Packing Light

Have you ever gone on a trip and by then end of it you realize you didn’t wear half the things you packed? As you are lugging all the things you brought through the airport, have you wished you didn’t bring all this junk?  Have you sat at the baggage claim and wondered how much longer it is going to take for your luggage to show up? Well I have a solution for you!

Do You Really Need It?

You may think this girl must have to buy stuff all the time, or she must really know how to do with out. That is not the case….When I am packing I probably run through my head what I need to take a million times, especially with my kids! I will pack things and take them out and put them back. LOL The key to your success is when you are preparing for a trip make a list!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my trip?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • How many days will I be gone?
  • How many times a day do I change at home?
  • Am I really messy person? Like food on my
  • What can I live without?
  • Do I plan on purchasing things on my trip?

After you make your list then I want you to ask yourself…..What on this list can I live without for ___ amount of days? Then, take things off because I promise you will survive! It is recommended to wash your jeans, shorts, skirts after 4 to 5 wears, tops 1 to 2 wears, jackets 5 to 6 wears, with that being said do you wear the same thing often because you love it? Then why do you pack your suitcase like you are moving away? Be realistic with yourself with what you need rather what you think you want. My husbands packing mentality is what if I might want this when I am there. He packs a giant suitcase and then wears a third of it. After many years we have finally broke this habit and it has saved us tons of money!

How to Pack Small

I recommend finding out what is considered a FREE carry on for your flight. Frontier and Spirit allow backpacks but other airlines allow small suitcases.

  • 2 Gallon Freezer Bags
    • I either fold up or roll up our clothes and place them into the bag. Do not over fill. Once you do this seal it up almost all the way and then sit on it to compress all the air out. After you have compressed it seal it the rest of the way. Anything smaller than the 2 gallon bags do not work as well.


I used 3 of these bags to pack mine and the girls clothes. You can see below the difference between the gallon and 2 gallon size.


Packing List for 5 days:

    • 1 bathing suit              undergarments
    • 1 cover up                    1 pair sandals
    • 1 board shorts             1 pair of tennis shoes
    • 5 shirts                          1 pair of sleep shorts
    • 1 khaki shorts              1 yoga capri pants
    • 1 athletic shorts           2 pairs of socks
  • The Girls
    • 6 outfits each            2 pajamas
    • 2 bathing suits          undergarments/diapers
    • 1 cover up                  1 pair of Crocs

On flight day I wore the yoga pants, a t-shirt, socks, and tennis shoes. If you are taking jeans I would wear those to the airport as well as any bulky shoe you are taking.

This bag has my clothes and my 2 girls clothes.

Bag #2 (Diaper bag backpack)

  • Toiletries
    • Shampoo bar              contact case
    • Conditioner bar          glasses
    • mascara                       travel size contact solution
    • 2 toothbrushs                 travel size toothpaste
    • small compact of blush/eye shawdow
    • face wash bar/ moisturizer bar
    • sunscreen

I bought my face wash, shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer bar at Lush. I use them at home but they are also a great investment just for travel. If all of your things are liquid then they have to be 3.5 ounces or less (which is enough for 5 days)


  • Other Necessities
    • phone/kindle charger                                    1 bottle
    • kindle                                                                 headphones
    • diaper rash cream                                          2 travel pillows
    • formula (Quart ziplock bag w/ scoop)        lightweight jackets
    • snacks (Gallon bag)                                         brush/hair ties
    • 25 diapers (we made it back without buying more but barely haha)
    • baby carrier ( I put this in the car seat bag haha)

My husband had his own backpack. I only had to make him take out one shirt and 1 of his 2 hats and he still managed not wear one of his shirts. 😉

We also took our 2 car seats and stroller. We take these things all the way to the gate but it isn’t necessary.  We always have because they can get throw around a lot by the baggage crew and we don’t want any damage to them. We also put them in a car seat bag so no straps get caught. I am overly cautious/paranoid and I don’t want to wait at baggage claim for them. If you take them to the gate, they will gate check them for you and when you land they bring them back up to the plane for you. You can purchase one of these on Amazon. They also have fancier ones.

JL Childress Gate Check Bag for Car Seats, Red

With every plane ticket you purchase you get some kind of a carry on. Whether its a backpack or a small suitcase, you can fit your stuff! If I know I need more space then I use the same techniques and only pay for one bag and fit my family’s items into the one checked bag. I hope you can save some money and time on baggage!

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