How can I pack lightly while traveling with a preschooler? Pre-School Travel

Tips from moms and experts alike on how to pack lightly while traveling with a preschooler.

Make Purchases When You Arrive

The best way to pack light while traveling with a preschooler is to only pack what your child will need to wear at destination, as well as baby essentials needed during travel only. In other words, most places around the world will have supermarkets with diapers, wipes, and baby food. Only pack the diapers you need to take you from home to your travel destination. Purchase everything else when you get there. - Laura, Family Travel Blogger at Frugal for Luxury,...

The best way to pack light while traveling with a preschooler is to only pack what your child will need to wear at destination, as well as baby essentials needed during travel only. In other words, most places around the world will have supermarkets with diapers, wipes, and baby food. Only pack the diapers you need to take you from home to your travel destination. Purchase everything else when you get there. - Laura, Family Travel Blogger at Frugal for Luxury, @frugalforluxury

expert solution

Use Items Multi-Purposefully

Create a list of essentials about one week out, then keep looking at that list and truly check in if they are essential must haves or could do withouts. Also think about what can play a duel role—like clothes— perhaps bring one set of PJs, one set of shoes, and open-ended toys that won’t quickly become boring. I am an over-packer because I think “what if” and when I released and told myself, “If it’s important enough you can buy it there; there’s always a Target." Then I...

Create a list of essentials about one week out, then keep looking at that list and truly check in if they are essential must haves or could do withouts. Also think about what can play a duel role—like clothes— perhaps bring one set of PJs, one set of shoes, and open-ended toys that won’t quickly become boring. I am an over-packer because I think “what if” and when I released and told myself, “If it’s important enough you can buy it there; there’s always a Target." Then I could give myself permission to not pack the entire house! - MegAnne Ford, Certified Parent Coach at Be Kind Coaching, @bekindcoaching

expert solution

Use the Washing Machine

It may sound like common sense, but lots of people don't use washing machines at their hotels or accommodations. Use the washing machine once and you can bring half the stuff! And if you’re really trying to pack light, buying at your destination is a good choice.

expert solution

Pack, Then Halve It

Pack all the clothes you think you'll need and then halve it! Then, if you can, ideally halve it again (yes, I'm serious!). You need the same amount of clothes for a week as for 1 month. No more then 7 undergarments, 3 pants, 5 tops, 2 shoes, 1 hat, and 1 bag of diapers if needed (you can always buy more over there)!

expert solution

Be Realistic About What They'll Be Wearing

You won’t need half of what you think you will. If you're going somewhere warm, you’ll need even less 'cause they’ll be in suits all day. Same if you're going on a ski trip—they'll be in snowsuits.

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Remember: Everything New is Entertaining

Don't pack too many toys and activities: just being somewhere new, with new things, will be interesting enough! Hotel rooms have fun phones and pillows; AirBnBs offer a whole new world to play in. In all likelihood, they'll be so busy exploring their new digs, they'll wind up completely ignoring the stuff they already know from home.

expert solution

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.