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Packing List for Family Getaway

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Mother with baby daughter (6-11 months) packing suitcase

With summer fun coming in hot, who doesn’t want a quick weekend getaway?  

Before baby, my husband and I were always going away for the weekend.  We would even book trips only a couple days beforehand, and we could be packed in a matter of minutes in a neat organized carry on! Now with a baby on board, we need to be strategic about when we leave and what we need to throw in our suitcases.

Getting ready for our first family weekend away with my then 3-month old was so exciting.  After making a list that NEVER seemed to end of stuff that I needed to bring with us, the exciting trip all of the sudden seemed dauntingly impossible.  Every time I thought I had everything I needed packed there was “one more thing” to shove in.

I thought I had everything we needed packed, because there wasn’t anymore room in the car for anything else, and because I had checked everything off my “mental list”. You know, because I’m a mom now, and I can easily do that and remember everything my baby will need!  That first weekend trip I only brought one blanket, which was quickly pooped on within the first hours of getting there!  And I forgot the sound machine, so we had to download a $4.99 white noise cell phone app (because the free ones would turn off after 30 mins) and have that playing all night!  

Since then we have taken several weekends away, and I have made a packing list for myself to help make things less stressful and more enjoyable, given it is a vacation we are going on!  These trips have only been driving distances so far, but we are gearing up for our first flight this July to Kauai when Crosby will be 2 weeks’ shy of his 1st birthday (which I have been warned is not a great age to fly, since they want to be everywhere).  

So here is the list that has helped me speed through packing and move on to: what to do/where to eat/what wineries to visit on our weekends away☺

  • Sound machine
  • Monitor (with the charging cord)
  • Diapers & nighttime diapers, diaper cream, wipes
  • 2 hats (since 1 might magically get lost in the car/house/restaurant)
  • 2 jackets (for the same reason as above)
  • Tons of clothes, socks, shoes, pajamas
  • Sunscreen, swimsuit, towel, water shoes
  • Pack n’ play & sheets
  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • Favorite nighttime book, blanket and/or pacifier, sleep sack
  • Bottles, bottle brush, soap
  • Call and check if they have a bathtub otherwise you could maybe use the kitchen sink or bring your own portable one, soap, lotion
  • Thermometer, Tylenol, nail clipper, Band-Aids, brush
  • Toys
  • Burp cloths, Blankets, I love this outdoor blanket that you can throw into the wash. (I use indoors as well to put Crosby on with all his toys)
  • Baby food, utensils, bibs, high chair cover (bumbo or other seat to use for high chair in the room), sippy cup, snacks

* I can take off items as he gets older and doesn’t need them and also add new items all the time.  I just keep a baseline list on my computer and  print it out and check through it while packing.  I also take it with me to help not forget anything when packing up to come home as well!

Road Trip Saves

  • Keep a car food bag up front with you.  Pack it full of everyone’s favorite snacks, water, napkins, wipes and a separate large Ziploc to throw trash in.
  • Go to the dollar store before hand, and fill a bag with new random toys.  A slinky, a deck of cards (yes its going to be annoying to gather all the cards later, but it will keep them busy for awhile), new board books, pipe cleaners to put in and pull out of an empty water bottle, etc.
  • Give them a cookie sheet with any magnetic animals, dolls or alphabet tiles to play with.  They can even use the cookie sheet as a hard surface to color or do an activity book on!
  • Bring their favorite music.  Kidz Bop Cd’s are all new hit songs but without bad words and sung by kids so it’s not as bad as nursery rhymes or “The Wiggles” on repeat.
  • And when all else fails or you just need a little quiet time, I saw this 2 in 1 mirror for the backseat.  You can put an iPad in it for your child to watch while in the car some of the trip!


What do you have on your packing list? Has there been something important that you forgot?

what to pack for baby or toddlerEditor’s Note, June 27, 2017: We’ve taken Ashley’s awesome list, expanded it with feedback from other moms, and created this comprehensive printable packing list for babies and toddlers. 

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