How to pack for vacation

Congrats! You’re going on vacation, lucky you! While planning a vacation can be exciting, it can also be stressful or daunting, especially when it comes to packing for the whole family. You want to have enough, but not too much; you don’t want to forget anything or overlook all those little details you use and need daily. Check out these tips on how to pack efficiently for the whole fam so you can just count down the days until your getaway.

1. Check the weather: See what the weather forecast says before packing for your trip, but don’t get discouraged by it. A Caribbean forecast can say tropical storms all week of your trip, but when you get there, it’s blue skies all day. Don’t just check the high temps for the day, check the lows – often warmer climates get chilly at night or cold climates may be snowing. You’ll want an idea of the weather to plan accordingly. *Check out our picks for hats, bonnets, rain boots, and sunglasses here.*

2. Anticipate your activities: Some people like to have their daily agendas mapped out hour-by-hour, and others like to go with the flow. Whatever type you are, at least make a list of anticipated activities. Are you going to dine at all casual places? Then you probably don’t need formal-wear. Are you going hiking or rock climbing? Then you’ll want gym shoes, band aids, and a lightweight pack to bring with.

3. Make lists: Once you have an idea of your activities, you can use that to make your packing lists for each family member. Make your list in categories: clothing, pajamas, under garments, footwear, toiletries, entertainment, medicine, swim/cold items. Does your destination have laundry services available you’ll use? Pack lightly then. Do you have a lot of walking activities planned? Bring another comfy shoe option, because even comfortable shoes can cause discomfort after a while. *Pro tip: Don’t bring any ‘maybe’ outfits, and don’t bring too many shoes!*

4. Find out the toiletry situation: Check with your hotel or other lodging to see what toiletries they offer; often they will have everything you need for free or they may suggest a nearby store you can purchase them. If you bring your own, opt for travel-size products, and pack them in a Ziplock bag in case any spills happen. *Pro tip: Mousse explodes from the high altitudes of airplanes and many places don’t supply conditioner.*

5. Mix and match clothing: It’s best to choose versatile clothing items you can easily mix and match to create multiple outfits. It will be easy for your kids to pick out outfits for themselves or for mom to throw looks together for the whole family this way.

6. Maximize space: If you’re tight on space, a great way to maximize space is by neatly folding your garment in half and then tightly rolling.

7. Pack medicine in carry on: Bags can get lost or delayed, so don’t pack any high valuables or medicine in your bag – put them in your carry on. If you don’t have any prescriptions, bring some general medications for head or stomach aches.

8. Electronics & entertainment: bring extra batteries, your charger, and make sure you charge your camera ahead of time. Entertainment items are especially important to keep your kids engaged during a road trip or flight. Also, consider how to minimize entertainment by using technology – books are heavy, so instead of packing 10 pounds of books, load them on your phone or kindle. Instead of travel maps and guides, save them to your phone ahead of time.

What are your tips and tricks for packing for vacation?