Pack em up pack em in

Let me begin. 

I know—as parents, especially parents with small babies, EVERYTHING is a must-bring item. We went to Maine when our son was 2 months old and literally brought every baby item we owned. I get it. But after that trip, I slapped myself and realized that parents raise children in other countries perfectly fine without all the stuff; we’ll probably be OK to live without it for a few weeks. 

So what should you bring on your next trip? 

small Sri Lanka Iphone-67.jpg

I'm a New England girl, born and raised up (my rap references are on point on this page). We New Englanders are taught two things from birth: that the Yankees are inferior, and to layer your clothing. The first piece of advice is shablah (a word I just made up to show my extreme apathy for the subject). The second is solid gold—yah gotta be prepared for any weather. 

When visiting countries with varying climates, with cold mountainous regions and sweltering tropical beaches and everywhere in between, you can still pack light. The thing is, you're rarely going to be in a place where you can't do laundry for more than a few days. Laundry doesn't mean a laundromat. Laundry means washing a a few articles of clothing with Dr. Bronners in the sink and hanging it on a make-shift line (backpacker mentality).


With that in mind, limit what you bring. Here's what we pack for an all-climate trip:

  • A good quality pair of shoes. Keen Kids Newports are my all time favorites: good for city walking, good for hikes, good for rocky beaches.

  • 6 short-sleeve onesies or short sleeve shirts -- If it's a child 4T or smaller, I highly recommend First Peak shirts. They are my go-to because they are fast drying, the material kills odor fighting bacteria for multiple day uses, and they are also UPF rated. I love this brand and extra bonus is that it's a mom-owned company. Use code BORNABACKPACKER10 for 10% off.

  • 2 long sleeve onesies or long sleeve shirts (First Peak also has long sleeves)

  • 1 sweatshirt or warm layer

  • 1 rain jacket -- For babies and toddlers, I recommend a full rain suit. Stonz has great rain suits that seem to last forever. For a discount, use code BORNABACKPACKER20 for 20% off

  • 3 pairs of shorts 

  • 1 warm pair of pants 

  • 1 light colored and light-weight pair of pants (for areas with mosquitos)

  • 3 pajamas

  • 1 bathing suit and rashguard

  • 1 sun hat

  • 1 winter hat (if going to a cold place)

  • 4 pairs of socks

carrying a baby on my back with other mothers while traveling in Vietnam

Pictured above is Zay and I trekking in the mountains in Northern Vietnam, where the population is primarily Meung. We forgot to bring his winter jacket from the States, so it goes to show that you can buy needed forgotten items almost anywhere (so long as you're not picky about color - but boy looks good in pink).

For a trip in warm weather, you can drop a lot of the cold weather clothing, but not all of it. Airplanes and buses sometimes blast the AC, and nighttime breeze can get chilly. Here's what to bring:

  • 6 short-sleeve onesies or short sleeve shirts

  • 2 long sleeve onesies or long sleeve shirts

  • 1 sweatshirt

  • 3 pairs of shorts

  • 1 light colored and light weight pair of pants (for areas with mosquitos or when you want to shield your baby from the sun)

  • 3 pajamas

  • 2 bathing suits/rashguards

  • 1 sun hat

  • 4 pairs of socks

  • 1 pair of sandals (for walkers)

  • 1 pair of shoes (for walkers)

Download our packing checklist for your next trip, because just like Steven Tyler, you don't wanna miss a thing.