The Ultimate Guide to Packing for a Family Vacation

Traveling with your family can be an exciting and memorable experience. However, packing for a family vacation requires careful planning and organization to ensure that you have everything you need for a successful trip. In this ultimate guide to packing for a family vacation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of essentials to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Clothing Essentials

When it comes to packing clothes for a family vacation, it is important to consider the weather and activities that you will be doing. Depending on your vacation destination, you may need to pack clothes for different seasons. It is also important to consider the type of trip you will be taking. For example, if you are going on a cruise, you may need to pack formal wear for dinner or activities on the ship. If you are taking a flight, you may want to pack some essentials in your carry-on bag, such as a change of clothes, medication, and travel documents. If you are driving to your destination, you may want to pack snacks and entertainment options to keep everyone occupied during the trip. By considering the type of trip you are taking, you can pack accordingly and ensure that you have everything you need for a successful and enjoyable family vacation. Here are some essentials that you should consider when packing for your family vacation.

Here is a downloadable checklist for your packing needs, this way you can follow along and add your own extras.

Travel Packing Checklist Beige A4 Document scaled

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Comfortable and weather-appropriate outfits

It may seem obvious but over prepare. Make sure to pack clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for the weather conditions of your destination. If you are visiting a place with a hot climate, make sure to pack light and breathable clothes. If it’s cold, bring warm and cozy outfits.


Don’t forget to pack undergarments, such as bras, panties, and undershirts.


Bring enough pairs of socks to last for the entire trip and add a pair extra. Consider packing different types of socks, such as athletic socks, dress socks, and warm socks for cold destinations.


Pack comfortable pajamas for everyone in your family.


If you are going to a beach or a place with a pool, don’t forget to pack swimsuits for everyone in your family.

Jackets or sweaters

Pack a jacket or a sweater, especially if you are traveling to a place with a cold climate.

PXL 20220213 171017988

Comfortable shoes

Bring comfortable shoes that are suitable for the activities you have planned. For example, if you are going hiking, pack hiking shoes. Water shoes can also be a great option, just remember to think about what you need as shoes can take up a good amount of space in your bags.

Sandals or flip flops

Pack sandals or flip-flops for beach destinations or casual outings. My new favorite while traveling is sandals with a closed toe. This helped to make a more versatile shoe I can wear to multiple activities.

PXL 20220806 191507578


Pack hats to protect your family’s face and head from the sun. Don’t forget a bucket hat protects your head and shoulders, we find these are the best when traveling. Also, they make really fun ones, and cute ones for kids as well.

81FILNzY wL. AC UX679 1
received 529610341848202


Don’t forget to pack sunglasses to protect your family’s eyes from the sun.

Get Waterproof bags and phone cases if needed.

Waterproof bags and waterproof cell phone cases became essential for us as we traveled. This is the bag and cases we picked up.

711fCpE7mGL. AC SY679

Toiletries and Personal Care Essentials

Toiletries and personal care items are essential for any trip. You’ll need to pack the basics such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, and soap. However, depending on your family’s needs, you may need to add additional items to the list. Here are some toiletries and personal care essentials that you should consider:

Amazon has you covered for the correct travel-size containers

61wrnvOv2KS. AC UX679


Pack deodorant to keep you and your family smelling fresh during the trip.

Hairbrushes and combs

Bring hairbrushes and combs to keep your family’s hair looking neat.

Hair ties and clips

Pack hair ties and clips for long-haired family members.

Feminine hygiene products

Pack feminine hygiene products for women in your family.

Razor and shaving cream

Bring razors and shaving cream for family members who need them.

Face wash and moisturizer

Pack face wash and moisturizer for a complete skincare routine.

Body lotion

Pack body lotion to keep your skin hydrated during the trip.

Hand sanitizer

Bring hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean and germ-free.

Wet wipes

Pack wet wipes for quick cleanups and spills.

Medicine Essentials

When traveling with a family, it’s important to pack a well-stocked first-aid kit. You never know when someone might get a cut, scrape, or fever. The first-aid kit should contain basic items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. Here are some medical essentials that you should consider:

Prescription medications

Pack enough prescription medications for the entire trip.

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Bring over-the-counter pain relievers.

