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The Ultimate Family Vacation Packing List: Know What to Pack for Your Family Trip (2023)

Posted by Dianne Chen on
Family vacation with kids

**Thanks to The Traveling Child for this photo!

At long last! The family vacation you've been planning and wanting to have is at hand. After all the long hours you put at work, cleaning and keeping the house organized, helping kids with their projects and homework, shopping and cooking, and all that jazz, you guys deserve some time off and enjoy each other's company as a family. And as a treat for your wonderful bunch, we prepared the ultimate family vacation packing list just for you! So just sit back and relax, we'll take care of what to pack.

What to Pack for a Family Vacation Checklist

Mom packing using clear cubes with kids

**Thanks to Jenna for this cute photo!

Ready for your next best family vacation? Below we have created a family vacation packing list for you, your hubby, and the little ones, so the only thing you have to worry about is the flavor of your margarita!

✅ Important Documents

passport and other travel essentials in an extra small cube

✔️ Boarding Passes - Most airlines allow their passengers to check-in online up to 24 hours before their flight. Make sure to check in within that window so you can choose the best seats for the fam.

✔️ Passport / Visa - Double check the expiration date of your passport and make sure it won't expire in less than 6 months. If it does, best make the arrangements to renew them before your the date of your trip. If you're traveling abroad, check the visa requirements of the country you're going to visit.

✔️ Driver's License / Other Valid IDs - Only adult passengers 18 years old and above are required to present identification at the checkpoint. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security have extended the REAL ID enforcement to October 1, 2021. You can read the announcement right here.

✔️ Hotel / Other Reservations - Confirm your reservations before leaving. Make sure you've reserved the right date and time so you won't have any problems when you arrive there.

✔️ Travel Insurance - Have a safety net when you travel. You'll never know when an emergency happens and when it does, you'll be covered and ready with your insurance.

✔️ Emergency Contact Numbers - Get a list of all the emergency contact numbers of your bank or credit card company, travel insurance company, doctor and others so you know who to contact just in case your phone, wallet, and other important things get stolen.

Pro Tip: Aside from having mobile or digital copies, make printed copies of all your documents. Keep your documents in an easy-access place when needed. After presenting them at the checkpoint, make sure to store them in a safe and secure place to prevent losing or misplacing them.

✅ Clothes

For Mom

mom's clothes in a royal blue medium cube

✔️ 1 to 2 Pairs of Jeans, Pants, Leggings - Choose your most comfy ones to make travelling and strolling enjoyable.

✔️ 1 Light Jacket - For strolling or going out with the fam on colder nights.

✔️ 4 Casual Tops - As a mom, try to balance comfort with style. Pack a variety of tops (short sleeves, long sleeves, etc.) that are perfect for photos and yet cozy enough to let you do your mom duties in peace.

✔️ 1 to 2 Dressy Outfits - Going out with the family at night in a nice restaurant deserves a nice dress, don't you think?

✔️ 1 Nice Sundress - To wear when the weather is warmer than usual. 

✔️ 1 Cardigan - Great to wear over your dress or tops.

✔️ Accessories - Bring your lesser prized jewels and your staple rings, bracelets, and necklaces for traveling. Leave the expensive ones at home. Organize them in this travel jewelry pouch for safekeeping.

travel jewelry roll

✔️ 2 Pairs of Shorts - To give your legs some room for more mobility and ventilation while on go.

✔️ Workout Outfits - If you want to squeeze in a yoga session or a quick stretching while the kids are sleeping or playing, bring a set or two of workout outfits.

✔️ Pajamas - Flimsy tops and bottoms that can be easily be folded and rolled would certainly do.

✔️ 2 Swimsuits - Pack two so you'll have an extra swimsuit to wear while waiting for the other one to dry.

✔️ Rash Guard - To protect your skin, especially your arms, from too much sun exposure.

✔️ 2 Cover Ups - Match them with your swimsuits for a stylish look.

✔️ Sarong or Big Scarf - Super stylish and can be used as a beach towel, pillow, or blanket.

✔️ Day Bag - Bring a bigger purse or a canvas tote bag that can hold your personal items for going out during the day.

using clear cubes to organize a tote bag

✔️ Bras & Undies - Pack enough and just wash to wear them again the next day.

✔️ Socks - Bring a few pairs to keep your feet comfy while wearing shoes.

✔️ 3 Pairs of Shoes - One pair or comfortable shoes for walking, a pair for going out at night, and a pair for strolling.

