How to pack a minimalist mom’s travel bag
Parenting & Family,  Traveling

How to Pack: Mom’s Minimalist Travel Backpack

What’s in my minimalist travel backpack as a minimalist mom

I used to be a serious over-packer. My mom said once when I was younger and we traveled to Hawaii for the summer, I packed an entire suitcase of just shoes. I think I’ve blocked out that memory! Nowadays, I pack much lighter, especially with my kids.

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If you’re looking for more minimalist packing tips, check out these posts:

Minimalist Packing Tips: How to Travel Like a Minimalist
Traveling with Kids: How to Pack Your Child’s Travel Bag in 5 Steps
Traveling with Kids: How to Travel with Baby Gear

Here is exactly what’s in my bag as a minimalist traveling mom.


But I’m talking about my snacks. The kids are in charge of their own snacks in their own backpacks. My snacks are just for me. I choose one sweet and one salty and that gets me through the flight.

Water Bottle

I always bring an empty water bottle through the airport and then fill it once we get to the gate. I prefer stainless steel for its lightweight design but I also like the Brita water bottles with a built-in filter.

My Kindle

Every time I travel I used to bring at least two books, one fiction and one nonfiction. Recently, I got a Kindle fire as a gift and that is all I’m ever going to use from now on. It’s so lightweight and it’s the ultimate book for minimalists like me.


We pack our whole family in one carry-on suitcase, so that’s where all of our clothes and shoes go. To save space in our one carry-on suitcase, I pack my toiletries separately.

I don’t wear makeup and I try not to bring excess toiletries while we’re traveling, especially if we’re staying at a hotel that provides some basics. My toiletries consist of deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and all my different allergy medications. (Don’t want to be without those!)

Water Wipes

I always choose the water wipes brand because they can be used on dirty butts, dirty faces, dirty hands, and anything that needs a quick wipe down. When you are traveling with kids, you need wipes at the ready at any given time.

My Purse

When we travel, I usually don’t wear a purse, but I keep a small Crossbody bag in my backpack for when we’re out and about and I don’t need my backpack. In my purse is the usual: my ID, some cash, credit cards, and a travel-sized ibuprofen container.

This is one of my favorite crossbody bags. It’s so lightweight. And it’s machine washable! Huge sell for me.

Electronic necessities

A phone charger and my wireless headphones. I can’t justify the price tag of AirPods, but I love these knockoffs I have. They work great and have proven essential while traveling.

If we are doing an international trip, I will also have our family’s little bag of passports that I keep in a zippered clutch in my backpack.

Otherwise, that is it! My minimalist bag keeps everything ready to go without me having to search for things. I have all of my necessities organized and easy to find.

Minimalist Travel Backpack: The Bag

My favorite travel backpack is this one here. I can use it when we’re traveling out of only our backpacks, which we do a lot. It comes with its own packing cubes and keeps everything extremely organized. But even when I’m just packing my essentials, this bag is great and comfortable to wear all day!

This is another great choice for a travel backpack. My mom got it years ago for one of her travels to Iceland and it’s holding up really well. It’s got anti-theft pockets and is very spacious for a purse/backpack conversion. If you prefer something more stylish, this may be your new favorite travel bag!

Did I miss anything that you find essential? Do you have a favorite travel bag to share? Let me know in the comments!


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