Allergy medication

Pack allergy medication if anyone in your family has allergies.

Motion sickness medication

If anyone in your family is prone to motion sickness, bring medication to prevent it.

Diarrhea medication

Pack diarrhea medication in case someone in your family gets sick.

First-aid kit

Bring a first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and other basic medical supplies.

Untitled design 11

Amazon has several great first aid kits, we like this one for travel.

Entertainment Essentials

While packing for a family vacation, it’s essential to keep in mind that not all entertainment options may be available at your destination. Therefore, you need to pack some items to keep everyone entertained during the trip. Here are some entertainment and miscellaneous essentials that you should consider:

Books, magazines, or e-readers


Pack reading materials for your family to enjoy during downtime. We love our Kindles we have a couple of the Paperwhite ones.

Board games or card games

Bring board games or card games for some family-friendly competition.

Electronics, such as tablets or portable DVD players

Pack electronics for entertainment during long flights or car rides.

Chargers and batteries

Don’t forget to pack chargers and extra batteries for all your electronics.

Travel pillow and blanket

Bring a travel pillow and blanket for a comfortable trip.

Reusable water bottle

Pack a nonleak reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during the trip. These CamelBak ones below have been my go-to. I found they just do not leak, and at least for me I have never broken a loop.

61qso0arGZL. AC SY879


Passport, Boarding pass, Driver’s license, Health insurance, Copies of documents, Cards + Cash. You will want most of these and maybe more for each member of your party.

IMG 20220515 214442

Packing Tips and Tricks

Now that you have a list of essentials to pack for your family vacation, here are some packing tips to help make the process more manageable:

Start packing early

Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. Start a few days before your trip to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Use packing cubes

Packing cubes are an excellent way to keep your clothes organized and save space in your luggage.

Roll your clothes

Instead of folding your clothes, roll them to save space and reduce wrinkles.

Use vacuum-sealed bags

If you need to pack bulky items like jackets or sweaters, consider using vacuum-sealed bags to save space.

Pack essentials in your carry-on

Make sure to pack essential items like medications, travel documents, and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage gets lost or delayed.


  1. How many days in advance should I start packing for a family vacation?

It’s best to start packing at least a few days before your trip to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

  1. How many clothes should I pack for a week-long family vacation?

The number of clothes you should pack depends on the number of days and the activities you’ll be doing. However, a general rule of thumb is to pack 1-2 outfits per day.

  1. Should I pack only sunscreen or both sunscreen and sunblock?

Wait they are not the same thing? I know it’s crazy we just learned this recently. So Sunscreen covers you for UV-B rays and is a chemical coating shield essentially. Sunblock acts as a barrier by using zinc, or titanium dioxide to literally reflect the sun away this makes for UV-A and UV-B protection. It’s best to pack both sunscreen and sunblock to ensure maximum protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

  1. Can I pack my prescription medication in my checked luggage?

It’s best to pack prescription medication in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage gets lost or delayed.

  1. How do I pack for a family vacation with kids of different ages?

Consider packing clothes and entertainment options that are suitable for all ages. You may also want to bring some snacks and toys to keep younger children engaged during the trip.


Packing for a family vacation can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and organization, it can be more manageable. By making a list of essentials, considering the weather and activities, and using some packing tips, you can make sure that your trip is a success. Remember to pack enough clothes, toiletries, medicine, and entertainment options to keep everyone happy and engaged during the trip. Download and print our list below if you want a little help with a checklist.

Check out the cruise we took recently.

received 319849120047420 1

About Us

Our website

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Our Etsy Store


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Our Current Gear

By Ourfamily

We are a recently blended family of five. As the parents in this household, we have a variety of struggles with two bouts of cancer, fibromyalgia, and hypertension between us. We are real people just trying to help others with similar difficulties bring back the joy and fun in your family’s life. Our happy family consists of three wonderful children with ages ranging from eight to seventeen. Between our children, we are challenged daily with diagnoses such as ADHD, Autism, and spirited personalities all around. They each have their own strengths as well as struggles giving them each a delightful and unique addition to our family. We are also blessed with several fur babies such as our two quirky pups, three moody cats, and a chunky bunny. With this ever-growing circus, we are always looking for life hacks to make life just a little easier.