Pro Tip: Before you put anything in your bag, decide what outfit you’re going to wear on the plane. That way, you only have to look for it in your closet (and not scramble through your already-packed bag to find one pair of leggings).

For Dad

dad's clothes packed in a black medium cube

✔️ 1 to 2 Pairs of Jeans or Khaki Pants - Bring your most comfortable ones for the journey.

✔️ 1 Pair of Slacks - For a dressy evening with the fam.

✔️ 1 Light Jacket - A sports jacket or a denim one to wear over a shirt.

✔️ 4 Casual Tops - Pack a few lightweight and comfy shirts or tank tops.

✔️ 2 Pairs of Shorts - Perfect for walking and strolling.

✔️ 2 Button-Down Polo Shirts - Go for lighter colors when traveling during the day in summer and earthy neutral tones as change of clothes at night.

button down shirts and other dad clothes in a medium cube

✔️ 1 Sports Jacket - Can be worn over your shirt for fancy night outs.

✔️ Workout Outfits - Bring a set or two if you're planning on working out during your vacation.

✔️ Pajamas - Just pack thin shirts and shorts for sleeping.

✔️ Board / Swim Shorts - Choose board shorts that are loose-fitting, but not baggy and tight enough to stay up so you won't worry about pulling them when you swim or dive.

✔️ Rash Guard - To protect your skin when the sun gets too hot in the morning or at noon.

✔️ 3 Pairs of Shoes - One pair or comfortable shoes for walking, a pair for going out at night, and a pair for strolling.

✔️ Socks and Underwear - Store them in their own extra small cube to keep them organized.

For Little Girl

two little girls with a suitcase and packing cubes

**Thanks to The Traveling Child for this photo!

✔️ 3 Dresses - Easy to wear over their heads and no need to coordinate outfits.

✔️  Cute Leggings & Tops - Pack a few comfy leggings and some variety of tops like short sleeves, long sleeves, etc.

✔️  A Few Pairs of Pants & Shorts - Pack a few in neutral colors to mix and match with the tops.

✔️ Pajamas - Pack the ones they usually sleep with so they still feel at home away from home.

✔️ Undies and Socks - Roll and organize them in their own extra small cube.

✔️ Swimsuits - Pack a bathing suit that matches yours for a classic mom and daughter OOTD moment!

✔️ Rash Guard - To protect her skin from harmful UV rays.

✔️ Shoes and Slippers - Bring one pair for walking, a nice pair for dining out, and slippers for the beach or pool.

✔️ Hair Clips & Other Accessories - Bring a few clips and ties to style your baby girl's hair and look cute for the photos!

For Little Boy

little boy and his packed suitcase with packing cubes

✔️ 2 Pairs of Pants - Can be easily washed, dried, and worn again for the next days.

✔️ 2 Pairs of Shorts - Alternate with their pants, especially when the weather's a bit warmer.

✔️ 4 Tops - Make sure to pack his favorite shirts by letting him pick which ones to bring.

✔️ Pajamas - Bring his favorite set of pajamas for a more comfortable sleep.

✔️ Undies and Socks - Pack just enough for the trip. Wash and dry to be worn the next day so you won't need to bring extras.

✔️ Boardshorts / Swim Trunks - Pack matching boardshorts with daddy as his 'mini me.'

✔️ Rash Guard - Wear with boardshorts in the morning or at noon when the sun's too hot.

✔️ Shoes and Slippers - Bring a comfy pair for walking, a nice pair for eating out, and slippers for the beach.

Pro Tip: Let older kids help by giving them a note card with the things that they need to pull from their rooms to bring in for packing written on it. Don't pack your things until your kids are finished so you can pack yours in peace.

For Baby

baby and travel essentials packed in clear cubes

**Thanks to Taylor-Made Mama for this photo!

✔️ 2 Long-Sleeved Onesies - Best worn for chilly weather or when staying in air conditioned rooms.

✔️ 2 Short-Sleeved Onesies - For warmer days to keep baby comfy.

✔️ 4 Tops - Can be easily washed and dried using the bathroom sink.

✔️ 2 Pairs of Pants - To protect baby's legs from mosquitoes or other insect bites.

✔️ 2 Pairs of Shorts - Match with baby's tops for cute pics!

✔️ A Few Pairs of Jammies - Pack baby's most comfortable jammies for a better nap.

✔️ Socks and Mittens - Avoid losing a pair by organizing them in an extra small cube.

