With the Mouse and I taking off for our trip to Washington DC in the next few days, it only makes sense that the OCD monster that lives inside of me start thinking about what we’re going to pack. How much does one pack for three nights away with a six-year-old dude? I can remember flying with my family on trips at this age, and being allowed to pack my own backpack. Big mistake. Huge. Why? Because I always ended up packing WAY too much and then whining nonstop about how heavy all my junk was. The Mouse and I are going to do our best to pack light — wish us luck with this endeavor.
A couple of things I needed to consider when deciding what/what not to bring:
1. We’re not checking any bags – which means one carry on, and one personal item each.
2. We have a layover – which means schlepping whatever we’re bringing with us through THREE airports.
3. Three nights, three days, and varying temperatures (highs in the mid-70s, lows around 50*) – which means LAYERS.
The biggest rule of thumb I always employ for packing clothing (whether it’s for me or my kids) is to pick items that mix and match well. That way, regardless of the weather, I have several different outfit options. With boys this is super easy – blue jeans, varying colors, sneakers. Easy peasy. I let the Mouse pick his tee shirts, and I picked everything else.
Incidentally, he’s bringing two pair of jeans, one pair of athletic pants, two tees, two long-sleeved tees, a hoodie, and two pair of shoes (Nikes and Chucks) … plus socks, underwear, PJs, a toothbrush (and the clothes he’s wearing on the plane). Boys are SO easy to pack. Everything fit very easily into the super cute IKEA children’s rolling suitcase.
He’s also bringing his backpack which will contain: Smithsonian coloring/activity book, new book on Abraham Lincoln, a new journal for writing/coloring, bag of markers, Go Fish cards, headphones, and his (my old) stuffed lion. I will lug the iPad, his fish money holder, a pack of regular playing cards (we love War), and a Harry Potter book with me in my bag. The goal is to keep his bag as light as possible!
I’ve loaded the iPad up with a new movie for us both, and several new games (several of which we can play together) and fully plan on him being engrossed with that for most of both flights. I’ve also made sure my bag will contain snacks, and a portable charger … because no one wants the devices dying on the second flight. It’s going to be a long day and late night of travel (especially for a six year old), but we can totally do this!
Follow along with our adventures on Instagram (@Tottums) or with #MouseDoesDC. For more of my travel tips, follow the #TottumsTravels hash!