Traveling is always a great time when families are strengthening their bonds and creating new experiences together. However, when you have to drag around 5 different suitcases that weigh as if there are rocks in them, it can really kill the fun of it. When going on a trip with kids, you can make a mistake thinking that you need to pack everything just in case, but the truth is that, if you think twice about every item, you will see that half of those things can stay at home.

Here are some tips that will help you minimize packing and maximize the fun.

Limit the Number of Toys

First, let us get this off the table your kids will want to pack all the toys they have all the toys they have, but think about it for a second, they will be so busy exploring and enjoying the travel that they will not have the time even to unpack them all. Tell your children that each of them can pack a single toy for every day of your stay. Turn it into a fun game of wins and eliminations to avoid tears and tantrums.

Do Not Pack Options

When you want to travel light, packing clothing options is not a wise thing to do. Instead, see the weather reports for your destination of choice, and pack specific outfits for each day. Separate the combinations by using ziplock bags (e.g. t-shirt + shorts + socks + underwear). Also, consider packing multipurpose items (neutral t-shirts, jeans, etc.).

Do You Really Need All Those Shoes?

Flip flops for the beach, sandals for the city walks, ballet flats for the evening city walks, platform shoes for evenings out, sneakers for hikes, and do not get us started with the children’s shoes. Determine the itinerary first to see whether you will have the opportunity to hike or go out in restaurants, in order to decide about the footwear. Pack double-duty shoes e.g. ballet flats can be worn for evenings out and city walks.

Pack Trial Sizes Toiletries

At the first glance, toiletries do not seem to fill a lot of room in your bag, but when put in a bulk, the situation is quite different. There is a little chance that you will spend 500ml of shampoo on a 7 day trip, so it will be enough to pack trial sizes of all the products you will use and save both money and space.

Travel Paperless

Sure, you will need to pack your passports and visas, and as for all the other papers, you can use the powers of modern tech and save the important info and copies on your smartphone. If you are a fan of reading a book or a magazine while on the plane or at the beach, just download a great eReader.

Go for Low Cost and Low Maintenance

If you have already traveled with your kids you know how easy it is to stain or tear a piece of clothing, so you should not spend too much money, especially on clothes for playing outside and sleepwear. There are plenty of stores and websites where you can buy this apparel for a bargain check it out and find some low maintenance items for your trip. Make sure the fabrics are easy to launder (no dry-clean only or ironing pieces).

As you see, it is possible to travel like a family and travel light at the same time if you make the right packing choices.