can not recommend tsa pre check highly enough. It’s a game changer with small kids. Especially if you frequent a larger/busier airport or travel a lot around holidays.

  • Michelle July 15, 2016 at 6:48 am

    This is my favorite post ever! Thank you for the tips! Heading to Salt Lake City, Moab and Torrey with my little family next week, so this was perfect timing for me. I have a washing machine at our airbnb in Moab, so I am trying to pack as little as possible. My goal is 2 large suitcases for our family of 5. Kids are 8, 6, 3, and it’s going to be hot hot hot. Summer clothes are small, right? 😉
    I second some of the other commenters- is there or can there be a list of destinations so we can easily click and read about your trips? There is nothing better than a trip post from someone with kids- love the restaurant and activity ideas! And yes, your kids seem so behaved. Do you have tips for plane activities, what you do in restaurants, etc? How do you handle a meltdown on vacation? (or do your kids even have them?)
    Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for this awesome post!

  • Megan July 15, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Okay this is genius. I will be packing by days from now on. I seriously had never thought of this before!!!!! I feel like it’s a game changer!!

  • Holly July 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    On my 10-day trip to Rome last fall, I tried to bring clothes in a similar color scheme (black, white, red). Made it simple on choosing shoes, jewelry, etc and I could “mix and match” outfits as needed. Really reduced what I brought, which was good since I didn’t know if we would have access to washer/dryer.

  • Martta July 17, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Don’t forget compression bags! I fold up my dirty clothes sorting them into lights and darks and then crush them down to compact cubes for the trip home. Then when I walk in the door, I stop at the laundry room and just open up a cube or two and start a load in the laundry – already sorted!

  • Ruth F July 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    My 12 year old cousin came up with this one on her own (she may have a future in making lives easier)-she rolled each day’s outfits up together (bottoms and shirt), wrapped a rubber band around it, then put a Post-it note under the rubber band that said the day of the week. I thought that was genius for her age! Love all of your ideas!!

  • Aubrey July 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    I feel like I’m a professional packer, but I think this vacation was my best work. Fifteen days. Five people. Two suitcases. The girls each had a backpack for toys and books, but that is all! It worked perfectly even though you’re going to see all of us wearing the same outfit three times each! 🙂

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams July 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Loved reading about your system Shay! It makes so much sense 🙂 I’m trying to perfect my packing skills all the time because I don’t have children yet and I know it’ll only get harder ah! lol