Heading on a family vacation and need a little help packing, this is the list for you. This family vacation packing list is detailed and includes everything that you need to consider when leaving for your family vacation. This is the only packing list template you will need, for any destination.
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We use this list when we are preparing for our travel, from a weekend trip to Las Vegas to a 10 day trip to Japan. This family packing template will be just what you need to make packing stress-free. If you are packing light (carry-on only) play close attention to the items with ** as they are the most important.
Money & Documents
- Cash/credit card/debit card – Remember to inform your bank that you will be traveling to so that your cards will operate properly. There is nothing worse than trying to make a purchase and the transaction is declined because your bank believes it may be fraudulent activity.
- Wallet (Travel) – This may seem obvious but having a smaller travel size lightweight wallet can save you space while traveling. It will make it easier to only carry the necessary items. If you only have space for 3 or 4 cards you will not carry the “extra stuff”, that we seem to keep on our wallets such as business cards and receipts.
- Passport (Make copies!!!) – If you are traveling internationally having your passport is a no brainer. I like to have a few copies of our password if I lose them. (I also store a copy of our passport cover in our google drive just in case.) This could also be helpful to carry with you while you are exploring. It is recommended to keep your passport in a safe place while traveling. (Remember: check the expiration date and remaining blank pages)
- Driver’s License/Identification – A license is great to have for identification.
- Immunization (Vaccination) Records – This may be needed if you are traveling internationally with children. Having a copy/picture on your phone may be needed in the event of a medical emergency.
- Copy of Birth Certificates – Birth certificates can be required by the airline for age verification for lap kids under 2. If you have a different last name than your child this may be needed to establish yourself as the parent. In most cases, this is not needed but it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
- Travel Itinerates/boarding passes - I recommend taking a screenshot and keeping on your phone. It can be difficult to access emails, especially if you are traveling internationally and there is no Wi-Fi readily available.
- Health & Travel Insurance documents – I recommend taking a picture of the front and back of your insurance card for emergency purposes. If someone hurts themselves and you need to take a trip to the emergency room having this could have a lot of money.
With airlines charging for overhead bin space, and the price of checked baggage continuously increasing space is prime real estate when traveling. Purchasing travel size toiletries can save a lot of space. I usually inquire before departing for our vacation if toiletries are available in the room or at the hotel. A lot of hotels have items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and razors available for guests.
- Shower Shoes (we usually use cheap flip-flops)
If you want to pack like a minimalist, you can consider eliminating a few items.
First Aid & Hygiene
You must leave medicine in the original container. Certain countries will dispose of medication if it is not labeled properly, easily identifiable, or in its original container.
- Prescription medicine
- Glasses/contact lens (solution/containers)
- First-Aid Kit (Band-Aids, alcohol wipes, pain
reliever, topical ointment)
- Cotton swabs/Q-tips
- Allergy medicine
- Insect repellent (DEET-free) – We use mosquito repellant bracelets, they are great for younger kids, and babies who cannot use repellent.
- Sunscreen – We have learned that more often than not sunscreen is cheaper to purchase before departing. It can be very expensive once you reach your destination.
- Aloe Vera gel – If you have ever experienced a sunburn this is a miracle remedy to help with the symptoms.
- Feminine hygiene products (just in case)
- Cell Phone/Charger
- Solar Portable Charger – Charge your phone on the go without worrying about outlets.
- Tablet/ iPad/Laptop along with charger
- Travel adapter
- Memory cards
- External Hard drive
These items do not fit into the other categories so they are listed here.
- Needle & Thread - Packing needle and thread was a lifesaver for us in China, when our son ripped the head off of his favorite elephant blanket. Our fun vacation could have quickly turned into an exhausting nightmare. It was also useful when the strap ripped off of a small cooler we were using to transport break milk.
- Travel size flashlight
- Reusable water bottle -
- Ziploc bags - You never know when you will need them.
- Small bowls - We pack food on our
- Tape (childproof cover outlets) - Now that our little one is crawling and moving duct tape is a great quick childproofing alternative for outlets and cabinets. This allows him to explore our hotel or apartment without having to worry if he can hurt himself.
- Waterproof bag
- Compression Packing Cubes – These are the best thing since sliced bread. Compression packing cubes make it easier to fit more into your suitcase.
- Pen – You’d be surprised how often you will need a pen when traveling. Filling out the arrival and departure card before getting off of the plane will save you time at customs
- Travel Guide Books – Lonely Planet has great interactive guide books for children. If you are looking for great ways to get your kids excited about traveling check out their books.
- Cross-body purse –
Clothing can be the most difficult depending on where you are going. I am adamant about checking the weather daily 5 days before our departure. The weather took a turn on us for the worse in Beijing, with sudden rain in the city and snow on the Great Wall of China.
- Pants - Depending on your location pants may not be needed. As a general rule, we do not pack denim because it is too heavy, takes up a lot of space, and takes too long to dry.
- Shorts -
- T-shirts - Lightweight breathable t-shirts are great because they do not take a lot of space. Using the rolling method will allow you to pack fit more into your bags.
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Rain gear
- Comfortable shoes
- Hiking boots
- Socks (pack extra socks, they tend to get lost)
- Hats – Protection from the sun is essential for avoiding sunburn. If you have never experienced a sunburn you are one of the lucky ones because it is a club you do not want to be a part of.
- Sarong – Swimsuit cover (depending on destination)
- Sports Bra
If you have additional items that you take on your family adventures, please add them in the comments section below.
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