Hi from Belize! We’re currently back on the island of Ambergris Caye for Spring Break.
This year we are going on 10 trips (and 5 different countries) with probably more later in the year we haven’t planned yet. So packing has really become a practice in efficiency and creating a smooth travel experience from start to finish. I get lots of questions about my travel items and really have some go-to’s when it comes to packing for a trip, so I wanted to share my favorites with you!
There’s something about having matching luggage. It just really creates a streamlined feeling both in my mind and in the physical sense. If you are Type A, you get it. If not, let me continue and see if I can convince you!
Last year we bought two sets from Away – 3 black and 3 pink – and obsessed over them as we traveled around. Initially Russ was completely skeptical about the need for new luggage (“Aren’t ours just fine??” – while pulling a broken handle and broken wheels.) But after these he was hooked and is as happy as I am to have all matching, wonderfully designed luggage. Rather than having a duffle bag here, a red carry-on here, a black tote, and random check-in luggage for the fam, these all net inside each other and having a set we just know what sizes we have and which ones are approriate for the trip rather than piecing a puzzle together. With how much I talk about these you would think I’m a partner of Away – I’m not. Just literally love them. I highly recommend matching luggage of ANY brand.
Recently, we added two KID SIZED pieces in pink.
They’re SO cute!!!
I use these for EVERYTHING, from creating snack packs for the kids, storing kids meds, creating hair accessory kits, holding my mom-essentials like bandaids and phone chargers, keeping art supplies and activity sets together, and storing everyone’s toiletries. They’re cheap and amazing and I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them. I label them with the kids’ names using labels from Name Bubbles.
Stackable Pill Organizer
I use these to store my supplements, Calm tea, Advil, and essential oils. They screw onto each other and are so useful for daily use or travel whether it’s one day (take one day’s worth) to a longer trip (use each compartment for each category.) Love love love. I get mine here from The Container Store but you can also find a similar one on Amazon here.
Headphones for The Family
I cannot travel (or maybe live life in general) without my Beats by Dre Solo 3 headphones. Super comfy, blocks out some sound, and packs easily. On this trip I listened to binaural beats music on Insight Timer app (I’ll have to tell you more about that tip on a different post!) while I packed, some podcasts on the flight (when I wasn’t chatting with my MIL next to me or wrangling Paige in the other seat!) and then put on the Chill radio on Apple Music when we got to the hotel and I relaxed at night. Then while meditating and working out, I use these too.
For the kids, I got them these pink kids headphones for travel and they never complain about how they feel so they must be comfy! I put their names on them using their namebubbles lables again. They also come in all sorts of different colors.
Gemfleur by Nectar Essences Oils and Diffuser
I used to bring a candle for travel but lately have been loving bringing a diffuser and oils to really up the relaxing atmosphere in a room or house that we stay in. They also have a ton of therapeutic qualities, from helping to energize and de-stress to get in a relaxed mood for sleep. My favorite brand is Gemfleur by Nectar Essences which combine flower essences and gem elixers. So amazing. Best of all, they’re carry-on friendly! I keep them in the top compartment of my stackable case.
I also love a good candle, too, and like to bring minis of my favorite Diptique candle.
A good sunscreen
My daily tinted mineral sunscreen from Emme Diane is also waterproof so it’s all I really need for sun, snow, tours and travel and everything in between. I’m so obsessed with sun protection especially for my face now and I don’t leave home without it. For the body we actually all use the Target Up and Up Sport Sunscreen spray (used this all last summer and no one burned!) It’s not sticky or slippery on the floors after spraying, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. For the family’s faces (they don’t use my Emme Diane sunscreen) I use this Neutrogena one and this stick sunscreen from Sun Bum.
Detox Tea – because I won’t be eating as healthily as I do at home, just being real. And travel just makes me feel extra puffy. Ugh. I love this stuff though, so brought that and my mint tea along, too.
So above is everything in one shot : my zip pouches, headphones, oils, and stackable organizers. These were my two carry-ons on this trip and everything is separated like this, it really makes it easy to see everything from the top and grab everything without having to dig!
- In the crossbody Lululemon bag on the left are Paige’s and Reese’s snack bags (Maddix had hers in her backpack); the stackable organizer (including a decongestion oil that I had Maddix inhale during the flight because her nose and ears were plugged up); my usual gray makeup bag; my Le Spec sunglasses.
- In my tote on the right are the kids’ activities, extra diapers, wipes, and a changes of clothes in the large zip pouch; my “mom kit” zip punch which includes band-aids, chargers, gum, hair ties, and hand sanitizer; my Beats headphones; ziplock bags for trash/Paige’s diapers; my hats (because I don’t want them crushed in my suitcase); and a container of GG crackers (it’s a thing.)
FACT. Packing is something I’ve grown to love. I actually kind of make it a fun little me-time ritual the night before we leave – I will have set out the basics throughout the week and then after the kids go to bed I put on music or a podcast and take my time putting everything into the suitcases. I don’t know what it is about it, it’s just fun. Maybe it’s because I know we’re off to somewhere exciting.
Let me know if you have any questions on the above!