adventure, family, homeschooling, house sitter, parenting, Travel

Headed Down Under with room to spare!

With a few hours to spare until we pick up our housesitter, let’s chat packing!

Fact:  When I travel alone or with the kids and no hubby I bring less stuff because I am more worried about how to get around with it and two small humans.

Fact:  My husband is a terrible influence on my minimalist ideas but is a rockstar at making things fit in a suitcase like we are playing Tetris so his bad influence and packing skills are basically a wash.

We are heading to the airport tomorrow with one average size rolling suitcase and one carry-on rolling bag for 2 adults and 2 kids and some varying temperatures so I feel pretty successful.  Hubby has a shoe problem but I won’t address that here…because I will get in trouble.  Ha!

To give you a frank breakdown of what we are bringing I will give you a list of what I packed for myself and what I’ve brought along for the kiddos.  I did not take a picture of my stuff before I packed it because it feels so weird to take a picture of a grown woman’s clothes.  It’s a personal problem, I know.


  • 1 skirt
  • 1 LBD (little black dress)
  • 1 long cardigan
  • 1 pair of black leggins
  • 1 three-quarter sleeved shirt
  • 1 denim shirt
  • 1 black moisture wicking long sleeve shirt
  • 1 cream sweater
  • 1 black t
  • 1 black tank
  • 1 white t
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 extra bra
  • 6 pair of unmentionables
  • 1 pair of boots
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 2 sets of lightweight pjs
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 packable jacket
  • 1 raincoat
  • 1 heavy dose of shame over the length of this list and will not make eye contact if you want to talk about it.  Sigh…
  • I will wear a pair of leggings, a long tank and a long cardigan on the plane with a pair of Toms and my Mala bead necklace that helps me stay calm during take off and landing.  I am not Buddhist but find this necklace to be a great focus for prayer and meditation when totally freaking out.  (See, I’d be a terrible Buddhist…I am pretty sure freaking out is not part of that religion.)

The girls each have:

  • 1 graphic t
  • 1 moisture wicking long sleeved top
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 long sleeved dress
  • 1 pair leggings
  • 1 tank
  • 2 extra long sleeved tops
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 4 sets of pajamas (don’t ask…I lost this battle with their daddy)
  • 6 pairs of unmentionables
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 packable coat
  • 1 raincoat
  • B has a vest she likes to bring so we threw it in
  • too many  Shopkins
  • Each kiddo will be wearing leggings, a t-shirt and a zip front sweatshirt on the plane with tennis shoes and socks.

Here are some pictures of the kids’ packing cubes and what I packed inside.  I am the world’s worst folder but packing cubes help me a TON.


For our carry-on luggage we are simply using backpacks to tote our boredom busters for the long flights and plenty of snacks for the first flight, our longest, coming in at just under 11 hours.


The above is most of what is going in my carry-on aside from my laptop, camera and raincoat.

Included in the above is:

  • All the magical things to curb motion sickness.  This includes motion bands, ginger candies and Dramamine.
  • Regular medications like Tylenol, Motrin, Sudafed, Tums etc including kid versions — all just in case.
  • Snacks
  • Magnatiles for the kids to play with on the plane.
  • Hand santizer
  • Small deck of playing cards
  • Tissues
  • Wipes – because I don’t play when we get on the plane…everything gets wiped down before we touch it because EWWWW.
  • Umbrella
  • Chamomile and peppermint teas for tummies and to calm nerves
  • Probiotics
  • Small first aid kit
  • Folder of all scheduled events/places like flights, hotels, other transportation,  car rental reservations, zoo tickets etc
  • Business cards
  • The kitchen sink

For real, I know it seems excessive but after being caught on a plane once with a child who threw up all over herself and the iPad and not having a full change of clothes for her…we don’t mess around.  I have yet to be caught unprepared since then and don’t plan to be for some time…if ever.  I still laugh that the flight attendant handed me 3 cocktail napkins and wished me luck.  I’m laughing…really, not still cursing her…haha…ahhhhhhh.

Packing the kids’ carry-ons is WAY more fun.  They get all the colorful, cute stuff that will hopefully keep them happy and entertained without using the computer or iPads the whole way.  img_2299

Above are the majority of the contents of both of their backpacks.

Each girlie has:

  • A book
  • Their travel journals (more on that to follow)
  • Headphones
  • A new movie so if we get to that they won’t be bored watching something they’ve seen a million times
  • Educational books about our first stop (Thank you Amazon)
  • Wikki Stix – wax coated sticks/yarn that they can build and create things with (silently, haha) and are cheap enough to be tossed as we get off the plane
  • Age appropriate games that may be played alone or with a partner
  • Homemade passports for the one baby (or Bobo the monkey for T) they are bringing along
  • They will also be tasked with toting their own raincoats and booster seats because, tada, several years ago a friend introduced me to Bubble Bums.  They deflate and also work as a pillow on the plane!!


As I mentioned above, the girls have travel journals.  These are different for each trip and contain fun learning activities so they can gain new information about the places we visit.  The contents reinforce geography lessons I’ve taught before embarking on the trip and also review some more generic items like math so they don’t lose skills while we jet set around.

They each design their own covers but don’t get to see the contents until we are on the trip so it is all new and exciting.  I get many of the worksheets and lessons from Super Teacher Worksheets (requires a $19.95 annual membership fee and no I am not a paid advertiser) and Pinterest.


Now you know what we are bringing and how I plan to not have a nervous breakdown on the plane.  🙂  Did I forget to mention something you are wondering about or did I cover something on which you’d like more information?  Let me know in the comments and I promise to get back to you.

Until then, here’s to a good night’s sleep, an on time taxi in the morning and hopping on that Jetstar flight to Melbourne like the travel bosses we pretend to be.

Next time you hear from me we will be in Australia!  xo

1 thought on “Headed Down Under with room to spare!”

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