A stress-free vacation with kids starts with pro-level packing. As with all the best adventures, preparation is absolutely crucial, and how well you pack for your family vacation can have a significant impact on how smoothly things go further down the line.
Packing for an adventure with your kids doesn’t have to be stressful, either. There are a few key things to remember and a bunch of tips that will ensure that you have everything you need when you need it, and that can help keep stress to an absolute minimum when you are on the road. Take a look, and start planning your next outdoor adventure or tropical cruise getaway with a little more peace of mind!
Don’t pack separate bags for every family member
If something goes wrong in transit and you lose a bag, you don’t want one child to lose all their clothes! Instead of keeping everything separate, pack a few sets of clothes for everyone in every bag you have. That way, in a worst-case scenario, everyone will still have something to wear!
Don’t pack everything you think you will need
When traveling with kids, it is tempting to throw absolutely everything you think you’ll need in a suitcase ‘just in case’. But chances are you won’t need most of these things, and lugging around unnecessary luggage gets old quickly. Think carefully about what you will need, be prepared for the unexpected, sure, but also be realistic with your packing.
Do get your kids involved
Packing doesn’t have to be a chore, and getting your kids involved can be an enjoyable experience for them too! Give them responsibility for packing their own backpack or carry-on – they’ll enjoy being seen as mature and love feeling helpful.
Do leave some spare room
Filling your bags when setting off on vacation is a bad idea for any trip, but even worse when you are traveling with kids. You will definitely want to leave space for souvenirs, mementos, and knick-knacks that you pick up along the way, and tossing out dad’s favorite shoes for a stuffed donkey in a hat is likely to cause friction.
Keep a few things in your hand luggage
Again, while losing your luggage might be unlikely, it is always best to be prepared for the worst. Packing an emergency change of clothes and a set of basic necessities like toothbrushes, a first aid kit, and things like baby wipes in your hand luggage mean that if your checked baggage goes missing, you can still get by.
Separate your clothes by day
Packing cubes and ziplock bags are an absolute lifesaver and are a great way to make mornings with kids on vacation run smoothly. Plan outfits in advance, pack them up together, and save time and stress when organizing everything before the day gets going.
Include a surprise!
Popping something unexpected and delightful into your kids’ luggage is a lovely treat and helps keep them entertained and having a great time throughout your trip. Whether it’s a board game they’ve not seen before or a brand new outfit, a little surprise can make a big difference to your family’s mood!