Travelling with children Part 1: an attempt at (Minimalist-ish/Zero waste-ish packing)

We are heading overseas for a family holiday to an Island for approx 7 days! This will be the first time my children have been overseas. I haven’t travelled overseas for many years, but my husband travels for work a bit throughout the year. This is also the first time my son has been on a plane. My daughter has travelled to a few different places around Australia via plane before she turned two years old.

We are leaving Australia in Winter and arriving at our destination in hot weather, so we need to pack clothes accordingly.

I am wearing on the plane: long pants, shirt, jacket and closed-in shoes. Taking on plane a backpack with (spare clothes for my children, colouring in book and coloured pencils, sunglasses, purse, stainless steel insulated water bottle, small stainless steel lunch box with snacks, 1 spork, 1 stainless steel straw and 1 cloth napkin/serviette). We are not getting meals on the plane, but the idea of taking re-usable items in my bag is to avoid any unnecessary disposable plastic waste on our journey.

All our clothing items we have packed are going in a suitcase. I would love to have only done carry-on but it just wasn’t practical for us. Lucky for us, we have a voucher, so we can go via express check in at the airport, saving a bit of time.

I packed in the suitcase: 2 pairs of shorts (one casual and one a little smarter), 5 shirts, underwear, night-clothes, hat, swimmers, towel, sunscreen, DIY deodorant, DIY toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush and hairband and little compact mirror and bar soap/shampoo bar.

The soap bar we are taking is multi-purpose so can be used for washing clothes by hand. I have cut one bar into three pieces (one for hand washing by the bathroom basin, a piece in the shower/bath and one for laundry).

Zero waste travel personal care items- edited

My husband is wearing on the plane: pants, shirt, jacket and closed-in shoes. Taking on plane (laptop, phone, keys and headphones).

My husband packed in suitcase: 2 shorts, 5 shirts, underwear and socks, night-clothes, hat, sunglasses, swimmers, towel. Deodorant and toothbrush.

My daughter is wearing on the plane: leggings, shirt, jacket and closed-in shoes. Taking on plane a small backpack with a blank notepad for drawing or writing, three small dolls, a chapter book and some sunglasses.

My daughter packed in suitcase: hat, 3 shorts, 1 skirt, 5 shirts, 1 dress, underwear, sleep wear. Hair band and a toothbrush. I deliberately packed sleepwear for my children and for ourselves that could double as day clothes if needs be.

My son is wearing on the plane: Long pants, shirt and jacket and closed in shoes. Taking on a plane a small backpack with a blank notepad, a few Lego Duplo animals and people and sunglasses.

My son packed in suitcase: hat, 3 shorts, 5 shirts, underwear, sleep wear and toothbrush.

Kids travel bags
It would have been easier to just take one backpack on the plane, however, for independence both of my children are taking a small (toddler-sized) backpack as that is what they want to do.

Extras in the suitcase: Added to the packing load, but helping my environmental conscience load.

  • 2 stainless steel bowls, 2 stainless steel cups
  • 2 cloth napkins/serviette and one cotton hand towel.
  • 1 empty stainless steel lunch box container to be used to hold snacks or left overs.
  • 2 fold up re-usable shopping bags.
Zero waste travel reusables- edited
Do I need all of this? Maybe….maybe not.

I am trying to keep ‘minimalist packing’ in mind, trying to be practical, however I realise I am packing some items more for comfort/convenience. It will be nice to look back on this list when we get back to see if we really needed everything we took. Maybe I will edit this post when I come back and mention the items that were not needed and if there was anything we forgot to take with us.

We are leaving for our family holiday in two days time, so will be on a bit of a social media/blog break for approx 1.5 weeks.

Edited 9th August 2017 (Notes on what we packed/travelled with)

  • We could have easily travelled with less clothing as I was able to wash some clothes whilst we were away.
  • We didn’t need the swimming towels we brought with us as both places we stayed at provided beach/swimming towels.
  • Re-usables. The first place we stayed at had a kitchenette so we had bowls, cutlery etc to use, however the second place we stayed at we didn’t, so our re-usable items such as bowls and cutlery really came in hand not only during the trip itself for cooking but also for travelling on the plane as we carried our own snacks.
  • Next time I will take some more re-usable cloth handkerchiefs as both of my children needed them whilst we were away and I only brought two with us (both got runny noses).
  • Bringing our own stainless steel water bottle was a great idea and really came in handy during our trip.
  • Not shown in any of the above photos, on the plane my children wanted to take a teddy bear (for my son) and a baby doll (for my daughter). This gave them comfort during the plane ride and to sleep with at night whilst we were away. The largish teddy bear was also used when both of my children wanted to nap on the plane as it worked well as a pillow.



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