When it comes to packing for a family vacation, it can be tempting to just bring along whatever you think you might need. After all, there’s no way you can predict everything that could happen on your trip, so why bother trying? Well, a lot of those “just in case” items end up taking up valuable space in your suitcase (or car) and never getting used. Not to mention, the more you pack, the more likely it is that something will get lost or forgotten along the way.
Luckily, you can minimize the amount of stuff you have to lug around by being a little more strategic about what you pack. To help you avoid overpacking (and all the headaches that come with it), here are a few tips for making sure that you pack everything you’ll need on your next family vacation, no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing:
Packing for a Family Vacation: Make Sure You Bring Everything You Need
Invest In A High-Quality Luggage Set
If you’re still using that old suitcase you’ve had since college, it might be time for an upgrade. Having a high-quality luggage set will make packing (and unpacking) a breeze – and it’ll also help ensure that your belongings arrive at your destination in one piece. When choosing a set, look for something durable, lightweight, and easy to manoeuvre.
Softside luggage is typically lighter and more versatile – but it’s not as good at protecting your belongings from getting crushed or damaged. On the other hand, hard-side luggage is usually your best bet in terms of durability and protection. And if you are looking for the best hardside luggage for your travels, look for a set that has spinner wheels. These are a godsend when it comes to manoeuvring your luggage through crowded airports and narrow hotel hallways.
And if you’re travelling with young children, be sure to get a set that includes a kids’ size suitcase so they can pack their belongings (within reason, of course). Also, if you’re going to be doing a lot of flying, consider investing in a luggage scale. This will come in handy for avoiding overweight baggage fees.
Make A List Of Everything You Need To Pack
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people try to wing it when packing for a vacation. Making a list of everything you need to pack will not only help you stay organized, but it’ll also help prevent you from forgetting anything important.
Start by making a list of all the essentials – things like clothes, toiletries, and medications. Then, take inventory of what you have and what you need to buy. Once you have everything you need, start grouping items together by category. For example, pack all your shirts together, then all your pants, etc. This will make it easier to find everything once you’re unpacking.
It will all be helpful to have a separate list for each person in your family. This way, everyone will be responsible for packing their belongings (and you won’t have to play the role of pack mule).
Choose The Right Clothing For Your Destination
One of the biggest mistakes people make when packing is bringing too many clothes. Not only does this add unnecessary weight to your luggage, but it also takes up valuable space that could be used for other things. When choosing what to bring, always err on the side of caution and pack items that can be easily mixed and matched.
For example, if you’re travelling to a warm climate, pack lightweight shirts and shorts that can be worn more than once. And if you’re going somewhere cold, pack a few versatile layers that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. In general, it’s best to avoid packing anything too fancy or formal – you can always buy something if you need it.
Pack Your Toiletries In Small Containers
Trying to fit all your favourite toiletries into a single carry-on bag can be a challenge. The good news is that there are ways to get around this. One of the best is to invest in a set of small travel-sized containers and fill them up with your favourite products. This will not only save space, but it’ll also help you avoid any leaks or spills in your luggage.
When packing liquids, always double-check the TSA guidelines to make sure that they meet the 3-1-1 rule (3.4 ounces or less per container, in a 1 quart-sized bag). And if you’re looking to save space, consider investing in multifunctional products like shampoo/conditioner combos and all-in-one body wash/shaving creams.
For makeup lovers, there are now many compact makeup palettes that come with everything you need to create a basic look. These are perfect for travel since they eliminate the need to pack multiple products.
Don’t Forget The Important Documents
Before heading out on your trip, be sure to double-check that you have all the important documents you’ll need. This includes things like your passport, driver’s license, travel insurance policy, and any other required visas or permits. It’s also a good idea to make copies of all your important documents in case of loss or theft. And if you’re travelling internationally, don’t forget to check for any vaccination requirements.
If you are travelling with pets, you’ll also need to bring along their veterinary records and any required paperwork. Keep in mind that each country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to importing animals, so be sure to do your research in advance.
Don’t Forget Important Medications
If you take any regular medications, be sure to pack them in your carry-on bag. This way, you’ll have them with you in case your luggage gets lost or delayed. It’s also a good idea to bring along a list of all the medications you’re taking, as well as the contact information for your doctor.
If you have any special medical needs, make sure to research the facilities and services that will be available at your destination. For example, if you’re travelling with an infant, find out ahead of time if there are any baby-friendly hotels or restaurants. And if you have allergies, make sure to pack any necessary EpiPens or other medications.
Even though packing for a trip can be a bit daunting, it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that you bring everything you need – without overpacking. So the next time you’re getting ready for a vacation, remember to keep these things in mind and you’ll be sure to have a great time.