Essential packing for a weekend with the kids (with Lo & Sons)

Lo and Sons

If you love traveling, there’s also the packing to deal with beforehand. Before children, this was part of the fun for me. The anticipation of going away would slowly build up with every list I would make, every item of clothing I would put aside, each travel-sized toiletry I would purchase… Nowadays (having to pack not just for myself but also for my four little favourites), there’s nothing relaxed about preparing for a trip. Packing has become a piece of organisation that I have to dive in with full focus and let me tell you — you better not disturb my concentration when I’m at it! But, over the years, I have learned to become a more essential packer. I know what basics we need, and what really is redundant. If not a more relaxed packer, I have definitely become a more efficient one. ; )

Lo & Sons is a hip US company offering an extensive collection of extremely functional and good-looking travel gear. The business was started by a mother (Helen Lo) and her two sons, and we are so proud that they are partnering with us at our next LA ShopUp event (taking place in 2 weeks time, guys!). Lo & Sons sent me one large and one small version of their cool Catalina Deluxe bags, and asked me to show what I would pack for a weekend away (just the kids and I, sorry Tamar!), and fit it all in their bags. Ok, fun!

The Catalina Deluxe bags are made of a lovely, light-weighed and pre-washed cotton canvas material and come in four pretty colours. I love the designs — they are really cool looking! (They are slightly slouchy and ‘relaxed’, and there’s no ugly branding and such.) The fabric is soft and sturdy and easy to fold or roll, allowing for easy storage. Next to the ‘usual’ features such as two open pockets and a zipped pocket on the inside, the bags have some other handy features like a special padded compartment in the bottom of the bag (perfect, for example, for shoes, dirty laundry, or an overnight stay during your journey), a clever, adjustable back sleeve to slide over suitcase handles and a messenger strap with memory foam on the shoulder pad for comfort.

So… Packing for two nights away in springtime in the Netherlands means that weather-wise, it can go all directions! We’ve had some lovely warm and sunny days recently, but it’s still really chilly (cold even!) in the evenings and in the mornings. (And let’s face it, there is always the chance of rain in Holland.) So I would have to pack clever — some summery things, but definitely a few warm and waterproof layers as well.

Here’s what I selected for the children (for the Catalina Deluxe large):

  • Pyjamas that double up as loungewear and also are great pieces to layer with.
  • CatsPads. I never travel without them. (I hate cold feet!)
  • Pac-a-Macs. For rain and as a windbreaker. I also love them matching so I can easily recognise my kids when I’m traveling in airports or so.
  • Warm, woollen jumpers for evenings and early mornings, or just when chilly.
  • Underpants x2
  • Spare outfit. Coordinating colours so easily mixed and matched. Items like leggings for the girls and knee socks to combine with dresses/shorts are good for in between seasons (and so cute!).
  • A big muslin square to use as a towel/scarf/blanket for each of them.
  • Swim wear (inflatable water wings for Casper) and sun hats.
  • Flip-flops.
  • Toiletries (hair brush, ties and clips, toothpaste and brushes, tissues)
  • Paper and felt tips.
  • Doudou for Pim.

Lo and Sons

I was a bit concerned when I started putting everything in the bag as it seemed like a lot all spread out over the bed! But I was surprised to see that I was easily able to fit everything in the bag. (Especially with that extra compartment in the bottom, in which I put the Pac-a-Macs, the flip-flops and the muslin towels.) It is truly impressive to see how much one can fit into that one weekender!

OK, next, my own bag (the Catalina Deluxe Small). Here’s what I put out for myself:

  • Bikini, sunhat, flip flops.
  • Sunscreen (a high factor, for everyone).
  • A Turkish beach towel.
  • Underwear and nightwear.
  • Spare outfit (shorts, T-shirt, dress, leggings).
  • A warm, woollen jumper, Pac-a-Mac and CatsPads as above ;).
  • Laptop, chargers, a notebook and pens in a big pouch.
  • Two small pouches, one with a few toiletries and one with some make-up essentials.
  • Another small pouch holding some bandages, mosquito repellent, a mini sewing kit, (nail) scissors and pain killers for me and the kids.
  • And another pouch (I love pouches!) with a few mini books, mini dolls, cards and dice (we love playing yathzee!!).

