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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

Fit Everything You Need in One Backpack!

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A common mistake a lot of parents make is overpacking for a family vacation. It's easy to pack things "just in case" you need them and to prepare for any and all emergencies. Take a step back and relax! In almost all cases, you'll be able to purchase those things when/if necessary.

If folded and packed correctly, each person should easily be able to fit all of their necessities for the trip in their own backpack. I've found packing cubes to be a game changer! I like to use the compression cubes from Eagle Creek. These cubes can compress after you fill them with clothes, making them slimmer, which ultimately leaves more room in your bag!

In the picture below, I show everything I packed for my son to embark on our round-the-world adventure. I have a week's worth of clothes, 3 pairs of shoes, swimsuit, special blankie, iPad, church clothes, and some legos! I packed this same amount of stuff for each of my three children! You can go to this blog post to see how I packed each of their backpacks! (You should know, though, that we have since purchased them mini suitcases. The backpacks were too hard for their little bodies to handle on some of our excursions.)


1. Large Compression Cube
2. Small Compression Cube
3. Small Waterproof Bag
4. Tortuga Daypack
5. 7 shirts
6. 6 Bottoms
7. Tennis Shoes
8. Sandals
9. Dress Shoes
10. Sweater
11. Church Clothes
12. 2 Pairs of Pajamas
13. Swimsuit
14. Underwear
15. Socks
16. LEGOS!
17. Blanket
18. iPad

- See more at:

Adults can do the same thing! I have my beloved Osprey Farpoint 40 for our world travels. In the picture below is everything I fit into my bag before we left! Notice the umbrella and sunhat! I thought I was packing only the necessities and guess how many times I needed those two things? Zero. I wore the sunhat a couple times to justify it taking space in my bag, but I finally tossed those two things and haven't missed them at all. I also tossed a pair of jeans. One pair of good jeans can go a long way. (They even become more comfortable the longer you go without washing them!)

1. Small Waterproof Bag
2. Hygiene Bag
3. Small Compression Cube
4. Large Compression Cube
5. Osprey Farpoint 40 (Size S/M)
6. 7 Shirts (2 long-sleeve, 5 short-sleeve)
7. 5 Pairs of Pants (2 jeans, 1 yoga, 2 sweats)
8. Skirt
9. Boots
10. Tennis Shoes
11. Fancy Flats
12. Sweater
13. Underwear
14. Swimsuit
15. Cover-Up
16. Socks
17. Scarf
18. Roll-Up Hat
19. Laptop & Phone Charger
20. Umbrella
21. Headphones
22. Laptop

- See more at:

I can't stress enough how much easier it is for each of us to have everything in our own bag. And the older kids have learned how to pack themselves!! So, when it's time to transfer to a new location, they get their little bags packed and we're off! A lot less stress for mom!

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