Babies · family · mom life · packing · travel

What I packed for our three day trip with the kids

So remember in September we had that sudden trip we took to Howick to attend Hubby Byren’s late grandfather’s funeral service.

We originally planned on driving there but because we would only be staying for a few days, driving down would result in us all spending more time in the car than at our destination so we decided that flying everyone down would be the simple and convenient way to go. Lucky the boys already had the experience with flying and I was only worried about flying with a baby, which turned out surprisingly well!

We were so lucky to score an amazing deal of our tickets with Flysafair two days before the flight!

I had only ONE day to pack everything we needed for the trip. Now even though the boys, Hubby Byren and I qualified to all have a checked bag, Hubby Byren reminded me oh so seriously that we were only going for three days and we didn’t need to pack the whole house, which is what my original packing list looked like, I think.

Even though we don’t travel often, when I started bullet journaling, I set up a light packing list to have the main items we usually need when we do go somewhere that I need to pack with. Trust me, it has saved many sanities of mine in the past. I use this list as a guideline and for guidance to set up the actual list I need for each person.

It’s especially handy for these short notice kind-of trips because you have so much going on, you sometimes just hit a blank when you’re trying to pack, especially if you’ve got kids in the background losing their minds about something.

My biggest packing challenge would be for Cay. I’ve forgotten how much a baby needs when you’re going somewhere and you can’t just ‘go home’ to fetch what you’ve forgotten. Yes, anything you forget you can buy at a shop nearby but your budget doesn’t always allow such options so you want to pack EVERYTHING you think you might need, emergency or not.

Not only were we going for such a short period of time, we needed to think about the amount of luggage we were taking with because of space issues at the house we would all be staying at. A lot of family members were already there and it was already crowded as it was. Plus we still had the pram coming with and boot space to transport everything from the airport could possibly be an issue.

So Hubby Byren made it VERY clear to pack as little as possible. Initially he said that I needed to pack all of his things, Cay’s things and my own things in one bag that we could check in. It quickly proved to not work because after packing our things (and the boys’ towels) into the bag, along with the toiletries and so forth, there was no space for Cay’s things. In face, all of her things took up a bag of their own and I didn’t even pack everything I wanted to. Although I won’t lie, I did manage to take a lot with for her… Because babies..

After all the packing and planning, and re-planning, and re-packing.. We left home with two checked bags, one carry-on bag each for the boys, a nappy bag and a small clutch bag for me.

It might sound like a lot to some and other might think it’s not enough but it worked so well for us. Luckily we could do any laundry the day before we came back home so I knew I didn’t need to pack a lot as we had that option there if needed.

Here’s a break down of how I managed to pack light and still have everything we needed:


I’m not really going to dwell much in this section because I didn’t need to pack much for us (not like with kids who get dirty quickly and you need extra changes of clothing). I made sure to pack clothes that were interchangeable so there were no struggles of matching anything. We also wore our jerseys on the plane so we didn’t need to worry about finding extra packing space for them. 

Any warm clothes I had to take with I wore on the days we were travelling to save on space.

  • Two outfits each
  • One pair of pajamas each
  • Formal clothes for the service (for Hubby Byren)
  • Extra pair of shoes each
  • One towel each (boys’ towels included)
  • Our toiletries (kids things included)
  • Underwear for each day away from home

The boys

The boys were the easiest to pack for and because we didn’t need to take a lot with, I managed to pack all they needed in carry-on bags that they carried themselves during the trip.  This really helped with having less to carry around for us and less heavy luggage to account for. Their bags didn’t even weigh 2kgs so there was no complaining from their side that the bags were too heavy and us needing to carry them in the end. The bags on the photo on top look tiny from the outside but are actually spacious on the inside and worked so well to use as their carry-on bags for all their things. Of course, if you’re travelling for a longer period of time, these bags might not be ideal but for the short trip, they were perfect to use. All credit goes to Hubby Byren for his suggestion to use them.

Although the boys wore their jerseys on the plane, it was so easy to just quickly pack them back into their bags when it started getting warmer and we didn’t have to carry them around. I knew that we weren’t going to have a chance to go to the beach but I packed in swim trunks that could pass for normal shorts just in case.

  • Four shirts each
  • Three shorts each
  • One pair of pajamas each
  • One set of warm clothes (jerseys mentioned above included)
  • One cap each
  • Underwear for each day away from home


This was probably the trickiest part of the packing for me. Remembering what needs to be taken with, what isn’t as important, etc. I didn’t want to take everything because it might not be necessary but what if I didn’t pack the things I would later need??  I eventually settled with as little as possible to take with, as little as possible that I felt comfortable with, that is. Which didn’t necessarily mean I packed light, I might add, but it was what I felt happy with. You can’t account for all the nappy leaks, the explosive poops and the spit ups, but you can be prepared for them. 

I made sure to pack all the essentials I nededed for her during our flight in her nappy bag as this bag would be checked in and I didn’t want to be caught unprepared in case I needed to change her nappy or needed a change of clothing. 

  • Two dresses
  • Three short sleeve baby grows
  • Two long sleeve baby grows (to sleep in)
  • Two jerseys
  • Two leggings
  • Socks
  • Two bibs
  • Summer hat
  • Warm hat
  • A few headbands (obviously)
  • One towel
  • Two warm blankets
  • Two receiver blankets
  • Two white cloths (for spit ups)
  • 30 nappies (yep, I counted)

All in all, the kids didn’t even use everything I packed for them, which is great (less laundry to worry about), it was good to know that I packed well and packed for any ’emergency’ situations that may have occurred.

How do you go about packing for your kids? Do you believe in overpacking or sticking to the lighter side?

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