✔️ Bibs / Burp Cloths - Opt for those that are made of cotton chenille. It's super absorbent which makes it the best fabric for burp cloths.

✔️ Diapers - If you're traveling somewhere and staying in one place, just take enough for the day and then buy some more when you get there. If you're going to be moving around a lot, pack enough for a week or two.

Pro Tip: Layer clothes and wear the bulkiest shoes / jacket so they don’t take up room in your suitcase.

✅ Family Toiletries

family toiletries in a royal blue extra small cube

✔️ Shampoo and Conditioner - Bring the brand you usually use at home and pack them in travel-sized containers.

✔️ Body Wash / Bar Soap - You can go for solid bars or liquid options to your liking.

✔️ Laundry Bar Soap / Powder - To wash your undies or your kids' clothes so you can wear them the next day.

Pro Tip: Don't take more than what you need. Make use of the washer and dryer, if it's available where you're staying. If not, pack a laundry soap and wash the garments in your hotel sink or find the nearest laundry shop.

✔️ Toothpaste and Toothbrush - Bring travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrushes for the fam.

✔️ Facial Wash -  Pack one that the whole family can use.

✔️ Moisturizer / Body Lotion - Preferably a brand that everyone in the family can use.

✔️ Sunscreen and Lip Balm - Protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays and lips from getting chapped with your go-to sunscreen and lip balm brands. 

✔️ Aloe Vera - Relieves pain and soothes skin after a day of strolling and other fun outdoor activities with the fam.

✔️ Deodorant - Keep off the B.O. with an organic deo.

✔️ Cosmetics - Pack your go-to travel makeup in a clear makeup pouch to keep them organized.

clear makeup bag

✔️ Makeup Remover - Pack in a travel size bottle, same as all your other liquids.

✔️ Cotton Balls and Swabs - Can be easily packed in a Circle Pouch for safekeeping.

✔️ Comb / Brush - Pack a wide tooth comb to detangle curly or wet hair easily.

✔️ Hair Gel / Spray - Make sure to bring travel-sized version of your favorite products.

✔️ Curling / Straightening Iron - For styling hair and looking great for the trip.

✔️ Hair Dryer - In case the hotel doesn't provide one. Best call them before packing just to make sure.

hair dryer in a medium cube

✔️ Nail File / Clippers - When your kids' nails are getting long, clip them off with nail file or clippers to avoid getting scratches.

✔️ Shaving Cream - Must be packed in a travel size container if you're traveling with a carry on only.

✔️ Disposable Razors - Pack with a plastic clip-on for the blades to prevent cuts.

✔️ Contact Lens and Solution - Bring extra pairs of lenses in case your lose them. Some countries might require a prescription before you can buy replacement.

✔️ Tampons / Pads - Keep in a separate clear pouch for mom's personal hygiene kit.

✔️ Hair Accessories - Bring a few ties and clips to keep your hair at bay either when traveling or washing your face.

✅ Family Hygiene Kit

bathroom toiletries

✔️ Alcohol - For sanitizing and keeping things germ-free.

✔️ Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer - Use before and after going out.

✔️ Antibacterial Wipes - Avoid touching surfaces, especially in public areas, that you haven't disinfected with antibacterial wipes.

✔️ Eye Drops - For when your eyes gets dry and itchy during the trip.

✔️ Tissues - Pack travel-sized ones that you can easily refill when you run out.

✅ Medicine / First Aid Kit

first aid kit in an extra small cube

✔️ Prescription Medicine - Bring in their original prescription bottles, if not, must be labeled clearly and properly.

✔️ Band-Aids - For minor cuts and scratches.

✔️ Aspirin - To relieve yourself of headaches and other aches.

✔️ Antacid - To treat indigestion.

✔️ Antihistamine -  To keep your allergies at bay.

✔️ Antidiarrhea Medicine - To soothe an upset stomach.

✔️ Motion Sickness Medicine - Pack a few Dramamine and you'll be just fine.

✅ Baby Essentials

baby essentials and packing cubes

✔️ Baby Carrier - Bring a baby carrier that can be easily folded and packed so you can easily wear your baby whenever needed.

✔️ Wipes - For snots and other mess your cute little baby makes.

✔️ Diaper Cream - Diaper rashes can be very uncomfortable for babies. Pack a travel sized diaper cream to prevent irritation.  

✔️ Food and Snacks - Have a separate container for baby foods so you know where to find them when they get hungry.

