I’ve always wanted to master how to pack for a week-long trip… but it’s taken me years to learn that it’s all about less is more. In this post, I will share with you my favorite tips for packing well and minimalistic.

Get (and stay) organized

When it comes to filling your suitcase, it really is important to organize it. You can purchase some packing cubes, or just do what I do and label gallon-sized plastic bags. I hate to be wasteful, so we’ve used our plastic bags over and over and over again… and it’s honestly the most economical way to organize and pack up your entire family. Packing cubes can get expensive when you’re planning for everyone.

How to pack for a week-long trip

Even if I don’t keep my clothes in these bags once we’ve reached our destination, they help me keep my packing to a minimum – if I have more than two bags for an item, then that category needs a downsize! I label each bag clearly with its contents. Here are most of the “labels” I use for myself.

  • Kelly’s T-Shirts
  • Kelly’s Leggings
  • Kelly’s Phone and Watch Charger
  • Kelly’s Shorts (if seasonally appropriate)
  • Kelly’s Socks
  • Kelly’s Underwear
  • Kelly’s Bras
  • Kelly’s Pajamas
  • Kelly’s Comfy Clothes
  • Kelly’s Makeup
  • My pants are just folded and placed in my suitcase because they’re too bulky for a plastic bag

Using each person’s name while labeling the bag also helps keep you organized upon arrival.

Plan Your Outfits

I like to think about our trip and plan outfits that will be appropriate for our activities each day. Be sure to look at the weather predictions and plan accordingly. I just quickly type up a list on my phone. I’ll scour Pinterest for new ideas to help me plan. If I see an outfit I like, I just try to find a way I can recreate it with clothes I have in my own closet.

Pack HALF of what you need for a week-long trip

If you read closely, you’ll notice that I only planned 4 outfits above but our trip was at least 7 days. I like to figure out an outfit and then wear it twice. Rarely does someone notice, especially if I switch it up with different pants or accessories. If we have access to laundry, that makes this system even more plausible… but you can also get creative pretty easily with a sink and some laundry detergent!

What and how to pack for a week-long trip

Here’s my breakdown of how to pack for a week-long trip

Adult female packing list ideas
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 3 shirts
  • 1 dress
  • 1 pair of tights
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 cardigan or vest
  • 3 pieces of jewelry
  • 1-2 pairs of shoes
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of pajama shorts
  • 1 t-shirt for sleeping
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 1-2 bras
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 comfy shirt or sweatshirt for around the house or hotel

Minimalist Packing Suggestions for Other Family Members

  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 4 shirts
  • 1 pair of gym shorts
  • 1 puffy vest (depending on weather – a vest also works well as a coat but takes up lass space)
  • 1-2 pairs of shoes
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 2 undershirts
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 comfy shirt or sweatshirt for around the house or hotel
  • 4 pairs of pants
  • 4 onesies
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • Lovies/pacifiers
  • Sound machine
  • Pack and play / crib
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby bottles (if needed)
  • Formula (if needed)
  • Wooden toys
  • 4 pairs of pants or shorts
  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 1 jacket
  • 4 pairs of underwear (or diapers)
  • Simple open-ended toys
  • Lovies/pacifiers/stuffed animal
  • Pillow
  • Blanket

Choose a color palette for each family member while traveling

If you’re wondering the secret to how to pack for a week-long trip… here it comes. Find a color palette and stick with it. I love solid blues, whites, tans, and black, with a pop of pattern or color. Everything I pack can be mixed or matched together, making it easy to look polished if I want to switch up my outfits. I do the same for my significant other and children. This ensures we can mix and match anything in the suitcase and we’ll still look put together… not like we’re living out of a suitcase. Even though we are.

Be realistic

Do you really need three sets of pajamas? Nope. One (maybe two) is plenty. Do you need a new pair of socks every day or can you plan on wearing one pair for two days? How many bras do you really need? Would one work for every outfit? While I know this isn’t how you would dress back home, you’re traveling so it’s okay to wear your socks a little more than usual. (It’ll be our secret.)

Pack clothes you wear every day

Figuring out how to pack for a week-long trip is not the time to try out a new wardrobe. Be comfortable and pack clothes you would also wear every day back home. Dress like you and you’ll feel good in whatever you’re wearing. Imagine your suitcase as a mini capsule wardrobe and embrace the simplicity!

Be consistent

The more you pack like this, the easier it becomes. You can pack like this for the rest of your family too in order to keep yourself sane and everyone else organized. I’d love to see your own packing list! Please be sure to share it on social media and tag me!

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