Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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! 

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

Tips for Packing for a Family Vacation

  1. 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. 

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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. 

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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 ūüėČ So, with this being said, do not skimp on the things that you know may entertain your children.

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

4. ) For the mamas… sure to pack just the essential toiletries. For me, this is a toothbrush, toothpaste, Positively Radiant (R) Makeup Removing Wipes and Aveeno¬ģ 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.

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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. 

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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?!

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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!

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation


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!

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

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! ūüôā 

Family Travel Tips: Packing for a Summer Family Vacation

That’s it! Do you have any other travel tips that you think I should add? Let me know! ūüôā 

I‚Äôm sharing #Aveeno¬ģadvocates in my life as a sponsored series for Socialstars‚ĄĘ


  1. July 5, 2016 / 9:43 am

    These are great tips on packing for a family vacation. It’s so important to pack light when going away. We always try to bring just the bare minimum to keep our luggage light!

  2. Pam Wattenbarger
    July 5, 2016 / 11:20 am

    These are great packing tips for a family vacation. I always make sure to bring as many snacks as we have room for.

  3. July 5, 2016 / 11:34 am

    I can definitely tell by reading this blog that you are way more organized than I am. Most of the time I’m packing either the very night before or the day of the trip. I am terrible at organizing that stuff. LOL

  4. July 5, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    I love Aveeno’s products! And I’m in love with that duffel bag too! Your photos are gorgeous as always!

  5. July 5, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    I love Aveeno’s products!! These are great tips for packing for a summer vacation, we have had a couple so far this year and love the time away!

  6. July 5, 2016 / 5:42 pm

    I buy Aveeno often. Your beach photos are so gorgeous! I love your bag – can I ask where you got it? The color is perfect.

  7. Jeanine
    July 5, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    Wonderful tips! we love love love aveeno products, and use them quite often! we aren’t heading any where this year but these are some great packing tips!

  8. July 5, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    You have a beautiful family. You are so right when traveling with your kids it is all about your kid’s needs. Rolling clothes is very space saving as well. Great tips.

  9. July 5, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    What a great list of travel tips for summer vacation with family, loved reading it and hope it helps many get out there on vacation with their family this Summer.

  10. July 5, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    This is great advice. Aveeno products are always reliable when you have kids. Those GoToobs sound perfect too.

  11. Bella B
    July 6, 2016 / 12:05 am

    Oh my goodness these pictures are SO super precious! I love them – beach photo shoots are my favorite : ) These are great tips, I always feel like I forget things on vacations!

  12. Rebecca Swenor
    July 6, 2016 / 3:13 am

    This is indeed a great list of things for packing for the family when traveling. I do love the idea of the list with the columns for each person. Thanks for sharing the list and these photos are indeed so adorable.

  13. CourtneyLynne
    July 6, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    What great tips!!!! Packing for the whole fam can be challenging at times. Making a list is definitely key!

  14. Bonnie @wemake7
    July 6, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    What a lovely post. These are great packing tips. We have been planning a trip soon so will remember these tips.

  15. July 7, 2016 / 5:51 am

    These are great packing tips! I love using Aveeno too! It’s one of the few products that actually works on my skin!

  16. July 21, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Greetings! Very useful advice in thiis particular article!

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  21. November 23, 2016 / 2:58 am

    Great tips!

    We aren‚Äôt traveling this summer because we are moving at summer’s end and need to focus on that, but these are wonderful tips for next summer!

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. April 27, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Superb article! You have shared such as amazing tips for family vacation. As difficult as it may be, try to finish all your packing and arrangements the day before your departure. Talk about the trip and the destination with your child, and involve her in the planning.

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  24. October 5, 2017 / 5:39 am

    This is something my family really needs to do. Thanks for sharing these tips. I was planning to make a summer family vacation, though we haven’t selected the place.

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