Packing Tips and Tricks
LIFESTYLE, Mommy Break Features, Travel

Traveling with Kids | Packing & Carry-On Tips & Tricks + Adornlee Shop Feature

Packing Up & Heading Out | Traveling with Kids

Packing for a vacation with 2 little ones can be a N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E.  Until you’ve done it, it’s easy to underestimate the time required and logistical management necessary to do it WELL.  Although my husband would disagree, I wouldn’t say that I am an overpacker, BUT… I definitely don’t want to be missing something on a trip!  For this reason, I take the time to plan ahead and have found a few ways to make this daunting task a little more do-able and a little less miserable.

Since vacation season is in fullswing, I thought I would share with you some of my most helpful packing tips & tricks! 

Packing Tips and Tricks

:: Packing Tips & Tricks ::

WRITE IT DOWN & CHECK IT OFF– Making check lists keeps you organized and helps you prioritize what is important to bring on a trip. When you see it in writing you recognize what you have, what you need to bring, and what is missing. Also, marking off your checklist as you pack helps keep you up to date as you go, and will remind you of what needs to be thrown in at the last second (ex; toiletries/phone chargers/etc that you are still using up to the moment you leave the house).

PACK TOGETHER– Reduce overpacking, save car space and minimize your expenses for checked bags.  Pack two people to a checked bag and get more bang for your buck!

BAG IT– If you are packing multiple people in one suitcase (a wise decision especially when paying for checked bags, i.e., all airlines except Southwest), use gallon size ziplock bags and/or trash bags to section off and organize each person’s belongings. This helps you stay organized as you are packing, and helps make life easier while unpacking once you’ve arrived at your destination.

PACK EALIER THAN LATER– When you pack at the last minute, you are more likely to make the following two mistakes: way overpacked or severely under packed.  By packing early, you can be sure to have clean clothes ready with time to run a load of laundry if needed.  No more stressing the night before, it’s the last thing you need going into a vacation!

LUGGAGE PLAYS A HUGE ROLE – Find bags that fit your items and your style.  When I am road tripping I am all about large soft duffle bags. They are easier to squish in the trunk of the car and fit nicely around your stroller, bumbo, or pack n’ play.  When I am traveling by plane I love a good, trusty and sturdy suitcase that can withstand all of the airport abuse.  For carry-on luggage, I love a large (& stylish) tote bag; preferably one that zips closed and is large enough to hold other smaller bags and has an inner zipper pocket for the few items I need to grab mid-flight. Allow me to introduce to you my favorite tote bag for traveling: Adornlee Adventure ToteBag.

Adornlee is a fabulous online-shop that sells canvas tote and travel makeup bags for all of life’s adventures.  They have the most darling sayings and the quality of the bags are on-point.  The zippers are high quality and the canvas is thick and sturdy.  On our last adventure we flew with the ‘Adventure Tote Bag‘ and ‘Just Love Makeup Travel Bag‘ as our carry-on bags, and they were PERFECT!

Packing Tips and Tricks

The large roomy tote was able to hold all of the activities needed to keep both of our girls happy in the airport and on the flights.  I referred to it as my ‘Mary Poppins Bag’.  Due to it’s large size, I was able to store all of the larger items loose, such as the books, coloring books, sticker books, etc.  I love that the large tote comes with what I refer to as a ‘mommy pocket’; a small built-in zipper pocket that is big enough to hold my personal needs, such as sunglasses, gum, headphones, and cell phone.  This came in handy mid-flight, as I was able to grab what I needed quickly and get back to entertaining the kiddos.

Packing Tips and TricksPacking Tips and Tricks

 The large spacious tote also allowed for room to store my Just Love Makeup Travel Bag filled with all of the girls little goodies (markers, crayons, play dough, toys, etc).  Whenever they needed a new activity this bag kept all of our items handy and easily stored.  All perfect and important for flying!

