California Road Trip 2017 – Our Packing List for Three Weeks on the Road with a Two Month Old

My  packing list for this trip was inspired by my packing list for Newfoundland in 2013. I over packed for this trip – both for me and the little guy – but we did only forget a few small items.

My Packing List

I found it more difficult to pack for this trip since I knew San Diego would be warm but San Francisco could be cool. We didn’t have any serious outdoor plans but I wanted to be comfortable with a lot of walking. Here’s what I brought for myself –  items parked with an * were never used.


Jon and I shared a suitecase (a larger wheeled one) and then I had my small purple daypack plus a purse. It was a tight squeeze to fit everything into the one suitcase but we didn’t want to be struggling with a ton of luggage as we moved around. The day pack was perfect for carrying my stuff on the plane and also doubled as a diaper bag when we were out walking around. I used my purse while traveling, but also have a little pouch that fits my wallet and a few essentials that I can transfer easily into the diaper bag or backpack when I don’t want to carry the purse.


  • one pair of dressier khakis – to wear out for dinner
  • one “nicer” shirt* – to go with the khakis, could have just worn one of my other shirts
  • leggings (capri length)* – I wasn’t quite comfortable enough with my post baby body to pull these off without a long top, which wasn’t convenient for nursing so I never wore them
  • two long sleeved tops – usually layered over my t-shirt
  • three short sleeved tops – two would have been enough, I wore the same one all the time
  • one tank top – great in Solvang, but not needed else where
  • scarf – used this all the time, especially in San Diego when it cooled off at night
  • three pairs of casual pants – I brought some comfy pants from MEC that look nice enough for the city. Two pairs would have been enough but I did wear all three
  • PJs
  • Two pairs of shorts – one longer pair, one shorter pair
  • Hoodie – didn’t wear too much as it isn’t as easy to get out of/into with the baby carrier
  • Pull over sweater X 2 – one was heavier and I rarely wore it but my lighter sweater got a lot of use over a t-shirt in the evenings
  • Down jacket
  • bras/nursing tanks
  • Swimsuit*
  • Raincoat* – even though I didn’t wear it, I would still bring one
  • Sun hat
  • Toque and mitts*
  • Cardigan sweater – great for layering while wearing the baby carrier as I didn’t have to remove the carrier
  •  Socks and underwear


  • Running shoes – great for days where we walked a lot
  • Merrell wonder gloves – my go to flats for everything and nice to wear when I wanted to feel a little more put together
  • Birkenstock sandals – comfortable and easy


  • Essentials – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and dental floss
  • Solid shampoo and conditioner from Lush – mostly I used hotel provided shampoo/conditioner but there was one hotel that only gave shampoo and I need conditioner!
  • Face wash and moisturizer – I actually had to buy face wash while we were there
  • Sunscreen
  • Comb and hair elastics
  • Some advil, gravol, etc


  • iPhone and US SIM card
  • iPad and charger (also used for phone)
  • Pentax camera and charger* – never took it out for photos

Other Stuff

  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Umbrella
  • Beach Towels*
  • Water bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Plastic spoons – a must for eating on the go!
  • Snacks and some candy
  • Two pairs of earrings
  • ID and electronic copies of important documents

Stuff I Wish I’d Brought

  • Hair gel (my hair was so puffy!)
  • Travel mugs – to take coffee to go from the breakfasts instead of always using disposables
  • Ziplock bags – because there is always something you need to seal up (extra food, wet stuff, etc)
  • A light jacket – something like a jean jacket because my puffy jacket was too warm and my rain coat to bulky

Baby’s Packing List

This was our first trip with the little guy so I didn’t know what to expect. We managed to do laundry once on the trip and I hand washed a few things which helped us get through almost three weeks without a ton of outfits. Stuff with an * was never used. He was just two months old for this trip and I already know that his packing list now that he is older is a little different!


All the baby stuff went into a carry-on sized wheeled suitcase (which we checked), plus a diaper bag and my pump bag. Airline rules allow you to carry on a lot of stuff for a baby and we took advantage of that!


  • 8 onesies – he used these to sleep in and to wear during the day.
  • Pair of pants – only wore once
  • Two short sleeved onesies
  • Two long-sleeved onesies
  • Romper – more for fun that necessity, he did look cute in it!
  • Swim diaper*
  • Hoodie
  • Toque*
  • Sun hat and sun glasses


  • Car seat and caddy – we have a keyfit30 and the matching collapsable caddy. We used this as our stroller and just gate checked the caddy part when flying
  • Crib sheet – we used hotel provided pack n’plays but the sheet was a must have since none of the hotels were able to provide a sheet that fit the beds
  • Receiving blankets – I brought four but only used three: one for him to sleep on, one for me to sleep on and one to spread on whatever nursing chair I used
  • Boba carrier – used every day
  • Nursing pillow – we were still very much working on our nursing technique so this was really nice to have
  • Breast pump, bottles and cooler to carry milk around – you can fly with a pump, full bottles and an ice pack. It was nice to have the option to bring a bottle when we found ourselves needing to feed him in a place I wasn’t super comfortable nursing
  • Stroller blanket* – a heavier knit blanket that we never used since he always seemed warm enough with the muslin


  • Nose Frida
  • Small bottle of baby soap
  • Thermometer
  • Diapers – I brought enough for the first few days and we just bought more as needed
  • Water wipes – for diaper changes on the go
  • Face clothes – what we normally use to clean up during diaper changes at home
  • Changing mat – I use the Kushies waterproof ones when out of the house

Diaper Bag

  • Some diapers – I usually have 8-10 in the bag at any time
  • Water wipes
  • Changing mat
  • Wet bag with change of clothes, extra blanket and spare shirt for mom
  • Diaper change pouch – small bag with a couple of diapers and wet wipes
  • Nursing cover
  • Wubbanub pacifier
  • Two small toys
  • Muslin blanket
  • Small burp/clean up cloth


  • Nightlight – so I could see to nurse without turning all the lights on
  • Dish soap, towel and microwave sterilization bag – so I could wash and sterilize pump parts and bottles

Stuff I Wish I’d Brought

  • A car mirror – we ended up buying one so we could see him while driving
  • Some laundry detergent
  • Diaper cream – again, had to go buy some since with the heat he developed quite the rash

We definitely travelled with more stuff than we ever have in the past but it was nice to have those extras since I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that we’d have a lot of bags so I planned accordingly and it was never stressful to move our gear around. Next trip I think we’ll be able to get away with less stuff overall.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.