A picture of large stone arches of an old hacienda.

How I’m Packing for Our First International Trip with Kids

We are visiting Mexico! I am so excited that we finally get to travel (and a little nervous). The plans are made and now, I have to start packing!

Pro-tip: it’s best if you remember your toothbrush. When you are without a car and very busy, it’s a little difficult to get to an Oxxo (a convenience store in Mexico).

A view of Queretaro, Mexico, from high up on a mountain.

A view of Queretaro, Mexico.

Packing Carry-ons only

My husband recently traveled to Mexico with only carry-on luggage. He suggested we do carry-on only for our family trip, as well. I’d already planned to do that, so it’s nice to be on the same page!

I also decided to invest in packing cubes. I’m packing for 3 people and that seemed like the easiest way to keep things organized.

how i Pack

First, I do laundry.

Then, I do some more laundry.

Inevitably, something important will be missed and I’ll do even more laundry. This is  just for me and the kids. My husband has his own packing ritual and often does his own laundry. I do not worry about his packing. This is only for me and the kids.

Since we are heading to a warmer destination, shorts and t-shirts are the first thing in the packing cubes. However, since its also in the mountains, the nights and early mornings are surprisingly cold.  Everyone says, “wear layers!”

I used packing cubes for our first international trip with kids. Pictured are two real and black cubes of different sizes.

Packing cubes were great when trying to keep the clothing of three people organized. The set I bought had 2 large, 2 medium, and 1 small. The medium sized cubes worked perfectly for children’s clothing! One large cube was perfect for mine.

Side note: we did not need layers at this time of year. Even with our extremely mild winter back home, it was fine for us without jackets or sweatshirts. Even so, I am glad we had them. We will also need them when we return home.

Way too heavy

I thought I was done packing, but my backpack feels way too heavy! I started going through my clothing to see what I could eliminate.  The kids have just the right amount of items, but I could probably pare down what I’m bringing. Until it turns out that I can’t.  Since this isn’t exactly a vacation (more on that later), I have to have enough clothes for no repeats.

What really happened

The packing cubes were a huge success. Each child had their own cube and that kept things pretty neat and easy for me. I actually used the drawers in our hotel room!  The kids have one outfit for each day and it was easy to pull out everything they needed without making a mess.

A picture of large stone arches of an old hacienda.

A beautiful, old hacienda

However, the cubes wouldn’t all fit into my backpack. Luckily, my husband had plenty of room in his backpack for both cubes for the kids.

I also didn’t pack quite enough clothes for myself and had to wear repeats. It isn’t the end of the world, but I wish I’d had one additional outfit.

other items i carried that are child specific

I brought some first aid items because we have children. Those things included children’s motrin (which I ended using on the plane because my daughter had a fever), anti-itch cream in case of bug bites, hello kitty band-aids, and Vaseline. I also brought snacks. I had planned to bring their tablets and we forgot them. Always charge and pack those the night before. Don’t be like us!

I ended up buying an off brand lego airplane to entertain my son in the Houston Airport. My daughter slept in a carrier on my husband’s back for the majority of our layover.

What did i forget?

My toothbrush.

How do you pack when you travel with your kids? Do you have packing down to a science? Are you an over-packer or under-packer?

2 thoughts on “How I’m Packing for Our First International Trip with Kids

  1. Simone says:

    What I discovered is rolling up the clothes when packing. You would be amazed what you can pack when you are rolling the clothes up tightly. I definitely ran out of weight allowance before space (although that’s not difficult these days…).

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