You’ve got your flights booked, your hotels and activities sorted out, and your adventure is only a week away. The only thing left to do is pack. Follow these family vacation packing tips and you’ll never have to stress about packing again!
1. Make a List
Write down everything that you’ll need to bring, from the obvious, socks and underwear, to the not so obvious, travel pillow and eye-mask. Put everything in a “packing” pile. Have your kids make their own lists and do their own packing. The more responsibility and ownership they have throughout your family vacation the more they’ll learn and enjoy it!
A few rules to stick to when packing clothes: Bring things that mix and match easily; don’t pack an entire outfit for one use; extra socks and underwear is always a good idea, and remember pack light. Bring clothes that work well together to create multiple outfits. Functional beats stylish when it comes to travel!
Snacks are essential. They can be lifesavers during a long car ride, if your airplane gets stuck on the tarmac, or when someone starts to get cranky. Bring snacks from home that you know your kids will like, you never know what snacks you’ll find abroad. Granola bars, power bars, and chocolate are good snacks to consider!
It’s important to have things that will keep your kids entertained. A phone or a tablet can hold an infinite number of games and a Nook or Kindle can hold an infinite number of books. That said, it’s important to regulate how long the kids use their electronics. After all, they’re on vacation to explore the world around them! If you want to avoid electronics altogether, bring books! It’s also always good to bring a journal to take notes in. If your kids write in their journal each day, you’ll have those memories forever!
5. Be Ready for the Worst
Things happen while on vacation just like they do back home. Bags rip, knees get scraped, and things sometimes get lost. Be prepared for these situations by bringing tape, Band-Aids, Neosporin, over the counter motion sickness medication, and children’s ibuprofen, Tums, and Pepto-Bismol. If you have prescription medication, carry it with you along with copies of your prescription in case it gets lost. You’ll also want to have a copy of everyone’s passport for the same reason. You can take this one step further and email yourself a scan of everyone’s passport that you could access if a passport and its copy disappears.
Bonus: Carry-On Bag
Your carry-on should hold all of your essentials: phones, cameras, money, tickets, and passports. This is also a good place for some snacks and any entertainment you may want during your flight. One of our most important family vacation packing tips is to pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on – just in case the airline misplaces your luggage.