Our Go To Packing Gear

Gear for a family of 6 going on a 2 1/2 week trip

Packing light with good quality gear can have you ready for your trip in minutes. You’ll have the things you need, packed in a way that’s easy to find, and not be burdened with alot of needless stuff.

We didn’t spend a fortune on our gear- just lots and lots of time researching. Here’s the list of the gear we use and love.

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Travel Backpack

This is the bag we used to trek across Europe for 2 1/2 weeks. We also use it for our trips out West

Dinictis 40L Travel Laptop Backpack– We love this backpack. It always fits airline carry-on regulations and has some really great compartments for your toiletries, laptop, water bottle, and all the other extra gear you bring along.

Even though it looks like a backpack, it unzips like luggage so it’s really easy to pack and find your gear. Plus there’s a handle and a strap you can use if you wish to carry it in a different way than a backpack.

It’s water resistant and has comfy padded straps. Plus, it’s under $50. It’s made of high quality fabric and the zippers are sturdy. Plus, we aren’t the only ones who love it. Customer reviews are off the charts.

Amazon Basics Carry-On Travel Backpack– is our runner-up. It’s a little bigger than the Dinictis, but we still have never had a problem using it as carry-on luggage. It works well with the Amazon Packing Cubes and also has some good compartments for our laptop and other gear. It also has a feature where you can expand your storage space by unzipping one of the zippers which is a great bonus if you want to pack a little more.

The Amazon Backpack is a little bigger if you need some extra space

It received runner-up status only because we feel that the Dinictis is better quality, cheaper and received better customer reviews. We own both and like both.


These mini carabiners are perfect for keeping your luggage safe and secure. Sold in a 5 pack

EKLOEN 5pcs Mini Titanium Locking Carabiner– These mini carabiners fit perfectly on both the packs listed above. The simple step of securing your zippers can save you from some nightmare situations like your bag coming unzipped while you travel or a pick-pocket nabbing your laptop.

Packing Cubes

You are good to go with a variety of packing cubes sizes

These will take you from being a good packer to a GREAT packer. Plus, your backpack will stay organized so you can find the things you need- your ENTIRE trip.

All bag sizes have handles, are washable, and are partially made of mesh so you can see what each bag contains. Each size comes in several colors. Our pro-tip is to buy each size of bag in a different color so you can easily identify your gear.

Below are the sizes we own and what we pack in them. The small and medium sized are our favorites.

Amazon Basics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set – Slim, Black– These are the perfect size to store your brush, comb, flat iron, blow dryer (I never pack this ) and make-up bag.

Amazon Slim Packing Cube

Amazon Basics Small Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set, Blue – 4-Piece Set– One of these can fit all your undies and socks for 4 days ( we can usually pack 5 of each ). Depending on your size, you could also use one of these for all your t-shirts for the trip.

You could also pack an entire outfit ( thinner, summer clothing) in one of these and just pull out one bag per day.

Amazon Small Packing Cube

Amazon Basics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set – Medium, Red– You can pack pants, shorts, dresses, cardigans and pajamas in one of these.

Amazon Medium Packing Cube

Amazon Basics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set – Large, Black– This is our least favorite size because it’s almost as big as our backpacks. You can pack a few pairs of pants, a jacket, and a couple sweaters. It’s big.

I’m tempted to use one of these INSTEAD of a backpack if I was going on a quick over-nighter. Let us know if you ever try it.

Amazon Large Packing Cube

Toiletry Containers

Save time and money by owning re-usable toiletry containers

POLENTAT 17 Pcs Silicone Travel Bottles Set– are TSA approved and leak-proof. Store all sorts of things like hair gel, sunscreen, shampoo, hair spray and even aloe vera.

Our pro tip is to NOT FILL THEM COMPLETELY. You’ll be glad you left some extra room for pressure changes.

Also, re-fill these when you return from a trip so all you have to do is throw them in your bag when you are packing for your next one.

Eco Sheets Laundry Detergent is a travel hack one of our fellow travelers recently shared with me. I’m a big believer in only bringing 4 days worth of clothes on trips so I usually end up doing laundry on the road. I’m excited to give these a try… so much easier than packing pods or powdered detergent.

Toiletry, Make-up, and Jewelry Holder

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook– This bag is so handy for when you are staying in a hotel and don’t have counter space for all your toiletries. Just hang this on the back of the bathroom door and you are set!

Although the bag can hold full-sized bottles of shampoo and such, we still recommend sticking to the travel size. It will help you limit your stuff to one bag and keep the weight down.

Unzip and you are ready to roll! Plus, this bag can hold full-sized containers.


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