Suitcase Suitability

Mom and baby girl with suitcase baggage and clothes ready for traveling on vacation

Bringing all the clothing items that children need for a trip can be challenging. You want to make sure the suitcase is not so heavy and awkward that you cannot easily handle it, yet still include the basic essentials.

The destination location will help you determine the types of clothes you pack; so carefully check the average temperature for the area, as well as any projected precipitation. Consider that you may actually buy some of the bulkier items such as diapers or umbrella when you arrive at your location.

Pack in units for the trip, in other words categorize the clothes into outerwear, shoes, special occasion clothes, play clothes, and underclothing including sleepwear. If you have a checklist such as this, you will not forget any items.

Outerwear may not be a necessity if you are traveling into warm climates. Do keep in mind that some coastal cities dip into much cooler weather in the evening, and some have a dedicated rainy season. If the weather is cool, layer clothing such as sweatshirts and t-shirts. Bulky coats and heavy sweaters take up a lot of luggage space and can be uncomfortable to wear all day while sightseeing. A lightweight rain jacket that can be rolled up neatly should be packed. I include hats with outerwear. Depending on the climate, your hats could be rain hats, sun hats, ski hats, baseball hats, or straw hats. To know which ones to pick, check your itinerary.

Shoes need to be comfortable for walking, and while rain boots are very smart to take, they do occupy a lot of suitcase space. If you are at the shore for your vacation, make sure to bring flip-flops or sandals. Evaluate the events that are special occasion. You and you alone must determine if the kids can get away with wearing sneakers to a nice venue. Bring more than one pair of walking shoes, as wet shoes are a pain to put on and awful to wear.

I like to group play clothes and sightseeing clothes into the same category. Blue jeans can be re-worn and some khaki can also be used more than once. If you child is especially messy, utilize the clothes cleaning service offered by the hotel rather than over packing with multiple outfits.

For underclothes, I always pack enough clothing for the trip and then add three emergency pairs. If the child is in the middle of the potty training process, you might want to add more extra undergarments. You may also need to purchase some type of training pants or nightwear pants for the child going through the potty training process. For sleeping wear, as long as the kids are bathing before bedtime, you can reuse them a few times. I would say one sleeping outfit for every two-three days. I include socks in this group, and what type I pack depends upon the weather at the vacation destination. I always pack two extra pairs because wet socks are no fun. You know your children and their needs, so pack accordingly.

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