Packing List for a Summer Vacation with Kids

packing for summer vacation with kids

The following packing list for a summer vacation with kids is brought to you by Renata Velloso. See all packing list posts here.

If you think it is hard packing light for yourself, think about packing for 4 girls at the same time. Yes, this is my life: I am Renata Velloso, 39 years old, mother of 3 beautiful girls ages 7, 9 and 12.

This summer we are going to spend a month traveling around the UK. Our trip will start with a week in a farm in the Ipswich area where my sister-in-law lives. After that we are taking a sleeper train to Scotland and stay in Edinburgh for a week. Then, we are going to Liverpool for 2 days in our way to Bath Spa, where plan to stay for 5 days. Finally our trip ends with a week in London. So you got the picture: we need to pack light, as we are going to be on the road, but at the same time we will be in many different places hiking, walking, going to museums and castles, and even to a show at Leicester Square.

packing with kids

For this trip we decided to take just a carry-on each. We choose the Ikea backpack on wheels. It is such a smart bag because you can release the attached small backpack if you need a day bag. The price is good too, which is especially important if you need to buy 5 pieces.

Our packing list:

1 pair of jeans

3 long-sleeved t-shits

4 t-shirts

1 fleece

7 pairs of underwear

5 pairs of socks

1 Waterproof jacket

3 pairs of leggings

2 swimsuits

1 long-sleeved dress

2 pairs of shorts or skirts

1 summer dress

1 cardigan

1 PJ


1 pair of walking shoes

1 pair of flat sandals or flip flops


Shampoo/Conditioner, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, ponytails and bobby pins.

Moms bag also carries:

1 pair of black tights, makeup, 30 SPF plus suncream, first aid kit, deodorant, Dramamine, birth control pills, wet wipes, hairbrush, ear plugs and power adaptor.


As a family of flashpackers we are also taking one tablet or reader each, one laptop as dad needs to work on the road, two cameras (a DSLR for mom and a point and shoot for the oldest daughter) and a tripod.

The plan is that our clothing will last a week but as we are renting vacation apartments during our trip we expect to be easy to do laundry 4 times. Laundry is not our favorite activity for a summer vacation but we guess it is much better than carry a super heavy luggage around.

RenataAbout the Author: Renata Velloso is a Brazilian Medical Doctor living in the US with her family. The family is planning an around the world trip for June 2014. Before that they are taking as many “test drive trips” as possible in order to see if it is possible to stay together for long periods of time without killing each other. You can follow their adventures subscribing the Youtube channel or their website

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Yonna says

    By the way, I have that exact same bag from IKEA, and think it is amazing! The only thing I don’t like about it is the structure, which it needs for the telescoping handle (to be used when you keep it on its wheels), but other than that, it is my new favorite One Bag. Plenty of pockets in the ‘outer backpack’, which zips off to become a daybag, and the hidden backpack straps on the larger bag make it easier for European travel (cobblestones!). It was $59 at my local IKEA, which I had to jump on IMMEDIATELY! The bag is good and sturdy, and will be on my back to Mexico next month. Perfect as a carry on only, but make sure that you pack it with the daypack zipped on, so you do not overstuff the larger portion. Once I’ve oarded the plane, I then unzip the daypack for underseat stowage, and the larger portion goes in the overhead bin, and I’m all set. Water bottle holder on the outside, waist straps should you need them, and lots of lockable zippers make this bag another IKEA convenience that I couldn’t pass up! (And no, I don’t work for IKEA, nor did they pay me for this endorsement…I just love it!)

  2. Lauren Meshkin says

    This post could not have come at a better time! As a “summer aupair” I’m going on a trip with 3 kids to Denmark next week until the beginning of August. I’m in charge of helping them pack so this is great. Will definitely be checking out the Ikea backpack.

    Have a fabulous trip!

  3. Jamie Pearson says

    My family is traveling around the world (2 adults 2 kids) and a couple of things we suggest you add to your packing list is a very thin towel. We each brought the oldest thinnest one we had in the house and used them infrequently but when we needed them they were absolute lifesavers.

    The second thing we found to be indispensable was an assortment of plastic bags from trash bags and ziplocks.

  4. Coral says

    I am driving over to Ikea to check this back pack out. However I won’t be able to use it as a carry on in the UK.

    On my RTW I used the Osprey Farpoint 85 and mostly wished I had had a wheeled suitcase. I am not a very fit 50 something. Now for short breaks I use a wheeled suitcase but this Ikea pack looks the best of both worlds. Not too heavy, enough capacity for a short break, so may road test it on my trip to Malta in 10 days time.


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