Luggage and packing tips for family travel.
Holiday road……we can just hear the sounds of that iconic sound floating through the air as you plan your next family vacation. Sure, traveling can be fun, but it can also be a lot to manage as you plan to bring all the essentials for each member of your family.
Whether you are on the road or adventuring by air, here are some genius luggage and packing tips for family travel that will reduce waste, eliminate those luggage explosion moments that inevitably happen as you are traipsing across the globe, and reduce those moments of panic spent trying to find something that “you were sure you’d packed”. Follow these tips for stress-free, happy family travel!
Start with a list
A week before your departure date, sit down with family members and map out “the essentials that will be needed for travel”. A perceived need might not match up with actual needs, so parents–feel free to take the lead on this one. If the goal is to unplug during your vacation, then there will not be a need for electronic devices or charging cords. Make a detailed list of the essentials needed for all and for each individual family member. As you pack and organize, cross these items off your list to ensure that you don’t have to stop at the local convenience store and purchase a ten-dollar tube of toothpaste. Organization is key for happier travel.
Make sure your luggage can stand up to challenge
If you haven’t updated your luggage since you got married, perhaps it’s time to splurge on a new set that can stand all of the stuffing. Vintage luggage sets provide a bit of nostalgia combined with style and practicality that make packing and transport a snap. Just make sure you purchase enough for all of those “extras” that make traveling a bit easier!
Resist the urge to pack for every day
When going on a 14-day coast to coast excursion, one surefire way to drive yourself nuts is to try and pack a different outfit for each day. Our best advice? Pick four of your faves for each family member, and get ready to rotate and wash as you plan your daily stops. You’ll save room for other essentials as well as any tchotchkes that you pick up along the way.
How about one pair of PJs?
Giving the kids a bath before bed is a great way to wash off travel grime and make it easier to slip into the same pair of PJ’s more than once. If you must pack two, see if you can mix and match tops and bottoms, and make sure they are comfortable enough to justify sleeping in an unfamiliar bed each night!
Double up on undies
There are bound to be accidents when traveling, especially when you have little ones. Double up on undies so you don’t have to slip on a compromised pair after a swim, and make sure you are ready for whatever the day throws at you. Pack plastic bags or Ziploc bags for containment purposes, and be ready to throw items away, if needed. You never know what could happen when navigating the highway between rest stops.
Fold and organize your clothes properly!
For Heaven’s sake, nothing is more frustrating than combing through a suitcase that hasn’t been organized, looking for one item that you need. Take the time to properly fold and pack your clothes according to when you need them, and when you are finished with an outfit, have a plan for rotating and cleaning them. Pack items that you need on a daily basis in a different bag or container that is more accessible, and make sure that people can get to it when needed. A little pre-planning and organization go a long way toward dressing while traveling.
Consider packing cubes
If you have multiple people using a single suitcase, consider using packing cubes to make navigating clothing and essentials easier. They can even be color-coded according to family member to reduce arguing and sparring over suitcase space. Stack them vertically for more efficient use of space, and don’t forget to re-pack when done. After all, you’ll want to make sure you arrive home with all the belongings that you originally packed.
Separate bags for separate functions
Don’t put your bathroom essentials in your suitcase—not only is it frustrating to make sure you can find everything, bathroom items have a tendency to leak all over clothing and other daily use items. Pack clothing in suitcases, pack bathroom essentials in a separate bag and use a third bag for prescription medications and first aid items. In doing so, you’ll reduce the amount of time spent looking for things.
Regardless of how you are traveling, remember that your main goal is to enjoy the time together and have fun! Create wonderful, warm memories, work together to overcome travel hassles, and get ready for some serious adventures! Have a wonderful time!