In Life, Packing, Parenting, Travel

Minimalist Travel Packing with a Toddler

So the trick is to launder and launder often, wear layers and remove half of what you think you may need to really strip it down to its essentials.

PRIORITIZE THE NECESSITIES

I prioritized packing 8 pairs of “night underwear” (pull-ups) over bringing extra shirts for Baby Bun. I figured he would just run naked if he had to as we were visiting family.

These pull-ups were re-used for a few nights because he NEVER PEED in a single one, I even felt dismayed I had brought so many. He could have slept in his underwear, frankly.

LAUNDER OFTEN

I would wash every other day. Baby Bun also got a TON of clothes which I did not plan for and this meant I could have just packed an airplane outfit for him and have been fine, honestly.

BRING 2 OUTFITS, TOPS FOR YOURSELF

As for myself, I brought 2 tops, 2 pairs of pants and a cashmere shawl and a sweater. That’s it. I brought more clothing for Baby Bun especially bottoms as he was still having accidents here and there from time to time (we did put him in pull-ups for the plane going there and back).

I sacrificed my sweater for Baby Bun on the plane as he slept and napped and let him have a soft “pillow” and we shared the shawl as a warm blanket because it was large and warm enough to keep the chill off most of him and my torso.

I also brought one baby blanket for him which he loves to keep him cosy and comfortable (it worked), which doubled as an airplane blanket as well.

This also worked only because we weren’t going anywhere super cold, it was going to be warm.

DO NOT BRING (MANY) TOYS

I didn’t bring ANY toys for him. I figured he would just play with straws or whatever we found. This is usually what happened and at the airports they all have a little play area.


MAKE THINGS DO DOUBLE-DUTY

I didn’t bring my full laptop this time, just an iPad mini for the internet which worked out well as it ended up being a toy for Baby Bun too (I pre loaded a few language apps he was familiar with).

We used it for the internet.

BRING SAMPLES

I brought samples of all my favourite products (I pre purchased them) and used as many as I could up until the last day and would not have to bring back nary an empty bottle.

CUT, CULL AND REMOVE SOME MORE

Lastly, I also just made a lot of cuts. I had more stuff packed but I had no space (due to some things like necessary gifts to give to family), and knew I’d have some space coming back. I made decisions between carrying my Yoga Paws to do yoga there, or leaving that space empty for whatever might crop up.

MY FINAL PACKING LIST

Baby Bun Clothing

  • 2 sleep shirts
  • 1 pair of sleep pants
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of regular pants
  • 2 shorts
  • Swim pull-ups from Huggies Little Swimmers – we left them there for his cousin to use
  • Swim cushions – I love the Schlori brand and they are very easy to inflate & use, even not being plastic
  • 8 pairs of night pull-ups – Love the Naty 5 brand
  • 1 Baby Blanket – For the plane, we bought two Giving Blankets from Oemi and I somehow lost one 🙁
  • Chimparoo – To use in emergencies when I need both hands free as he is HEAVY now
  • 1 pack of wet wipes – We have a box of Seventh Generation to use upwhich I DO NOT RECOMMEND, as they pill / fuzz off
  • 2 Wet bags to store damp / soiled clothes in while traveling until we could wash them (very handy, plastic works too but can leak smells)

Self Clothing

  • 2 shirts
  • 3 pairs of underwear (Thinx which I reviewed here)
  • 1 pair of pants
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Wool socks – For the plane
  • Cashmere sweater – For the plane

Personal Toiletries

  • Deodorant – Secret Clinical Strength in Sensitive (fragrance free) is the only one that works to STOP sweat
  • Razor
  • 3 x Handkerchiefs
  • 2 x pack of tissue papers
  • Diva Cup – Reviewed the Diva Cup here, and then a few years later again.
  • Samples of my face wash – Made it last!
  • Samples of face cream
  • Body cream – Could have left this, she had body cream there but I love my Wellskin Glaxal Base for eczema
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste – I love the Earthpaste in Lemon brand
  • Floss – Oral B Glide gets into tight spaces
  • Interdental brushes
  • Contacts solution
  • Contacts – spares
  • Contacts – case
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hairbands
  • Blister Block
  • Moleskin Foot tape

Personal Medications

  • Aspirin
  • Allergy Pills – Aerius works the best for me
  • Motion sickness patches – Scopolamine which you can re-use up to at least 36 hours total usage each
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Bug spray with Picaridin not DEET

Other

  • Ricola candies for the plane

Travel documents

  • 4 x Airport metro tickets (special ones to take the Airport shuttle here)
  • Travel insurance papers – We use Seven Corners International
  • Passports – Baby Bun & Self
  • 1 Credit Card – I ended up mistaking my debit for my credit, as they were both green. DOH!

Electronics

  • 1 iPod Touch
  • 1 iPad Mini
  • Camera – my Sony Cybershot was bought years ago before Baby Bun and is still going strong;
  • 2 Spare Camera batteries
  • 1 Mini Tripod – I love the GorillaPod

That’s pretty much how I packed and it all fit into one backpack (tightly, but it fit!) and one small purse.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. Oliver @ Appreneurinvestor.com

    These tips are the best especially if you want to avoid paying excess baggage charges when you travel. Save that money instead for buying what you and your baby would need during your trip.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Haven’t checked a bag in about 10 years. Never liked waiting…

      Reply
  2. B
    B

    What about shoes? I find that they are the most bulky and take up the most space.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Birkenstocks — I wear one pair on the plane with wool socks to keep my toes warm, and that’s all I wear.

      Reply
  3. l
    liteadventurer

    Good information! If you don’t mind, I’d like to link to this article from my travel blog since I have zero experience traveling with a little one, and this is very useful stuff for travelers with kids.

    Reply

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