Packing Tips and Tricks

+BONUS TIP– When you leave for your trip, pick up and clean your home so that when you return home, you are walking into an organized and clean environment. This will help alleviate the stress of returning back to real life once your dreamy vacation has come to an end. At least your home is welcoming and ready for your return!


🎶All my bags are packed I’m ready to go … Leaving on a jet plane🎶Packing Tips and Tricks


 :: Kiddo Carry-On Ideas ::

This was our first flight with a toddler and a preschooler, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about it.  Thankfully it was a family trip, so my husband and I were able to play man-to-man defense with the girls, and it was helpful that we could share a row together since our little one is still considered a lap child.  Keeping all of the smaller items in the Just Love Travel Bag made it so easy to use while in flight, and being able to contain it all in the zipping tote was incredibly convenient and thankfully, it all stowed perfectly underneath the seat for take off and landing. Again, I can’t say enough about Adornlee – they’ve done a wonderful job creating bags that are truly perfect for all of life’s adventures.

Packing Tips and TricksPacking Tips and TricksPacking Tips and TricksPacking Tips and Tricks

Below is a list of the activities we brought in our Adornlee carry-on bags to keep the girls content during our airport and airplane time.  Plan ahead and be creative.  I recommend hitting up the Target Dollar Spot and browsing Amazon for creative NEW goodies and activities to keep your little ones occupied.  There’s something about a NEW goody or activity that will captivate them for a longer stretch of time than an old toy they’ve played with a million times before.

Carry-On Bags: Adornlee Tote Bag and Large Makeup Travel Bag

ActivitiesCrayola Color Wonder – Mess Free Markers  // Melissa & Doug Color Wow – Color with water // Melissa & Doug Paint with Water  // Crayola Dry Erase Travel Pack // Play-Doh Party Pack  // Crayola Crayons // Target Dollar Spot Finds: coloring books – stickers – spikey ball – plastic bracelets – toy figurines – doodle board

carry-on carry-on
When you are traveling, remember to use bags that are versatile and helpful throughout your whole trip – bags that you can carry-on your flight and then can double as beach bags, diaper bags or even purses during your trip.  Thankfully these Adornlee bags are all that and GOOD LOOKING too!


If you have fallen in love with Adornlee, here is an exclusive discount code to use at checkout between now and August 31st.  Don’t miss out on 20% off your Adornlee purchase! 

DISCOUNT CODE :  Espresso20 

Visit Adornlee : WEBSITE / INSTAGRAM


Happy packing and safe travels!www.espressoeverafter.com

I received some of these items in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  If you decide to make a purchase through my link, I will make a small commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

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11 Comments

  • Reply Rachelle Rosenblit July 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    We travel a lot and do many of these things but some of these tips were new to me. Thanks!

    • Reply Jenna July 27, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Rachelle, I am so glad you found some of my ideas helpful!!!

  • Reply Stefanie July 27, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Great tips and such a cute bag!!!

    • Reply Jenna July 27, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you Stefanie! So sweet of you!

  • Reply Krista Nile July 28, 2016 at 12:40 am

    We are going on a road trip this weekend so I’m definitely going to use some of these tips!

    • Reply Jenna July 30, 2016 at 3:26 am

      Yay! So glad to her Krista. Have a fabulous and safe trip!

  • Reply Kerry July 28, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Love those bags! This will come in handy in October when we fly to Mexico with Parker. Her and I will be sharing a checked bag. I want one of those totes for our carry on though 🙂

  • Reply Dottie (@crazyfitmommy) July 29, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Wow I never would have thought of bringing playdoh on a plane, that’s fantastic! I might be travelling alone with all three kiddos near the holidays, so I’m going to try these ideas out for sure! 🙂

  • Reply Katie August 1, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Great post Jenna! I love all these tips and the canvas tote is so cute!

    • Reply Jenna August 2, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you so much Katie! I am glad it has been helpful and YES… the bag is good looking and the perfect tote-bag!

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