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2023 Holiday Packing Checklist for Families

Posted by Jelinne Navarro on
Mom and two kids packing for the holidays with rose starter set

**Thanks to Jenna for this adorable photo!

What is your family’s favorite holiday? For ours, it has to be the Christmas season (the lights, the hot chocolate, the cheerful people). Even though we celebrate Hanukkah at the EzPacking headquarters, we still love Christmas time because of all the festive spirit it brings! Most families book some sort of trip during their time off, because why not?

With all the other things you need to worry about, packing should not be one of them. We’ve prepared a simple holiday packing checklist for you and the family. This way, you can spend more time enjoying the holidays than packing for them.

⚠️ COVID-19 Travel Update

Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic is currently discouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it increases your chance of getting and spreading the coronavirus. Those who are sick or have been around someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days are strictly advised to stay home.

For cases in which traveling can't be helped, observe the following in order to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

✓ Wear a mask at all times, especially in public places. Children below 2 years old and those with breathing problems are exempted from this rule.

✓ Maintain a social distance of 6 feet from anyone you don't live with.

✓ Wash your hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer.

✓ Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.

✓ Avoid touching your face.

Get to know more about how to travel safe during the COVID-19 pandemic here.


Holiday Suitcase Checklist for Families

Mom and kids packing for holiday trip with rose starter set

**Thanks to Jenna for this adorable photo!

Packing for a holiday suitcase shouldn’t be such a stress. 

Here’s a holiday packing list we created for you below to help make everything a little easier and little more organized. Also, don’t miss the awesome packing tips we included, which work wonders when traveling with kids during the holidays. 

Holiday Presents: Don’t wrap them before the trip!

Before you start packing your regular, decide if you are bringing gifts with you on this trip. Will you be exchanging gifts at your travel destination? If so, we have a secret tip for how to travel with the gifts to save tons of space in your suitcase (and will keep the gifts more of a surprise). Here’s how to do it: 

☑ Write all the cards so those are prepped.

☑ Don’t wrap the presents before you leave…why?

1.) Fold up some wrapping & tissue paper and place it on the bottom of the packing cube (so it stays unwrinkled)

2.) Pack all the (unwrapped) presents into a Large Packing Cube

3.) Bring a small tape / small scissors  to wrap the gifts when you arrive

▪ Yes, scissors are allowed on planes, less than 4 inches long.

4.) Write a small note of which gifts are for “who” (in case you forget) and place in the cube

☑ Place the Large Cube in the parents suitcase or personal bag so the kids won’t see! 

Packing holiday essentials using burgundy starter set

**Thanks to Xo Livi for this photo!


☑ Passports - Make sure your passport won't expire in less than 6 months, if it does, renew it right away. As a rule of thumb, passports must have at least six months of validity when traveling in another country. Know more about the six months validity passport rule here.

☑ Visas (If required)

☑ Vaccination Details (If required)

☑ Flight Tickets - Book your tickets months in advance to avail cheap flights. Flights are especially expensive during holidays.

☑ Itinerary

☑ Boarding Pass - Review and confirm the details in your boarding pass including your gate number, flight code, and other essential info's. Even the AM and PM aspect of it is very important.

☑ Hotel Booking Details

Extra small cube with passport and other travel valuables

Holiday Packing Tip: Pack all your documents in an EzPacking Extra Small Cube. When airport officials ask for this info, simply take the packing cube out. It’s easy to take note of all of your essentials / documents when they’re all in one place.

Clothes & Shoes:

☑ Undies / Socks / Bras

☑ Shirts / Tops - Have a variety of tank tops, shirts, and blouses that would go well with your bottoms. Pack those with styles and colors that match with the holidays.

☑ Jeans / Leggings

☑ Jacket / Windbreaker - The secret to packing light is to wear your bulky clothing items at the airport. But if you'd rather have them packed, they can be perfectly comfortable in this large cube.

☑ Swimsuit / Trunks / Coverup 

☑ Thermal Clothes / Wool Jacket

☑ Walking Shoes - Bring the pair you usually wear so you'll be comfortable. Now's not the time to try on a new pair that would probably end up hurting your feet.

☑ Sneakers

☑ Booties / Boots - Pack these (and all your other pairs) in a travel shoe bag to keep them separated from your clean clothes.

☑ Skirts / Shorts

☑ Loungewear / Pajamas - Pack a few of your flimsy tops and thin shorts for sleeping and you'll be just fine.

holiday essentials packed in rose starter set

**Thanks to Jenna for this adorable photo!

Holiday Packing Tip: Plan your outfits in advance, with the weather in mind of course. Pack a few outfits into a Medium Packing Cube. Your other items such as jeans and jackets can go into a  Large Packing Cube. Pack you underwear, socks and bras into a Small Packing Cube. Toiletries (three ounce and TSA Approved) can be packed into an Extra Small Cube 


☑ Shampoo, Conditioner & Soap - For your carry-on bag, pack your shampoo in travel size bottles. If you're avoiding liquids, you can always opt for a bar shampoo and soap.

