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I am by NO MEANS I’m expert in this field, but we have gone on quite a few trips with either one or two kids in tow (Florida, Dallas, Chicago, the Cape, NYC, and more) and I definitely go through the same checklist every time we travel. We have a few more trips planned for this year (Charleston in August and possibly Europe as well) and I will definitely add to this list of tips as we go! It’s important to have a specific plan that you use for packing and stick to it. There have been many times where I would get easily overwhelmed and that is when you tend to forget the simple things!
Tips for Packing for a Family Vacation
- First step, sit down and begin writing a list. Separate the list into columns, one column for each member of your family. Write down JUST the necessities for each person first. Second, write down the extras that you’ll want to bring if you have room. For example, diapers and wipes are a necessity for baby but extras would be a baby blanket or extra clothing.
2. Figure out what bags or luggage you are bringing and how you will be packing them. We have a huge black travel suitcase that we use every time and then one another large duffel. I try to stick to the same bags whether we travel by car or plane. Simplicity is always best.
3. Now, before you start packing….. Take a big deep breath and realize that this trip (and especially getting to your destination) will be all about your kids wants and needs. The sooner you realize this, the better 😉 So, with this being said, do not skimp on the things that you know may entertain your children.
4. ) For the mamas…..be sure to pack just the essential toiletries. For me, this is a toothbrush, toothpaste, Positively Radiant (R) Makeup Removing Wipes and Aveeno® Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15, deodorant, & little shampoo/conditioner/body wash samples if I know that the place we are staying will not offer them. The makeup removing wipes are perfect for plane travel too since you may want to be able to keep your face fresh and clean during a long flight. I have been wearing the Aveeno Daily Moisturizer for years since my college roommate (looking at you Amy!) introduced it to me 12 years ago (!!) I love that it has built in SPF and it’s really light on the skin. It’s also NEVER made me breakout, so it’s a win-win in my book.
5.) Mama Clothing // I always try to stick to one color palette during my trip, this way I can mix and match all the clothing I bring to make multiple outfits. I will then add in three pairs of shoes; sneakers, flat sandals and one dressier pair of sandals. I travel wearing my sneakers since they take up the most room and they are also the most comfortable if you plan to travel via plane and have to walk far with the kids in tow. Don’t forget underwear (I have done this and it’s NOT preferred), bras, and sleepwear. I only bring 2-3 pairs of sleepwear and wear each one twice. Or just wear your husband’s tee to make it really easy on yourself.
6.) for the husbands // let them fend for themselves. Just kidding. well, only partly. I tend to pack the necessities for him and then let him finish up the rest. There are certain shorts and tees that he prefers so I let him choose. Husbands are SO easy to pack for though, if only it was this easy for EVERYONE. AM I right?!
7.) Kiddies // You will want to make sure that you have all the important things you need for them to sleep. Because, without sleep, you will have a MISERABLE time. So don’t forget anything! For us, this includes: Olivia’s bunny (that she refuses to sleep without) and blankie, Noise maker machine (they won’t sleep without one), comfy pajamas, mattress for the pack n play with sheet. I always try to bring the mattress for the pack n play if I can fit it. It’s much more comfortable than the awful mattress it typically comes with. You will also want to make sure that you have diapers/wipes/swim diapers since these are a pretty huge necessity. I always use the duffel bag to pack all of the kids things that I will want to be able to get to fast. I will pack some diapers, wipes, shout wipes, extra change of clothing for each child, teething toys, crayons, coloring book, ipad (for plane / movies), snacks, and food pouches for baby – with spoons and bibs). Oh, and sanitizing wipes!! Do NOT forget these!
8.) Pack your kids clothing in plastic baggies. Use the large gallon bags, and pack each outfit in a bag. It makes them easy to find and then when they are dirty at the end of the day, just throw them back in!
9.) Be sure to roll your clothing. It will keep them wrinkle free AND give you more room in your suitcase!
10.) Pack TOO many snacks. Kids love snacks. They will save you on your trip, I promise you.
11.) Take along an extra duffel bag and throw it into your suitcase. You may end up buying a few things on your trip and if you end up needing an extra bag, you’ll have it
12.) Instead of buying all individual toiletries for each person. Use these Go toobs and fill them with your favorite body wash, baby shampoo, conditioner from home!
13.) Keep yourself as organized as possible. I love these travel bags so that I can separate everything into sections. Plus, it makes things much easier to find! 🙂
That’s it! Do you have any other travel tips that you think I should add? Let me know! 🙂
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