3 Smart Strategies for Packing for a Family Vacation This Summer

packing for a family vacation

Pack smart, travel happy!

Ahhhh, the excitement of a family vacation! There’s nothing like exploring new places and creating amazing memories with your favorite people. But let’s be honest—packing for a family vacation can be a bit of a challenge. Don’t worry; we’ve got good news! With some clever planning, you can say goodbye to chaotic, last-minute packing sessions and hello to smooth, organized travels.

Ready to pack like a pro? Grab your suitcases, and follow these strategies for your best family vacation everrrrr!

  • Plan (and pack!) ahead

    And not just slightly ahead, we mean really ahead. Because the last thing you guys want to do is squeeze in a handful of last-minute Tar-jay trips while you’re packing for a family vacation!

    Create a comprehensive, organized checklist of everything you may need, organized by category: clothing, toiletries, first aid kit, destination-specific items (such as beach gear), tech gadgets and cords, and so on.

    Get older kids involved in the process and give them their autonomy by creating your packing list in a shareable format, such as your Notes app. Let them add items to the family’s list—but give them a deadline—so that you can make sure they have everything they need.

    You’ll reduce that last-minute stress and ensure that all of your essentials are going on vacay with you!

    Packing Pro Tip: Keep an evolving “master” packing list that you can use for future trips, noting anything you forgot or that you ended up not needing.

  • Embrace minimalism

    It’s pretty much inevitable; more people = more “stuff.” Unfortunately, that also means that you run a higher chance of having to pay for an extra suitcase, or even worse, overweight baggage fees.

    Give your wallet a break by adopting a “less is more” philosophy when you start packing for a family vacation.

    Here are a few tips to help you keep your packed items to a minimum—even with kids!

    – Choose versatile clothing items that can be worn for multiple occasions.
    –  laundry sheets (and stain remover, because…. kids), so the whole fam can re-wear clothing throughout the trip.
    – Share toiletries! Even if everyone has a different “favorite” shampoo/soap/toothpaste at home, pick one for everyone to use during the trip.
    – Pack lightweight clothing and layer as needed,
    – Stick to neutral colors that can be mixed and matched throughout the trip.
    – Shoes take up a lot of space. Pack the ones that can pull double-duty, such as shoes that are comfy enough to hike in, but cute enough to wear around town.

  • Remember the in-flight supplies

    Remember, you’re not just packing for a family vacation, you’re also packing for the flight! And depending on how long your flight is, your children—and you—will want some entertainment.

    Here are some tips for keeping everyone happily distracted during your flight.

    – Give each kid a backpack, tote, or cinch bag, and, if they’re old enough, let them decide what they want to bring on board. This bag can also double as their beach bag/daypack while you’re on vacation, so it’s a double win!
    – Airplane WiFi is notoriously spotty. Load up your kids’ phones and tablets with books, movies, or games that they can access offline.
    – Pack plenty of snacks! Stick to healthy, filling treats to avoid sugar highs. And bring enough snacks for the airport, too, so you can avoid paying airport prices.
    – Charge all of your devices overnight, but bring cords, portable chargers, and extra batteries. They’re lifesavers if your flight is delayed!
    – Stock up on some new distractions: coloring books and crayons, travel-size board games, or card games.

Packing for a family vacation doesn’t have to be stressful! Follow these strategies to make sure you have everything you need—without overpacking.

Once you’re done with packing, make your trip even less stressful by shipping your stuff to your hotel or Airbnb with LugLess. For less than the price of the average checked bag, you can skip the twin hassles of checking bags and waiting at baggage claim. And you’ll set the perfect tone for the rest of your family vacation: relaxed and carefree!