Packing. A simple word that brings much stress.  I couldn’t think of a creative title, I figure the word itself brings anxiety to many.  Even as we travel more and more, I’m still working on perfecting and simplifying my packing strategies.

I think my biggest advice is go as simple as possible – can you do laundry at your destination?  This has become a huge amenity for me with kids because it simplifies life and what you need to bring so much.  I saw a great travel quote that says lay out all you want to bring stuff and money – cut the stuff in half and double the money!  It’s true we want to bring  a lot to save money and not have to go buy things, but it’s really hard to plan for every contingency, and so often a lot of stuff is dragged that is never used. We all laughed this summer in Hawaii because with laundry available, the kids ended up re-wearing the same outfits over and over, and we literally could have done fine with half of what we brought.    Now I know there are times you can’t avoid bringing more, and some people really enjoy having options and different shoes, outfits, etc to wear.  We certainly had to bring a lot to Alaska because of outdoor wear, formal wear, land and sea, etc.  – but keeping it simple really will make your life easier and you’ll enjoy yourself! Plus, you tend to immerse in the culture more this way of a place. If you have to buy their stuff, shop their way, even “dress like them” 🙂  you’ll find it’s more true travel and less tourism!  Bottom line – minimalism is your friend when traveling! 🙂 

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Tom Bihn is our go to Packing Resource – Great Duffles, Accessories and more! 

That being said, I wanted to share a brand that has really made our packing life as a family much easier.  That brand is the Tom Bihn company up in Washington. My husband discovered them for his own hiking and work bags, and then started getting me hooked.  Their hand stitched with amazing durability and craftsmanship, and their customer service is outstanding, great warranty too!  We even got my son a backpack (a Synapse)  that he’ll be able to use all through elementary school (and he takes traveling with us as well).    I use the Aeronaut as my primary duffle/travel bag, and then they have the greatest organizational pockets, travel trays and tools that keep packing “clean” – even laundry!

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Two sided stuff sack – clean in one end, dirty in another! 

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Great pouches and accessories for cords, electronics – lots of great laptop & tablet protectors as well! 

The smaller pouches fit inside the sides of the duffle perfectly, and allow for organization.  I used one small zip pouch per person for our 4 day land tour in Alaska where we were constantly changing hotels and on the move, had to know where stuff was, etc.  I was able to fit an amazing amount and save a lot of sanity (and my husband’s) when trying to find things for the kids in between tours and excursions.   I highly recommend checking out their website if you have upcoming travel or are in need of new luggage or hiking/backpacking accessories!

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We packed one kid per zipped  bag compartment in each of these for a 4 day Land Tour!  

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