✔️ Bottles or Sippy Cups - The last thing you need is having to change your baby multiple times in a day due to spilled water or liquids over their onesies. Bring two bottles or sippy cups and you'll be just fine.

baby bib and other essentials in an extra small cube

✔️ Swim Diapers - Special diapers that allows your baby to dip in the water.

✔️ Collapsible Stroller - Opt for a stroller that can be easily folded and packed especially when you're traveling.

✔️ White Noise Machine - Helps baby sleep like... a baby even while traveling!

✔️ Pacifiers - Sanitize and clean before and after use.

✔️ Special Blankets / Toys - Make sure you don't lose or leave them behind during the trip.

✔️ Car Seats - Some airlines provide car seats for infants and some don't. Make sure to call your airline ahead of time to confirm.

✅ Entertainment

headphones and toys packed in cubes in bags

**Thanks to The Crazy Craft Lady for this photo!

✔️ Card / Board Games - Bring along snake and ladder, UNO cards, and other games that can be played indoors.

✔️ Tablet - Download educational videos for your kids. Make sure to limit their screen time so they can enjoy more things outside their gadgets.

✔️ Headphones - Can be easily packed and stored in their own clear cubes for safekeeping.

✔️ Coloring Books & Crayons - Makes waiting time during transit fun for your kids.

✔️ Story Books - For your kids who still love to hear a bedtime story, or for putting the baby to sleep.

✔️ Pen and Paper - So they can practice their alphabets, words, and art.

✔️ Small Toys - Keep them organized in extra small cubes so they won't get lost.

✅ Other Necessities

Packing cubes and a packing list

✔️ Packing List - First things first, have a packing list! It will save you time and stress.

✔️ Travel List - Have your itinerary ready but don't close your doors to unexpected adventures that will come along your way.

✔️ Luggage Tags - Very helpful especially if your suitcase looks like everybody else's. It will help you spot your luggage right away at the claiming area.

✔️ Chargers - Make sure all your gadgets have their own chargers packed in one separate storage.

✔️ Travel Shoe Bag - Keep your shoes from spoiling clean clothes by storing them in their own travel shoe bag just like this one.

white sneakers in a travel shoe bag

✔️ Power Strip - This useful tool will allow you to charge or plug in multiple gadgets at once so you won't have to fight over one socket.

✔️ Camera - You've got a camera on your phone, yes, but bring a camera as well so you can save your phone's battery for more important things.

✔️ Snacks - Have all your kids' snack favorites packed and ready to go. Have healthy and fun options like fruits, nuts, candies, and more! Trust us, you wouldn't want hangry kids during the trip.

✔️ Water Bottle - Keep the family happy and hydrated. Pack a few water bottles and just refill along the way. 

✔️ Sunglasses - Get a pair for the whole fam.

sunglasses in an orange extra small cube

✔️ Sun Hat or Baseball Cap - Wear it to keep your head cool or just to complete the look; either way, bring one for everybody.

✔️ Outlet Adapter - So you can plug and charge your gadgets into wall outlets with different-shaped plugs than your own.

✔️ Power Bank - Emergencies happen all the time and the last thing you want is to search for an outlet while you’re out there, exploring places. Carry a portable phone charger in your day bag so you can charge your phone and not miss that perfect sunset photo.

✔️ Waterproof Pouch for Phone - Have one packed and ready to use for your beach or swimming pool escapades.

✔️ Packing Cubes - Packing cubes are a lifesaver especially when you’re putting toiletries and clothes in one suitcase. You can use the cubes to sort your kids’ clothes into one suitcase - blue for your little prince and pink for your beautiful princess. You can also store your makeup, chargers, kids toys, snacks and so much more.

family vacation essentials packed in a suitcase with packing cubes

✔️ Tide Pen - Your instant stain remover to-go. Great to use especially when you have kids.

✔️ Swiss Army Knife - Your all-in-one tool at your disposal for emergency situations.

✔️ Compact Umbrella - The weather can be quite unpredictable. You've got hats for sunny days, why not bring an umbrella in case it rains?

✔️ Earplugs - Helps block out the noise so you can sleep or read peacefully.

✔️ Mini Sewing Kit - To repair minor wardrobe malfunctions.

✔️ Laundry Bag - Separate the dirty clothes from clean ones by putting them in this travel laundry bag.

travel laundry bag

We know that with the little munchkins running around, knowing what to pack and how to pack can be challenging. We hope that this ultimate family vacation packing list has somehow helped you get ready for your family trip.

You can always use this packing list to help keep your family stay organized, relaxed and happy to be traveling (especially with the kids!)

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