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How to Pack Light for a 2-Week Vacation With Kids in 2023

Posted by Jel Navarro on
How to Pack Light for a 2-week vacation with kids in 2020
**Thanks to The Traveling Child for this cute photo!

When you’re traveling with kids, it’s easy to pack items you don’t really need. As parents, we have a tendency to pack unnecessary items just because we want to be extra prepared. This usually leads to a suitcase filled with excessive items and extra hassles!

If you want to travel light, it’s important to have the right mentality. In this blog post, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to pack light for a 2-week vacation with kids. Stay tuned until the end because we’ve created a downloadable packing list for your 2-week trip!

Travel light with these 7 packing tips

The ultimate goal of packing light is to pack only the essentials. Non essential items can either be bought or rented at your destination. It’s truly a freeing feeling to pack light, knowing that your luggage only contains what you need.

But first, how much to pack for a 2-week vacay?

Even for a 2-week trip with kids, the golden rule of packing applies.

Pack a week’s worth of clothes max. You should always be able to re-wear items, especially shirts and tops.

That said, here's our top packing tips guaranteed to help you travel light:

1. Take a carry on suitcase or share a suitcase? - The first (and most important) tip is to choose the right bag for each member of your family. Most light packers choose to travel with carry-on only. That means each person takes a carry on suitcase and a personal bag, only.  

But, we feel there are two options in our opinion:

✓ Each person takes a carry on suitcase

✓ Share a suitcase / pack the whole family in one suitcase

➤ Make sure to separate the kids by color coded clear cubes (more on packing cubes below)

If you’re planning on bringing only a backpack as your personal item, try the the Swiss Gear Lightweight Bungee Backpack. For kids, the Deuter Kikki Kid’s Backpack is a best seller. It features a fun design but has enough room to store all your kid’s essentials for the airplane and daily activities.

Kids backpack for packing light for 2-week trip

**We love how @crazycraftlady organized her kids’ backpacks with different colored cubes.

2. Pack neutral clothing - You can’t go wrong with neutrals! Of course with kids, that can be a bit boring for them. Pack at least two tops with bright prints for the little ones. For the parents, picking a neutral palette is the best way of coordinating your entire suitcase. So opt for beiges, brown, black and grey pieces. Avoid white clothes as they tend to stain easily. To add some pop to your outfits, pack bolder-colored accessories such as scarves, belts and necklaces. These accessories won’t take up as much space in your bag or luggage.

Neutral outfit when packing light for 2-week vacation

3. Hand wash the delicates (only once!) - Bring a travel-size laundry detergent in your toiletry bag. Wash undies and socks in the sink and let them air dry in the hotel overnight. Do this once about half way through the trip! Done and done.  

4. Keep bottoms minimal (3-4 max) - For a two-week trip, you’ll want to bring bottoms you can wear with almost any top.

✓ 1 pair of jeans

✓ 1 pair of black jeans / pants

✓ 1 pair of khaki jeans / colored jeans

✓ 1 pair of leggings (bring more if you plan on working out / do more hiking)

Jeans inside packing cube

5. Only bring 3 pairs of shoes - Shoes can take up a huge amount of space in your luggage. Do your kids really need matching shoes for every outfit?

When it comes to shoes, pack the most comfy. Also, pack the ones you actually wear - what a thought right? Here’s what you should pack for each person:

1 pair of comfy walking / daily shoes

1 pair of dinner shoes (booties for mommy)

1 pair of flip flops / sandals (only if the destination has warm weather)

Shoes on a pink medium cube

6. Share toiletries - Of course, if you have teenagers who can’t live without their favorite moisturizer or lotion, let them take their own Extra Small Toiletry Bag. But the family can share other items such as:

Shampoo / Conditioner


Body wash

✓ Sunscreen

7. Clear packing cubes are a MUST - When it comes to packing light for a 2-week vacation, strategic packing is the way to go. These clear cubes are perfect for organizing each person’s luggage, separating items by category and keeping everything in its place! Even more, when arriving at your destination, no need to unpack. Simply take out the cubes, place them on a flat surface and use them as “traveling drawers."

Starter Set

Each person taking their own carry on?

Buy a Starter Set for each family member and let them organize their luggage in their own special way. Or you can give them some tips we recommend below. This packing cube set comes with four cubes in one of each size (perfect for organizing a carry-on).

What about sharing a larger suitcase?

