Only a few days until we head off on our trip to America! We are all so excited.

I love being organised,( some may say over organised) so have packed over a week ago. This may not suit everyone, but I think it’s exciting way to prepare and helps to make sure you don’t forget something. This was pretty easy, as we are going into summer time in America and it’s mid winter here in Queenstown, New Zealand. So it was no trouble to pack the clothes ahead of time.

I laid out a bag for each of us. In the past, I’ve gone for sharing a large bag for the kids and Mike and I sharing a bag, but I think individual bags means everyone can pack, fold, arrange as they like.

Four pairs of hands in a suitcase trying to find clothes and personal items is chaotic and everything tends to get very messy, very quickly.

I saw a great travel hack which I wish I had of known when my kids were younger. Placing each day’s outfit in clear plastic zip lock bags. Including underwear, clothes, socks and accessories. This means the kids can get themselves ready in the mornings with no fuss.

While I don’t recommend sharing bags, sharing toiletries bags are a great idea. The bathrooms in motel rooms can be small, so less stuff the better. I am sharing a new makeup bag with my 13 yr old daughter. We have half each. It’s my plan to minimise what she would call ‘make up essentials’!


After packing, I add a posted note on each bag, with last minute things to add. Toiletries, sunglasses, devices ect. It’s also been handy, because I’ve been adding to the lists throughout the week.

packing pic

I ask the kids to help, with clear instructions about what they can take. Saying ‘grab some books’ would end up with my son packing the entire collection of Harry Potter. So it’s, “choose one book, your favourite hat and four T shirts.”

I’m a believe that simplicity is easy. So just a few pairs of shorts each, and T shirts for 4 days. Swimmers and one nice outfit for going out. So many times I travel and don’t wear half the outfits I bring. – Plus, you never know, you might find some new clothes to buy. 🙂

Also, for many years I packed little bags of activities for the kids. I felt like it was a safe guard. ‘What if the kids got bored? What if they needed something to do while travelling?’ I’d carry a huge handbag with board games, colouring and activity books and toys. But when I look back, they never really played with them. Just being away with the family in a new place was enough. There was always lots to look at, to talk about and places to see. By the time we were back in motel rooms after dinner, it was bath and bed. – No time for lego!
Hope these tips help you pack for a great adventure and holiday time with your family.