I was asked about Packing tips in a Q&A on The Collected Traveler. The links didn’t come through to the products I was talking about so I’ve provided them below. Hope this is helpful! If you’ve got any good packing advice, traveling with or without children, please post!
Do you have any advice about packing?
A: I do! I used to be able to travel for months with a fairly small backpack, but having children has changed all of that of course! It’s tough to pack light with infants: diapers, gear, gadgets, care items and food fill luggage quickly. The amount I pack is sort of inversely proportional to their age. I love to use these packing cubes–I’ve had the ebags brand for years and they’ve held up brilliantly. I separate each child’s clothes into cubes and it’s virtually instant unpacking once we arrive. I just unzip and pop them into a dresser drawer. I’ll separate pajamas, underwear and bathing suits into a separate cube. I’ve only needed to augment my cube supply, but haven’t replaced any of them in the past five years. Renting an apartment with a washer and dryer makes packing light more realistic–another major advantage over hotels.
As far as actual luggage, I’m keen on suitcases with spinners because they maneuver easily. You’ve got to be agile when you’re trying to keep a handle on a wandering toddler in an airport. For the five of us, we aim to bring a maximum of two medium-large suitcases and two medium backpacks. This way my husband and I have one hand free at all times. Initially, I was attracted by the price point on these Weekender Convertible Backpacks, but the quality has been stellar so we’ve stuck with them.
I’d be remiss if I failed to mention my favorite packing list available at OneBag.com. I adapt it slightly depending on the trip, but I rarely forget anything when I use this as a guide. We also bring along an umbrella-style stroller–it seems to work best for Paris’s narrow doorways and cobblestones. Our Maclaren strollers have worked perfectly.