We recommend using the Complete Bundle (which comes with double the amount of cubes compared to the Starter Set and includes some sweet accessories like a Laundry and Shoe Bag. You can even select a “two color option” for this set, so half your suitcase is pink and half is blue! Your kids will love having their own colors and you’ll be thrilled everyone is staying organized.

Color coded suitcase with large packing cubes

**Thanks to Zina for this awesome photo!

Here’s what to pack in each cube:

Extra Small Cube: Travel size 3 ounce toiletries (this size cube is TSA Approved too)

Small Cube: Underwear, socks, bras, bathing suit 

Medium Cube: Shirts, blouses, leggings, etc.

Large Cube: Jeans, sweaters and jackets

Packing checklist for a fun trip with kids

Woman writing packing list for 2 week vacation

When it comes to packing light for a 2-week vacation with your kids, the simpler the checklist is, the better. So we have curated a simple packing list for 2 weeks below. This packing list will work for every member of the family too. But remember, some toiletries and first aid kit items can be shared!


✔️ Mom Packing List

Mom's packing list using starter set

5 to 7 Tops

3 to 4 Shorts / Pants

1 to 2 Dresses

2 Sweaters / Jackets

1 Pair of Comfortable Shoes

1 Pair of Nicer Shoes

7 Pairs of Underwear

4 Bras

7 Socks

2 Pajama Sets

1 Workout outfit

1 Bathing suit

✔️ Dad Packing List

Dad's packing list using starter set

**Thanks to Kevin and Dea for this photo!

5 to 7 tops

2 pairs of pants

2 pairs of shorts

1 pair of joggers

2 Sweaters / Jackets

1 Pair of Comfortable Shoes

1 Pair of Nicer Shoes

7 Pairs of Underwear

7 Socks

✔️ Little Lady Packing List

Kids essentials packing list

3 dresses

4 tops

Hoodie / Sweater / Jacket

2 pairs of pants

2 pairs of shorts


Bike shorts

7 pairs of underwear and socks

1 bathing suit

2 Pajama sets

1 Pair of Comfortable Shoes

1 Pair of Nicer Shoes

✔️ Little Boy Packing List

Little boy's packing list

5 to 7 tops

2 pairs of pants

2 pairs of shorts

2 Pajama sets

7 pairs of underwear and socks

1 Pair of Comfortable Shoes

1 Pair of Nicer Shoes

Swimming outfit


TSA Approved Quart Size Bag

Shampoo / Conditioner

Body Wash / Soap

Facial Wash / Cleanser

Facial Moisturizer

Foldable / Travel Size Toothbrush

Mini Toothpaste

Mouthwash tablets






Detangler Wet Brush

Pads / Tampons

Cotton Buds

Nail Clippers

Facial Wipes

Hand Sanitizer


Contact Lens + Solution

Hair Ties / Scrunchies


makeup kit in a clear bag



Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter Set


Eyebrow Pencil


Lipstick / Lip Tint

Lip Balm

Travel Size Brushes


Kids medicine kit in extra small cube

Prescribed Meds



Decongestant / Cough Relief

Cetirizine for allergies

Sore Throat Lozenges





Iodine Ointment

Bandages / Band Aids

Alcohol Swabs

Gauze Pad & Medical Tape

Blister Pad / Moleskin

Non-latex Gloves

Burn Pad


Mosquito / Insect Repellent

Digital Thermometer

Eye Drops

Dental Pain Relief


Kids gears for a two-week trip
**Thanks to The Traveling Child for this photo!

Lightweight / Foldable stroller


Car seat

Travel Potty


Activity Kit for Kids

Paper and crayons / pencil

Favorite small toys

Small board story books

Coloring Book


Electronics for travel
**Thanks to Laurie for this cute photo!

Camera with batteries & charger

Portable charger & charging cord

Laptop / Tablet & charger

Cell Phones & charger

Earphones / Headsets

Travel power adapter


Passport and other travel essentials

Passport / ID

Boarding Pass


Contact Information

Credit / Debit Card



Sunglasses and other travel essentials

Snacks / Candies

Travel Shoe Bag

Travel Laundry Bag

Sippy Cups


Reusable Water Bottles

Tote bag

Inflatable foot rest

Quick-dry travel towels

Who said packing light with kids is impossible? Remember to pack only the essentials and make use of packing cubes to organize everybody’s luggage.

Want more tips for traveling with kids? Check out this blog post!

Happy Travels!

- The EzPacking Team

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