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Packing Tips for Families

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Packing Tips FamiliesI admit I’m a last minute packer. Because I travel about once a month I have become very quick and efficient with packing. I don’t make a packing list. The only list I make is the night before I leave so I don’t forget last minute items like medications.

Packing Tips Families

I have a variety of clothing pieces that are always ready to be packed. I tend to take the same pieces with me because they are easy to pack and comfortable to travel in. I have shoes that match multiple outfits, extra charging cables that stay in my suitcase and these days I only have to pack for myself. But packing for a family is different.

Packing for a family can be a chore. Packing for multiple people can be a nightmare. Any way you look at it, if a vacation is planned and coming soon, you better get packing ~ Here are some tips for getting the whole family ready, set, packed!

If you’re a list maker – create your list. When my kids were young and I needed lists, I would use a column for each family member with an additional column for miscellaneous incidentals. 

A week or a few days before you are scheduled to leave, find an out-of-the-way area of your home to use for your prep area. As you think of things you’ll need to take, put them in your prep area. No matter what it is – sunscreen, hats, extra charging cables, etc.

Start checking the 10 day weather forecast for your destination so that you have a good idea of what clothes you will need. In your prep area, start getting your clothes ready a little at a time. Lay all the clothes out with a pile for each family member. Four family members equals four piles. When you put pajamas out, be sure each pile has a set of pajamas. Socks times number of days times four family member piles, etc.

DON’T fall into the trap of every family member needing their own suitcase. You are just giving yourself extra things to keep track of and extra things to carry. If everyone will fit into one or two suitcases ~ that’s all you need. DON’T bring a different pair of shoes for each outfit.

Toiletries should always be packed in a sealed zip-lock to prevent leakage. Never pack full-sized shampoos or lotions; they take up way too much space. Also, traveling as a family always means sharing toiletries. Everyone can use the same toothpaste, shampoo, powder, etc. 

Create a travel pharmacy that includes anything you might need during travel. There is no reason to pack every over-the-counter medication you own “just in case.” Chances are you will be able to buy whatever you need wherever you are traveling to if the need arises. In reality, chances are you will never need it. 

Traveling with little ones requires snacks and games and things to keep little hands and minds busy. Hungry and bored equals cranky. Pack easy to eat snacks like granola bars, squeeze pouches of fruit, etc.

A new coloring book or small toy will keep them happy on a flight or in the car. Older kids can be surprised with a new APP. Travel games are an essential item to pack. 

The day before your trip do a quick assessment of your prep area. Are there enough socks and underpants? Too many shoes? Not enough or too many snacks? There’s a very good chance you will be able to make those piles smaller. I like to take each family member’s pile and put them either in packing cubes or large zip-lock bags so that everyone’s clothes are not mixed up together in the suitcase.

Once you arrive at your hotel you can simply assign a drawer to each family member and place their bags of belongings in their drawer. You can then use those bags for dirty articles going home.

How do you get ready for your family trips?

packing tips families