Lo & Sons weekender

Lo and Sons

Voila! I put my phone, wallet and keys in the zippered pocket inside, the pouches, my flip-flops, sunscreen and beach towel in the bottom compartment together with the small pouches, and the rest fitted easily in the main part of the bag. (I liked the open side pockets for my underwear — I hate it when I lose them between the bigger things and have to start digging for them!)

Perfect! All packed. I hope I didn’t forget anything… What do you think of my list? What are the essentials you always pack for your kids? And for yourself? I would love to hear!

xxx Esther


Comments (24)

Helen Haines
April 10, 2017

Where are the little pouches for games/toiletries etc from please? X

Esther in Amsterdam
April 10, 2017

Most of them are from House of Myrtle!

April 10, 2017

Ahhhh just tried to order these are amazing! On waitlist! Thanks for sharing x

April 10, 2017

Can you share the source for the kids sunhats and your own? I have been searching for child size straw hats!

Esther in Amsterdam
April 10, 2017

I bought the ones from the girls at a French market this summer… My hat is from Yellow 108. xx

April 10, 2017

Ps I love this post so much and I love How you love pouches!! I do too!!! I love liberty print pouches for everything!!!!

Esther in Amsterdam
April 10, 2017

Thank you!! You’re so sweet! And yes — I’m crazy about pouches!! They’re so fun!! xxxx

April 10, 2017

LOVE LOVE LOVE! thank you x

April 10, 2017

These bags are just divine, love the casual look and that there is tons of space. As for pouches… well everything to love and adore, they are the best organizing tool ever!!!

April 10, 2017

hi..what are catspads? I hate cold feet too..thank you

Esther in Amsterdam
April 10, 2017

They’re thick socks with padding at the bottom, made by Falke (like here)!

April 10, 2017

Love it all! Can you tell me where the kids pouches/toiletries bags are from? Cheers L X

Esther in Amsterdam
April 11, 2017

Most of them are from House of Myrtle. xx

April 10, 2017

Love these! They’re just what I’ve been looking for! I’m in the UK though, do you know if anywhere stocks them over here?!

Esther in Amsterdam
April 11, 2017

I’m not sure — I will ask Lo&Sons to get back to you about that!

April 11, 2017

Hi Charlotte! At this time our bags are available in the US only. But we will certainly let everyone know should that change!

April 11, 2017

I swear by travel cubes. Each person each has their own with their own clothes. I also love my Herschel packable travel tote. In an emergency you have an extra bag. Useful at the airport to hold jackets, snacks, and duty free. I must pack slippers as well. That’s an Asian thing 🙂 always wearing slippers indoors and in hotels.

Esther in Amsterdam
April 11, 2017

I have never heard of travel cubes, but just looked them up and they are so handy! (A bit like pouches, actually!!) x

April 15, 2017

Again … thought these looked like just what I need but I don’t live in the USA… out of interest, the fabrics and especially the handles are quite pale – do they stay looking smart for long?!

Esther in Amsterdam
June 6, 2017

So far so good!!! (otherwise, the bags are washable. Haven’t tried that yet, though!)

April 25, 2017

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July 13, 2017

Could you tell me the color of the darker bag? It looks so pretty here, but not sure if it matches with the colors they currently sell or if color just looks different in the light they photographed in vs your natural outdoor light pics! Thank you!

Esther in Amsterdam
July 17, 2017

It’s ‘Thistle’ x

July 25, 2018

Loved the part ‘when I’m travelling in airports or so’ that expression ‘or so’ is so perfectly Dutch . Made me smile when I read it as it reminded me of the few months we spent in Holland pre children 😊 fab packing tips too !

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