How to Pack Better For Your Next Family Vacation
Issue #12-23 features tips on mastering the art of packing better for smarter and more efficient family travel
Mastering the Art of Packing: Tips for Smarter and More Efficient Family Travel
Regardless of the duration of your next vacation, whether it's a quick weekend escape or an extensive trip through Europe, packing a bag is a must, and doing it correctly is crucial.
While packing for a trip may appear straightforward, it can be challenging (especially with kids), as you don’t want to overpack or miss any items you may need for your trip. But with a little planning and organization, you can make the process much easier.
Numerous factors should be taken into consideration when deciding what to bring, such as the type and duration of your trip, your itinerary, the climate, and the size of your luggage. With so many variables at play, it can be easy to either overpack or underpack, particularly if you've procrastinated until the last minute.
Here are my top five tips on how to pack better for your next family vacation:
Make a Packing List
Start by creating a packing list for each member of your family. This will help you keep track of what you need to bring and ensure that you don't forget anything important.
What goes into my suitcase for a beach vacation versus a city trip is much different and to complicate matters even more, if you’re traveling in colder seasons, you’ll need to pack a lit more heavier clothing items.
Make separate lists for everything you think you’ll need for your vacation. I make checklists for the following categories to ensure I don’t miss anything:
Clothing Checklist that includes clothes we need for the duration of the trip, shoes, hats, etc
Toiletries Checklist that includes items each family member needs for the trip
Travel Essentials Checklist that includes items like medicines, vitamins and other things the kids may need (carseats, etc)
Tech Checklist that includes what devices we need, the chargers for them and other misc tech items
Documents Checklist that includes items like passports, insurance information, credit cards, hotel/air/car reservations and other items.
Pack Versatile Clothing
Simplify your wardrobe and choose clothing that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Stick to neutral colors that can be dressed up or down and that won't show dirt easily.
Use packing cubes to help you stay organized and make it easier to find what you need.
I like to plan each day’s outfit for every family member (plus an extra or two) and ensure we pack enough clothing, but not too much
Pack enough clothes for each child to wear for the duration of the trip, plus a few extra outfits in case of spills or accidents.
Bring comfortable shoes if you’re planning on doing lot of walking
Consider the weather for your destination and pack accordingly. Bring layers that can be added or removed as the weather changes.
Plan to do laundry (for extended trips)
Doing laundry on vacation may not seem like a fun idea, but it can save you from overpacking, especially on longer trips.
If the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t offer laundry services (or it is just too pricey), I recommend looking up nearby laundromats to get your clothing cleaned.
Whenever we travel to Europe, I find the closest laundromat and plan to do laundry on a day when we’re not out exploring.
Keep a Separate Toiletry Bag
If you travel often, I highly recommend having a toiletry bag with separate items that you never unpack.
Keep all of your travel sized items packed and replenish it as needed.
Track Your Checked Bags
It was hard to miss all of the news last Summer of lost bags across various airlines and what seemed like at every airport.
I highly recommend using Apple AirTags and placing one in each suitcase to be able to see where the bag is and ensure that even if it does get lost, you know where the bag is.
“Just in case” is the curse of packing. – Alexandra Potter
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