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Packing tips for families


Laura is the blogger and influencer behind Frugal for Luxury, a family travel and family lifestyle blog, where she inspires fellow parents to make remarkable family memories. A mom of 3 and happily married, Laura and her family travel often and enjoy adventuring in foreign lands.

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Packing tips for families

Let’s talk family travel for a minute…

If you traveled before kids, chances are high that you love the adventure and exploring inherent to travel.

But now you have kids, you say? Great! Kids love adventures, they love exploring, and I want you to start them on travel, as early as possible!

My daughter crossed the Atlantic for the first time, when she was 8 weeks old. She and her siblings have pretty much been traveling ever since. Our son crossed his first border when he was just 13 hours fresh… Travel is inside them, it is who they are.

We have taken all three kids to 4 continents so far, and if you ask me the recipe for a happy and tight family, I will tell you, without a doubt – FAMILY TRAVEL.

So now that you have kids, and can’t wait to take them on fun family adventures, comes the time to pack your bags!!!

Yay!!

Time to pack

Nope… my least-anticipated chore of any sort of travel. I do not like packing, I procrastinate it, then delay it some more, and when we are finally about to leave… I pack…

I have never liked packing for trips – kids or not… But I have become good at it, and can have the whole family packed in about an hour. (I do let the hubby pack his own stuff!!)

Let’s talk about what goes into the checked luggages, what you should keep handy in the airplane, and what you should be leaving home!

The list below is considering that none of us like paying for checked luggages… So I will have you pack 2 luggages max, per family, for a 7-night trip!

Checked Luggage

In your checked luggage, you will want to pack the essentials, and customize it for your destination (snow trip? beach vacation? Disney visit? I have links below for each type of vacation).

This is what you will want for each traveler, for 7 nights in a warm-weather destination:

CLOTHING

  • 4 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of pants (one to be worn in the airplane)
  • 4 to 6 casual shirts
  • 2 dresses for women / girls
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 cardigan
  • 2 – 3 work-out outfits if plan on hitting the gym
  • 7 underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 2 swimsuits (with UV shirts)
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of closed-toe shoes (to be worn in the airplane)
  • 1 hat
ACCESSORIES / TOILETRIES
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 10-15 diapers (just enough to get you to your destination and back! Put half in your carry-on)
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 deodorant
  • 1 hairbrush 

GRAB ONE

  • 1 tube of sunscreen SPF 50
  • 1 after-sun lotion
  • 1 bottle of ibuprofen (kids and adults)
  • 1 tweezer
  • 1 nail scissors
  • 1 baby butt cream
  • 5-10 bandaids
  • any prescription medication!

Carry-On Bag

The carry-on bag is for flight essentials. Remember that you are traveling with kids. You will probably be carrying at least one child through airports, security, at the gate, on your laps in the air, to the hotel, from the hotel, and so on, etc….

Your carry-on needs to be as light as possible. This is what you should be packing:

  • 2 books / e-reader
  • 1 tablet
  • 1 iPod (yes, I still do that…)
  • 1 pair of quality headphones
  • charging cables
  • 1 pack of gums for the airplane
  • chapstick
  • baby’s safety blanket and pacifier

What NOT To Pack

Let’s get to the meat of the subject and look at all the things you DO NOT need to pack. I know you won’t believe me right away, but your wallet and your back will thank me.

The items below can be purchased at destination. I mean it… no matter where you’re going, every country has the following items pretty much shelved at any store.

Do not over charge yourself. You’ll move slower, you’ll get frustrated. You will also pay much higher baggage fees, which could be spent at destination:

DIAPERS

Yes, I did it… I am telling you not to pack diapers, outside of the 10 to 15, which will get you to your destination and back. All other diapers (which can be 50+ diapers for a week-long trip), you can buy at destination!

BABY FOOD / FORMULA

Same thing. Those are heavy and can be bulky. Unless you have a baby with strict dietary restrictions and you are traveling out of the country, buy those at destination. Children without dietary restrictions will learn to like what other countries taste like! You are doing your child and yourself a huge favor!

TONS OF SUNSCREEN

Make sure to pack 1 tube of sunscreen SPF 50. More would just be weight… buy it locally if you need more than one.

I hope this article helped you demystify family packing!

I know it can be overwhelming to try to think about everything everyone will need. But take it one person at a time, and only pack the essentials. Travel is also made for the thrill and memories. Enjoy the moment and don’t over think it.

Enter your email address HERE to receive this list and a few more items in printable format!

ACCESSORIES / TOILETRIES

  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 10-15 diapers (just enough to get you to your destination and back! Put half in your carry-on)
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 deodorant
  • 1 hairbrush 

GRAB ONE

  • 1 tube of sunscreen SPF 50
  • 1 after-sun lotion
  • 1 bottle of ibuprofen (kids and adults)
  • 1 tweezer
  • 1 nail scissors
  • 1 baby butt cream
  • 5-10 bandaids
  • any prescription medication!

Carry-On Bag

The carry-on bag is for flight essentials. Remember that you are traveling with kids. You will probably be carrying at least one child through airports, security, at the gate, on your laps in the air, to the hotel, from the hotel, and so on, etc….

Your carry-on needs to be as light as possible. This is what you should be packing:

  • 2 books / e-reader
  • 1 tablet
  • 1 iPod (yes, I still do that…)
  • 1 pair of quality headphones
  • charging cables
  • 1 pack of gums for the airplane
  • chapstick
  • baby’s safety blanket and pacifier

What NOT To Pack

Let’s get to the meat of the subject and look at all the things you DO NOT need to pack. I know you won’t believe me right away, but your wallet and your back will thank me.

The items below can be purchased at destination. I mean it… no matter where you’re going, every country has the following items pretty much shelved at any store.

Do not over charge yourself. You’ll move slower, you’ll get frustrated. You will also pay much higher baggage fees, which could be spent at destination:

DIAPERS

Yes, I did it… I am telling you not to pack diapers, outside of the 10 to 15, which will get you to your destination and back. All other diapers (which can be 50+ diapers for a week-long trip), you can buy at destination!

BABY FOOD / FORMULA

Same thing. Those are heavy and can be bulky. Unless you have a baby with strict dietary restrictions and you are traveling out of the country, buy those at destination. Children without dietary restrictions will learn to like what other countries taste like! You are doing your child and yourself a huge favor!

TONS OF SUNSCREEN

Make sure to pack 1 tube of sunscreen SPF 50. More would just be weight… buy it locally if you need more than one.

I hope this article helped you demystify family packing!

I know it can be overwhelming to try to think about everything everyone will need. But take it one person at a time, and only pack the essentials. Travel is also made for the thrill and memories. Enjoy the moment and don’t over think it.

Enter your email address HERE to receive this list and a few more items in printable format!

Packing tips for families
packing tips for families
packing tips for families

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