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Packing light for a family vacation

My family of five went to Italy for the summer and packed everything into one check-in and one carry-on (each person also had a small backpack).  When we travel to Europe, we prefer to have the least amount of luggage as possible because it's hard enough having three little kids to keep track of.  When we move from city to city by train, the less stuff, the better. And if you plan on going to Italy and visiting the Amalfi Coast, good luck getting a ton of heavy luggage up those stairs! 

Everyone keeps asking me how I fit all of my fabulous outfits along with my husband's and three toddlers' clothes into two bags. It would have been easier if I didn't need all of the swimsuits for photo shoots and formal wear for our wedding anniversary celebration, but we did it! 

(rose gold ifly luggage)


Here are some of my tips for packing light:

*Laundry- If you're gone longer than a week, stay at a place with a washing machine.  We were gone all summer and if we had packed an outfit for every day we were gone, we would have brought the entire house. In Italy, not many places have dryers, but the kids had fun hanging our clothes out in the sunshine to dry.  Of course, we didn't want to spend precious vacation days doing laundry all day, so we brought about a week to a week and a half worth of clothes.

(not having a dryer is cute in Italy)


*Clothes- Now, back to everyone asking about how I packed so many fabulous outfits. For every bottom (skirt, pants, shorts) I packed, I made sure it paired well with at least 3 tops.  For every top I packed, I made sure it paired well with at least 2 bottoms. Because of my commitment to ethical fashion, my closet is fairly lean as it is and I only really buy tops or bottoms that will go with multiple items in my closet.  So, I really didn't pack very many items.

(one top, three bottoms)

(one bottom, three tops- two of which are swimsuits that I used for swimming. I'm sorry my fabulous hair is covering the top in the middle, but I promise it's different.)


*Travel clothes- Wear an outfit on the plane that you can wear again. We always freeze on planes, so we wear warm sweaters eliminating the need to pack another sweater (yes, there were some cold rainy days in Italy this summer that required sweaters) 

*Toiletries- we bought them there.  It didn't make sense to bring months' worth of shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. Obviously if you're gone for a shorter amount of time, you'd want to pack them.  

*Luggage/bags-  We had two suitcases- one check-in and one carry-on. We actually could have fit more into the check-in bag, except we would have gone over the weight limit.  We each had a backpack to carry onto the plane with our electronics. In the kids' bags, we packed books, a sketch pad and colored pencils, headphones, toothbrushes (long flight), a change of clothes for emergencies and a snack.  We also packed an empty duffel bag into our suitcase (for any items we bought- like that huge bag of Kinder Bueno minis that I couldn't resist at the Duty Free shop). 

(amazing little travelers)

*Shoes- Shoes take up a lot of space and weight.  The less shoes, the better. My husband and sons wore their tennis shoes on the plane and brought a pair of dressier shoes. My daughter wore her tennis shoes onto the plane and brought sandals and clogs (yes, clogs). I wore ten pairs of shoes onto the plane and packed ten more. Just kidding. I wore sandals (brought socks for when my feet got frozen on the plane, which made me look super cute when going to the bathroom #SandalsWithSocks).  I brought clogs, my rose gold lace-ups (not sure what to call them) and one pair of heels for our anniversary celebration.  I also ended up buying a pair of handmade leather sandals there because I couldn't stop staring at the cute old man making them.  

(a pic from my anniversary celebration just because) 


Traveling with kids can be stressful, but it's also so much fun! There's nothing like seeing the world through their eyes- it's the best!  Stay tuned for more posts about our Italian adventures!



1 Response


September 08, 2017

My husband has 12 weeks paid time off and I’m a SAHM so we’re headed to chill with family. We’re driving (24 hours) and I have an 11 month old, so I expect we’ll take a little more than your family. ;) But this is super helpful! Thank you, thank you!

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