Complete Family Vacation Packing List

Whether it is a summer or winter getaway, arriving at a destination without a critical item is mistake you only will make once. Below please find 7 Tips to simplify family vacation packing. Additionally, an easy family vacation packing list spreadsheet is attached to ensure that your family does not need to experience this.

Click here for the free Complete Family Vacation Packing List PDF

A checklist is a critical step to ensuring that nothing gets overlooked when you are packing for a vacation.

And this is key for three simple reasons:
• You do not want to spend additional money on inflated products at the hotel or resort.
• You do not want to waste vacation time searching for needed products.
• Worst case, for children, it may be a reoccurring sad episode if you forget the needed plush toy or blanket.

Any of these reasons alone can put a damper on a fun filled family getaway.

1. Luggage Selection

With the costs of check luggage ever increasing, what to pack in is important.

When travelling with younger children, it is best to find a backpack or travel suitcase they can carry. We have found that the Trunki has been amazing. Kids get to bring it on the plane and equip it with what they deem necessary for travel.

Also, for tired legs within the airport, it is not another load for mom and dad to carry. Simply have the kids sit on the Trucki and pull them away.

For larger luggage, ensure a scale is around and you know the flight restrictions.

For road travel trips, evaluate the size of the needed goods (i.e. tents, cooler, sleeping bags, etc.) to ensure your luggage will fit. If you are doing a camping trip, try not to bring a higher end luggage set for rain and mud will be around.

2. Carry On

For warm vacations, the number one tip is to use a backpack for at least one carry on. The beauty is that you can utilize the backpack as a beach carrying case while on vacation.

Also ensure to pack a set of swimsuits in your carry on. If your airline misplaces your luggage, at least you are able to swim the day away while they try to locate it.

For travel by plane or car, ensure you have tablets, smart phone, earphones and charger in tow. Before leaving, update and load some new movies or shows.

For kids, these are an excellent option for headphones. They come equipped with volume limiting, are adjustable and are customizable with stickers.

3. Clothes Requirements

Try not to over pack. No matter the type of trip (warm destination, road trip or backpacking across Europe), you do not need the extra pounds.

If you are staying at a resort or hotel, check if they have an available washer and dryer. If yes, reduce your packing and go buy a couple individual washing pods. Especially with babies, you don’t want to pack dozens of outfits to ensure cleanliness.

Ensure to check the forecast before you go. Leaving a rain jacket or umbrella at home may come back to haunt you.

Have a list of planned activities. If hiking or biking is on the list, you need the proper footwear. If the beach at the hotel has a rocky coast, ensure water shoes.

Family Vacation Packing
Ensure needed footwear for hiking!

Lastly, if you are planning some shopping while way, ensure you have the needed space in your luggage.

4. The Don’t Forgets

For travel outside of your country, a great tip is to make a photocopy of your passport. Store the copy in your luggage separate from your actual passports. In the worst situation where a passport is misplaced, having the copy will make the issue not as grand.

Ensure to bring a reusable water and drink container. Filling up with water at the stops will ensure a more healthy drink and will save on purchases.

On warm vacations, bring a thermos for your all inclusive needs. It is environmentally friendly to use and you get much more bang for your buck each time you grab a drink. It will also stay cold in the very hot sun!

Do a bit of research on your resort to see if they have any restrictions on types of sunscreens or insect repellent. Buying before you leave will be much cheaper to purchase as opposed to at the resort.

Lastly, ensure the receptacle voltages in the country of destination. Not being able to charge your smart devices would not be a fun discovery.

5. Transportation

Once you retrieve your luggage at your destination, you do not want to realize, how do we get to our hotel?

Most warm vacations come with hotel transfers but there are a lot of options more economical than cab rides.

Do a good search for available promotions with car rentals. If you are a large group, there are also transport companies in many cities that offer limo all the way up to bus transports.

You can even pre-order groceries in most major cities and have them delivered to your place. This is a great option to minimize time if using a booking website like Airbnb.

6. Care at Home

Book a kennel or house sitter to take care of your pets.

If you do not have a house sitter, request a family member or neighbour to perform checks. This is most important if a rainstorm rolls by to ensure no water got inside.

For winter travel, find someone willing to shovel your driveway while away. It may cost a few dollars but after a fun filled vacation, you do not want to return to multiple feet of snow needing your attention.

7. All Inclusive Need!!

The all time greatest all inclusive vacation hack that was discovered a few years ago was bringing a serving tray.

A few families were travelling together with younger children. As we couldn’t spend the night at the lounge, we enjoyed the time together on the room balcony playing cards.

The only negative was the amount of trips needed to the lobby for refills.  And the limitations to how many drinks one person could carry.

Then the realization that a serving tray would be an ideal need for this. Now we ensure at least one tray is packed for a warm vacation. The ease of transporting a number of drinks without spilling is a terrific way to minimize wasted time.

Following these seven simple tips and the following spreadsheet will ensure your time away is spent doing what you want. Not hunting down stuff that you forgot at home. Travel Safe.

Click here for the free Complete Family Vacation Packing List PDF

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Mike Page

Michael Page studied electrical engineering and is currently a project manager for a major utility. These skills also help him manage his family life. He has a wife and two kids that he keeps on track. He is a master at planning everything such as vacations, budgets, schedules, menus and home projects.

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