I started prepping for our packing about a month ago and put together this printable family packing checklist so that I would stay on track! Europe is only two days away and we are SO excited (or it already happened and I just finished this post – HA!). Our oldest wakes up every day asking if today is the day we get to go on the airplane! 🙂 This week I took about an hour each day packing/preparing for the trip so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed on our only day off (Saturday) when we have to run errands all day. Originally, we were going to take two backpacks along with the stroller, baby carrier, & 1 car seat (for Miles to sleep on the plane). However, after thinking about this, I really needed to be able to wear my diaper bag on the plane and we decided to check 1 backpack and 1 suitcase. I am still debating whether or not we take our hiking carrier to put our middle child in. We are allowed to check 5 bags since we have 5 seats on the plane and I am thinking it may be in our best interest since we will be able to hike for much longer with her riding along rather than walking?! I will let you all know what we decide on that!
How We Packed for Europe & Printable Family Packing Checklist
click on image below to print your checklist or click here!
First, I packed up all the kids items. They are all packed up into one backpack and they each have one cube with their things. It’s way easier to find things that way and keeps things neat and organized. I used these cubes here! The backpack we used can also convert into a hiking pack as well if you wanted it to! It’s by Tom Bihns and this particular bag is discontinued but they have so many and they are amazing quality. I brought two pairs of shoes each for the girls, sneakers and closed toe sandals that are great for running around. They will each carry a little backpack on the plane with their lovies, fire tablets, headphones, and activities.
Next I started on our suitcase! I used these travel compression bags to make a bit more space. I placed our shoes on the bottom and the bags on top. Toiletries, makeup, etc. went right on top of everything. I used these travel bottles to put our soap/shampoo right into! Then put them into these travel friendly bags. These toothbrushes are great because they fold right down! Last thing I threw into the suitcase was this extra duffel bag that was highly suggested by a travel friend! If we end up bringing home some things, we can just check this extra bag on the way back.
Lastly, the carry on bag for the plane! Luckily the girls are old enough to carry their own bags so that their snacks, toys, and other things can go right inside. You can check out what they brought in this post here! Here is what I threw into our carry on bag:
DSLR camera with cushioned insert
Snacks/sippy cup/formula for Miles
Travel toy for Miles / my mother in law got this and it was a huge hit! He usually throws everything on the floor, but actually loved this one!
Wallet/Passports/Travel Info Printed out
Inflatable travel pillow / takes up very little space and easy to blow up (I threw the hand pump out as we didn’t need it) It extends the seat and makes it easier for kids to lay down and sleep!
Car Seat Unfortunately the car seats we already own were not TSA compliant and they are too big so we purchased this Cosco car seat and were happy with it. SUPER lightweight and easy to tote around.
A few other items we had to bring for the kids were:
Hiking Carrier Backpack // Our 2 (almost 3) year old went in this for hikes and she is probably a tad too big to ever fit in it again but it was great for the purpose of this trip! From here on out, Miles will be going in this! I loved the way this distributed weight!
Zoe Double Umbrella Stroller // this stroller is amazingly lightweight and has awesome under seat storage! Honestly, was very impressed with it all around. It even rolled over cobblestone streets! Not as good as a BOB would, but bringing a double BOB would have never been doable here so this was such a great option!