Packing. Yuk. Most people don’t like it even when only packing for themselves. Even worse when you’re doing it for babies and kids. But to travel, we must pack. So pack we will! Luckily, our packing tips will take some of the pain away.

Our top 8 packing tips when travelling with a baby:

  1. If you’re on a trip involves airplanes, don’t skimp on good wheelie bags for your main luggage.  A four-wheeled bag is far easier to push than a two wheeled. Trust us. Seems like it’d be similar. It’s not.  An adult and a baby SHOULD be able to share one big wheelie bag.  (Remember, babies don’t get extra bags if they are travelling as an infant. Your free check in for them is for a pram, car seat and travel cot.)
  2. Fill the suitcase with a bunch of zippered bags. This is one of our favourite packing tips, as it saves you so much time when you’re away – the bags/keytags systemmakes it super fast to find exactly what you want. They’re easy to find online, or outdoor stores like Kathmandu sell these bags. They can get expensive so wait until they are on sale and buy four or five for each family member (different colours ideal so you can see at a glance which is whose). Plus, label each bag with a keytag,ie S TOPS (is Sue, Tops), etc. A good way to divide it up is to allocate each human a set of zippered bags labelled as follows: *1 x tops. *1 x pants (for babies you’ll needto decide where ‘onsies’ fit for you. For me, if it has legs, it’s pants. For female adults, ditto for skirts and dresses. Again, for me, as they go on the bottom of my body, they go in ‘pants’). *1 x personal (which includes underwear and socks and is a catch all for things like hats). PLUS: *Give the baby an extra bag for toys/books. *Make another for ‘mobile nappy’ stuff (wipes, spare nappies, change mat etc) which you can throw in the pram or bag when you’re out and about. *Two more! 1 for swim gear (shared between everyone), 1 for toiletries (again, shared – remember you’ll be pushed for space).
  3. For car trips: soft duffel bags are better than hard suitcases. You can ‘squash’ stuff in and around all the spare gaps far more easily.
  4. Choose the right travel cot for your situation. See our travel cot tips on this.
  5. When flying – buy a rolling backpack for your hand luggage. This will offer you maximum flexibility – sometimes you’ll pop it on your back, other times you’ll find it easier to fold.
  6. Unless your baby hates them, never leave home without a baby carrier – ie: something like an Ergo.  Baby carriers are SO useful in ways you mind not think about till it’s happening: standing at check in counter, moving through a crowded train carriage, navigating stairs where a pram would be a pain.  Remember though: you will always have to take the baby out of a carrier passing through airport security so time when you go through.
  7. Think about if you really need a pram, and if so, which one. (See our travel pram tips.)
  8. If travelling solo on a plane, here’s the combination you want:
    A four wheeled suitcase (with adult and baby things in it), a pram (see our post on which), a carrier like an Ergo, a travel cot (in this case – definitely the Phil and Teds, it’s more compact) and a rolling backpack for your carry-on is the best combination. It’s also possible to move around solo with this combination. It’s not pretty but it’s definitely possible.

Easy, right?

Happy packing!

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Aussie journalist, travel writer and founder of babieswhotravel.com Sue White has always been a traveller. When her son was born, Sue knew her travel itch would still need regular scratching. But how do you travel with a baby under one and still have a good time? Is it even possible? Where do busy new parents discover practical tips to support those first few trips? To find out, Sue and her baby son travelled both Australia and Europe doing house sits and house swaps; cat sitting and car journeys; took on 24 hours flights and short domestic jaunts; travelled with friends, solo and family members; and cycled, drove, flew and train-ed around seven countries, all before his first birthday. Learn more about Sue.