BACKPACKING WITH KIDS | how & what to pack


1 mum, 1 son, 3 destinations, 18 days, 1 big backpack, 1 smaller one and a kids one. There was 15-20C in Hong Kong & Macau, over 30C in the Philippines and under 0C at home when we left. Meaning we had to pack a little bit of everything – light jackets, long sleeves, but also flip flops and swimsuits. How did we manage to pack all that and more into just those 3 baggage items? Easy peasy!


Some like to dress themselves according to the onion layering system – I also like to pack similarly! One bag into a smaller bag and both into a bigger one. Everything is neatly stored away and everything has its place so that I never search long. I always pack all important & valuable things + extra clothes into my on-board backpack, just in case the big one gets lost on the way, which already happened often enough.


After an unsuccessful search for a small light over shoulder bag in which I could put the most important things like passports and so on, I decided to sew one myself. It turned out great and was very practical – especially at airports, where you constantly have to grab the flight tickets, passports and/or money. What was inside this one:

  • “DIY” document bag (passports, printed vouchers and maps, car key and so on)

  • wallet

  • cell phone + USB cable

  • small hand creme đ lipstick

  • pen


  • laptop/tablet

  • moleskine diary/sketchbook

  • wet wipes


  • “DIY” waterproof zipper bag (DSLR camera, GoPro and dome port)

  • Camelback water bottle

  • zip-lock bag with extra clothes just in case 

  • sunglasses

I always leave enough space in my hand baggage for snacks and warmer clothes we take off on the way, sometimes we buy also some new ones and everything fils up quickly ;).


I am most definitely not one of those girls who drag half of their home wardrobe around the world. I rather take less and my back is always thankful for this ;). Same goes for cosmetics, make up and medicines – I always take just the most important things and rather buy what I need on spot (unless we´re off to a very remote place, where we do pack some more medicines). I prefer having my hands free, rather than pulling a heavy bag behind me, while I run after Lu or jump into a boat, that´s why I never really gave up my backpack. Even though I do have to pack for 2 now, it´s still possible and my 10-year old backpack is still as good as new, although it has been used often! Usually it weights between 10 and 12kg which is perfect, I cannot imagine carrying 20kg. I never pack it completely full at home, because on the road you can never really pack it so nicely + you might buy some new things which you have to pack. It contained the following items:

  • 2 big and 2 small “packing cubes” bags with clothes

  • cosmetic bag Kat

  • “DIY” cosmetic bag Lu đ medicines

  • 1x soap & shampoo all in one

  • 1x face wet wipes

  • 1x hair brush

  • 1x body cream

  • sunsreen Lu + sunscreen Kat

  • 100ml travel wash gel

  • 1x beach towel

  • foldable towel

  • 1x swimsuit Kat

  • 2x swimsuit Lu

  • pareo

  • 1x diving mask, glasses & snorkel Lu

  • 1x diving mask & snorkel Kat

  • 1x flip-flops Kat

  • 1x flip-flops Lu

  • 1x water shoes Lu

  • phone charger

  • camera charger

  • powerbank

  • card reader

  • power plug adapter

  • Swiss Army knife

  • 1x bottle of Slovenian Kraljica wine

  • 1x smaller cup with lid for snacks

  • 1x foldable shopping bag

  • ball


I don´t use much cosmetic products on a daily basis at home and on travels I use even less. A mascara for the days we are not at the beach and a nail polish are perfectly enough. Soap & shampoo all in one for me and Lu (1 tube), sunscreen (we have such different skin tones, I have to take 2 haha) and a body cream have filled up the little empty spaces between other items in the backpack. I always carry a small hand cream and a lipstick at me.

  • face cream

  • 2x nail polish

  • mascara

  • tooth brush & paste

  • deodorant

  • nail scissors, tweezers, nail file

  • hair bands

  • cotton buds
  • razor

  • paracetamol

  • patches

  • throat pastilles

  • thermometer


  • 1x long jeans

  • 1x long cotton pants

  • 1x short jeans

  • 5x socks

  • 5x underwear

  • 1x dress

  • 4x T-shirt

  • 2x shirt

  • 3x long sleeve shirt

  • 1x cardigan

  • 1x pyjama pants

  • 1x shawl


  • 1x long pants

  • 5x underwear

  • 5x socks

  • 2x light shorts

  • 5x T-shirt

  • 1x UV protection swim shirt
  • 2x light long sleeve shirt

  • 1x nicer long sleeve shirt

  • 1x hoodie

  • 1x tanek anorak

  • 1x cap


We have a deal with Lu for quite some time already and it goes “you carry as much as you take by yourself!”And yes, I do have to help him carry his little backpack here and there, but most of the time, he is in charge. He packs it on his own and knows already it´s better to take less ;).

  • story book

  • UNO cards

  • car cards

  • 1 board game for 4 pax

  • 2 animal friends

  • handkerchiefs

  • sunglasses

  • coloring book

  • color pens + sharpener

  • headlamp

  • pencil case

We did not miss anything on the road, even more – I believe we did not even dress everything we had with. So it could have been reduced even more! We did wash clothes 3 times, as we packed so that we had fresh things for 5 days. I think the most important is that clothes are functional and comfortable and that they dry quickly! I do also take 1-2 nicer shirts, which redirect the looks from my dirty flip-flops ;).


backpacking with kids - how we packed for our latest trip to Hong Kong, Macau and the Philippines

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