Two days of feverishly packing for a trip means our second local adventure since COVID started is underway. A COVID trip also means that we are driving, once again, this time to McGregor’s favorite place on earth: his family’s cabin in the Sunshine Coast.

Not my favorite place. But I’ll take a change of scenery. But next year, if we’re nice and safe with a vaccine in hand, McGregor and Sloane can go solo, and mama will be off to the spa!

Anyways, back to packing, it takes me a long time, I won’t pretend it doesn’t. It’s strange to have to pack for a little minion who can’t fend for herself. I always feel like I’m going to forget something crucial for her. So I start tossing things into the spare bedroom early.

I am also super particular (haha, seriously, if you don’t know me, you’ll start to understand that through this blog), so I start packing for a trip in such a way that it minimizes my stress while I’m away. With the goal of actually enjoying myself on holiday and not creating work!

So this week, I’m sharing my best tips for packing for a trip that involves minimal unpacking, repacking, and then unpacking again. Confused? Follow along with me, and you’ll see what I mean.

Signed Samantha's tips for efficiently packing for a trip including the kiddos - a shoe holder is pictured but it is used to hold kid's clothes.

Packing a Baby or Toddler

My best hack for packing your kiddo or someone with small clothes that can origami their way into little spots is to use a plastic shoe holder that hangs over doors. I’m not going to sit here and pretend it doesn’t take up a ton of room in your bag, because it does. BUT, you can fit a TON of clothes in this. PLUS, you quickly know where everything is.

The best part is that it is packed and unpacked all at once:

+ put your little bean’s clothes into the slots.

+ toss the shoe holder into a bag (filled with clothes).

+ unpack the shoe holder by removing it from a bag and hanging it in a closet, over a door frame, or whatever suits your fancy.

See?! No unnecessary, folding clothes into the bag, refolding them into the drawer, and then re-refolding them again into the bag. I’ve probably saved you 20+ minutes.

For me, depending on how long we are going and how many clothes Sloane needs, I can also pack everything else she needs into here. This includes her bath soap and lotion, extension cords, and baby proofing items. Most things can typically fit into one of these pouches. Then you know where each item is you packed – provided you get a clear shoe holder.

Signed Samantha's Tips for Effectively Packing for a Trip - pictured is a mesh holder that carries a ton of snacks (chips, drinks, etc.).

Packing those Snacks

This collapsable bag is the BEST thing we’ve ever gotten. It folds up teeny tiny so can sit in your trunk as a non-discrete sort of item. Then when you need an awesome carrying bag – like for a Costco run or something similar – pop it open and pack it full. Away you go.

When we go on road trips, I always use this bag to pack random pantry items that won’t function well on their own due to the odd shape or the delicate nature of the item (I’m referring to chips here LOL).

It holds up to 50 lbs!!! I feel like I’ve had it more full than that, but 50 lbs is pretty incredible for how lightweight this thing is.

This is the exact one we have. It is not inexpensive on Amazon, but it is a two-pack. Ours was purchased at Costco in the USA for $20.00, though. I have yet to see them at Costco in Canada, but if you can seek one out in the USA, I would strongly suggest not buying this rather expensive pair and waiting for that Costco magic.

Anyways, it zips up top, so if it topples over, the entire contents of your bag is not going overboard. Finally, if you finish all of your pantry items when you’re away, you collapse it and gain some extra space in the car.

Love this collapsable bag.


Signed Samantha's tips for efficiently packing for a trip including the kiddos - a shoe holder is pictured but it is used to hold kid's clothes.

Packing Your Clothes

Okay, I am going to warn you on this one that some people love this packing for a trip hack, and some people hate it. 

For me, I obviously love it. These packing cubes save me so much time trying to find that one swimsuit I could have sworn I packed but somehow managed to get lost deep in the crevasses of my bag. Then when I get home, I learn I did pack it once I fully empty the bag.

For my ladies that are thinking, well, I do unpack my entire bag into the closet, drawers, etc. I respect that. So, think about this: 

+ pack your packing cube

+ put packing cube into a bag

+ remove packing cube from the bag and put it directly into the drawer. 

BOOM. Unpacked. Plus re-packing is easier. Double plus, your clothes are not touching a drawer that many other stranger’s clothes have touched.

If you’re tight on space, and can’t fit a giant rolled up shoe holder with clothes in it, this is also an excellent hack for packing up your kiddos. Then your family can easily share a suitcase, and you’ll clearly know whose clothes are whose.  

I hope these little tips for packing for a trip have helped you! I also hope you’re able to get away safely this summer!