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Packing ‘smart’ for a vacation with kids

massimo-avec-bagage_dec-2016Ahhhh the winter season, most of us want to escape the cold weather and snow and simply plant our feet in the warm sand while listening to the waves. But when you decide to go on a vacation, the thought of packing for the whole family can be overwhelming.

I always tell myself to pack light, but the key is to pack smart!

Here are just a few tips that can help:

  1. Make a packing list for each member of the family.

Have a separate list for each person so you can cross off the items while you’re putting them in the suitcase. A simple tip is to highlight or circle the last-minute items that you need to put into your bag right before leaving such as toothbrushes, the kids’ favorite stuffed animal or snacks.

  1. Choose your kids’ outfits for each day.

Pack each outfit in a zip lock bag or a travel pouch and label it with the day. I typically include everything related with the outfit in the bag: top, bottom, socks, undies, accessories. I also usually pack one extra outfit in case kids get dirty during the day.


  1. Use travel pouches (travel cubes) to separate categories of items.

Travel cubes are great for organizing a suitcase, everything is categorized and I use them for items that I don’t like touching other items for hygienic purposes. For example, I have a pouch for electronics (chargers, camera, earphones, etc), one for sunscreen and other creams, another for our travel pharmacy (basic first aid kit, allergy/antihistamine, prescription meds, etc.).


  1. Don’t forget snacks, snacks, snacks…

My kids love to have a variety of snacks when we travel. Sometimes it’s the only thing they will eat during the trip because they simply don’t like airplane food or the food available is not kid friendly (they can’t easily grab it with their hands). I recommend using compartmentalized boxes, such as bead organizers for example where you can put a different snack in each compartment. This way you don’t have to bring a plastic container for each snack and it makes it fun for kids to have their “platter” of snacks to choose from!


Hope these tips can help lighten the load and make your packing experience a little easier.

Happy organizing and Happy vacation!

  • Sheindl

    hi Elizabeth. I don’t have any young children, but I love your ideas. Bravo! Happy travelling, and all the best!

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