Make the most of family travel with these 5 packing tips

By Sandra Aris

Spring and summer travel is here, and parents are ready to get kids out of the house and on the road or in the air. But before kicking off their dream vacation, parents are left with the difficult task of packing for everyone in the family. And while it may be as simple as outfits and skincare for adults, packing for kids requires much more preparation, thought, and consideration.

Don’t run out the clock

While you might think you can accomplish all of your packing in an afternoon, that’s likely not the case. Give yourself time to pack and plan for everyone. The more people you have in your family, the more time you need. This way you can see how much space you really have for everything ahead of time and can double and even triple check that you remembered everything.

Know the plan

While you might know you’re heading out on a beach vacation with the family, think about the other places you’ll go too. You likely won’t want everyone to wear a bathing suit to a nice restaurant for dinner. Having an idea of where you’ll visit can make packing go more smoothly. It’s also important to check the weather so everyone can have what they need, and your vacation isn’t ruined by an unexpected downpour.

Pack for messes, but leave the closet

While we might make an attempt to keep our photo-worthy vacation outfits clean, kids are mess magnets. Plan to pack multiple outfits for kids throughout the day, and plan for a mishap. This doesn’t mean to throw your entire kid’s wardrobe in the suitcase but figure out which nicer outfits could potentially get messy and pack an extra so your family photo isn’t ruined by a giant stain.

Pack smart

Think about clothes with multiple uses. Airport fashion can easily translate into tourist sight-seeing if you plan ahead. Choose functional and comfortable outfits that can transition with you throughout the day. For parents of babies and toddlers, there are protective pants with pads in the knee and butt area that can prevent travel meltdowns for kids running up and down plane aisle, and for excited wobbly steps on the beach. In most suitcases, shoes will take a majority of the space, choose shoes that can be used for function and fashion to conserve space.

Think beyond clothes and toiletries

Packing doesn’t just involve outfits and toothpaste. For example, make sure to plan ahead with medications that are taken daily, as well as pain-relieving medications such as Tylenol, aspirin, etc. For road trips, be sure to pack enough snacks and entertaining activities to keep everyone in the car full and happy. This can be a list of road trip games you write on your phone, coloring books, or other forms of entertainment.

Most importantly, cherish the time you spend with your family on vacation. Memories will last a lifetime, and in most cases something you forgot to pack can be found at a convenience store or grocery store nearby. Taking the time to plan your packing for the family can make the trip more enjoyable and create even better memories.

About The Author

Sandra Aris, mom and entrepreneur, creates protective clothing (Sandra Aris Pants) for children to help encourage confidence and resilience. After years working for and designing clothing at motor-cross and athletic gear companies, Sandra wanted to use her expertise to create a product that can stop parents from becoming overprotective and provide kids with the comfort they need to explore. 

You can follow Sandra on Facebook and Instagram.


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