Raising A Traveling Tribe: Kids Pack Suitcases

by Tina on February 18, 2014

in family, Raising a Traveling Tribe, Travel

traveling mama kids pack suitcases

On Friday, while we were bustling around trying to pack for our trip to Spain, we told our kids to get some things ready for their carry ons.  We didn’t expect them to have much interest in the chore, but two out of the three really went for it.

Here is what happens when our kids pack suitcases:

Landon, our five year old, packed his bag with great enthusiasm.  He packed his bag full of all of his favorite toys, both big and small.  I had to tell him that all those toys would be too heavy to carry so we unpacked the bag and I packed it once again without nearly so much.  I always add a few little surprises to the kids’ bags for the airplane, so when I went back to add those in I discovered that he had added quite a bit back to the bag!  I left a few things, but the spy night goggles, the six pack of books, and the oversized bouncy ball had to stay at home.

Hailey, almost 13, packed in a very reasonable fashion.  This kid is by far our most traveled and she is very practical.  She brought a book to read, an art book and coloring pencils, her two stuffed puppies who have visited every city we have ever been to, and her iPod.  She also packed a few practical things in her purse, such as tic tacs, lip gloss, and a pack of tissues.

Parker, who is nine, packed one stuffed animal.  Seriously.  That’s it.  I would say that he takes after his dad, but it is actually me that packs the lightest, which I credit to the fact that I grew up watching my Dad, who is a pilot, pack.

It was so fascinating to see each of the kids’ personalities displayed through what they packed.  Landon is full of passion and is all play while Hailey is very practical.  Parker has always been a no fuss, easy going kind of guy (and he knows his dad always packs the iPad.  🙂

What about some of you?  Have you let your kids pack suitcases?  What do they like to pack?  Do you see their personalities through how they pack?


Image via Zazzle

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna February 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Yes! My five year old is much like your youngest packing everything incl the kitchen sink – practically and the three year old grabbed his “bookie” aka blankie and kissed his favorite stuffies goodbye tucking them into his bed – practical boy!


Beth February 19, 2014 at 2:56 am

When Benjamin, my 12 year old, and I went to Spain/Morocco this past summer, I asked him to pack his carry-on. Among a bunch of other things (iPod, sketch book, legos, other small toyish things) in went about a dozen books. He’s done enough traveling here in the States, but I knew he had no idea what carrying all those books would mean. HEAVY. And thoroughly impractical. I made him remove about half of what he had. He complained and complained. But in the end, he learned a lesson again that he has learned many times and will continue to learn: Mama knows best.


Christine February 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm

From a young age, our three kids have known they have to carry their own carry on and checked bags (when we have them) so that has made them relatively light packers. Our 13 year old daughter is a voracious reader, however, and will forgo packing clothes for books, so my husband, her brothers, and I often take a book or two in each of our bage for her. Recently she discovered the joy od buying cheap used paperbacks and leaving them behind when she’s done, either lightening her load or making room for souveneirs.


Brooke February 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

My 16 year old is an over packer. Even if we have laundry facilities she will pack enough clothing for every single day including matching shoes. She is also at an age where she has to bring homework, that said, instead of bringing a pen and highlighter she will pack her all her fav pens, pencils, highlighters and stickie notes. I am certain she carries 5 unnecessary pounds. My 9 year old will pack what ever quantity of clothing I tell her then will fill the rest of the space with toys including books, stuffed animals, blanket and travel pillow if possible. She is getting better at making compromises though when I check. It helps that she now carries her own small backpack and she gets a lot of freedom with that.


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