family travels off the beaten path

Packing Light for Europe with Kids: Spring Edition

Packing Light for Europe with Kids: Spring Edition

We’re headed to the Netherlands this weekend with all three of our littles in tow. We’ll only be over there for a week, but for a family of five, this could mean a lot of luggage. We’re totally minimalist travelers and have our packing down to a simple science (in our minds). I’m going to let you in on the little secrets of packing super-duper light — even with kids!

The weather in the Netherlands in the spring is pretty much identical to weather in the Pacific Northwest – which makes packing a bit easier as we just need to pack what we wear every day around home! But that does mean that it could be chilly in the mornings, rainy in the afternoons and 50-60 degrees (F) mid-day. You just never know! So…you pack it all….smartly.

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Each of us has one Granite Gear zip top stuff sack. These have been a total game changer for us as far as organized and simple packing. So all of what you’re about to read below has fit into our 5 stuff sacks – minus the toiletries, which are in a small travel kit.

Family Packing List – Europe: Spring Edition

  • Passports
  • Toiletries
  • Diapers/Wipes (for little Z)
  • Rain jackets
  • Rain pants
  • 2 Travel Umbrellas
  • 2 long sleeve thermal/wicking style tops
  • 2 short sleeve tops
  • 1 pair of leggings (for all of the girls)
  • 1 pair of jeans/khakis (both if you are B)
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 6 backpacking towels (one for hands)
  • Light gloves
  • Hats
  • Ergo Baby Carrier for Z – she’s almost 2 and this is still a great addition to our travels for when she needs a break or a nap!
  • The just-in-case-I-really-hope-we-don’t-need-it Medicine Bag (contains tums, tylenol, neosporin, and bandaids)
  • Sunglasses
  • Small bottle of laundry soap
  • Deck of cards
  • Camera
  • Go Pro
  • Light Down Jackets (not included in stuff sacks)

In addition, I carry a small sleeve purse that can be turned into a crossbody bag for our adventures.

These 5 stuff sacks then all get plopped into my husband and my backpacks — an Osprey Talon 33 for me and an Osprey Aether 60 for my husband. The girls each carry a small pack onto the airplane with coloring books, a light down jacket, a pair of Toms or Sanuks (because they pack so flat), a stuffed animal of their choosing and a Kindle Fire, loaded up with library books and a few games.

We’ll be gone for a week, and getting by with 1 carry-on each – not too bad for a family of 5 traveling across the pond.