☑ Toothpaste & Toothbrush

☑ Deodorant

☑ Sunblock / Sunscreen - Have a travel-sized sunscreen lotion, spray-on, and stick variety. Apply the lotion before leaving, the spray-on when you get there, and use the stick to avoid touching your face and having sticky hands.

☑ Disposable Razor - Pack with its plastic clip-on attached to the razor to save yourself from scratches when reaching inside your toiletry bag.

☑ Lotion & Moisturizer

☑ Nail Clipper

☑ Cosmetics - Bring your staple makeup and pack them in their own clear makeup bag.

women's toiletries in a lilac TSA approved toiletry cube

**Thanks to Chelsea for this photo!

Holiday Packing Tip: Since it’s just a short holiday vacation, opt for travel-sized versions of toiletries. If you’re planning on traveling with carry-on luggage only, use the EzPacking clear toiletry bag for easy airport security check. Not sure how to travel with carry-on luggage only? We have a guide for that! For moms and teens, use a separate EzPacking Extra Small Packing Cube for your cosmetics.


☑ Prescription Medications - Keep them in their original prescription bottles. If stored in different bottles or containers, make sure to label them clearly and properly.

☑ Fever Reducers

☑ Antacids / Stomach Medications - For when you get an upset stomach during the trip.

☑ Antibacterial Ointment

☑ Bandages / Gauze Pads & Tapes - Bring those that have variety of sizes to cater different wounds, whether minor scratches or major cuts.

☑ Alcohol

☑ Wipes - Make sure to wipe any surfaces or handles before touching them to avoid having any contact with germs.

☑ Hand Sanitizer - Due to the current pandemic, the TSA is currently allowing each passenger to carry up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer container in their carry-on bags. This will be screened differently so expect security check to be a bit longer than usual. Read more about that here.

☑ Cold / Cough Medications

☑ Birth Control

DIY first aid kit

Holiday Packing Tip: Don’t forget your first aid kit! Even during a short holiday trip, accidents can happen. If traveling with kiddos, make sure you pack medications for fever, colds and coughs, as they are easily prone to these conditions. Going trekking? Pack extra first aid essentials like tweezers and an insect repellent.

Baby / Toddler  Essentials:

☑ Diapers & Wipes - Pack just enough for the day if you're going to stay somewhere at your destination. If you're going to move around a lot during the trip, bring a week or two worth of nappies.

☑ Changing Mat

☑ Bottle Cleanser

☑ Formula Milk & Bottles - Make sure to sanitize and disinfect bottles before after use. Bring one or two bottles and you'll be just fine.

☑ Pacifier

☑ Lightweight Stroller - Go for a stroller that folds the smallest so you won't have a hard time packing or keeping them when traveling.

☑ Crib

☑ Toys - Organize bigger toys in a small cube and smaller toys in an extra small cube for easy access whenever your little one wants to play.

☑ Entertaining Items

kids toys organized in a small orange cube

Holiday Packing Tip: With kids, you can just never be too sure. Pack these essential items for a hassle-free trip. If your little one is less than two years old, you can’t forget diapers, wipes, formula milk, bottles and pacifier. If you’re planning a lot of sightseeing, a lightweight stroller is also a must. Don’t forget toys and other entertaining items to keep the little ones busy and happy.


☑ Gadgets & Chargers - Pack all your chargers in one place so you'll know where to get them when you need to charge. Bring a portable power bank in case your phone runs out of juice while on the road.

☑ Laptop (If needed)

☑ Headphones / Earphones- Make sure the volume's not too loud and set limit on their screen time.

☑ Bracelet GPS Tracker (For kids)

Turquoise packing cube with tablet and headphones

Holiday Packing Tip: Stick to the essentials like your smartphone and camera. For the kids, bring their tablet and headphones. Since the holiday season can get chaotic, make sure you invest in a bracelet GPS tracker for your kids, like this one. You can easily locate them in case of an emergency.

Other Carry-On Essentials:

☑ Neck Pillow - Very helpful in relieving neck pain and conveniently improves rest quality while traveling.

☑ Lightweight Blanket

☑ Snacks / Water Bottle - Designate a small cube as your snack pack and bring a water bottle to keep you hydrated.

☑ Toiletries - Packed in their very own TSA approved toiletry bag.

☑ Gadgets & Headphones

☑ Extra Change of Clothes - Pack something that you can easily slip on or wear when you need to freshen yourself up.

☑ Baby Diaper Bag

☑ EzPacking Packing Cubes - Your secret weapon in keeping all your holiday essentials neatly organized in your suitcase.

Lilac Starter Set

**Thanks to Tracy for this photo!

Holiday Airplane Tips: Your important documents should always be in your personal bag. Sleeping on a flight can be uncomfortable and cold. Bring a neck pillow and a  lightweight blanket. If you have little ones, don’t forget the snacks of course a separate diaper bag for the baby is also a must!

Clear Packing Cubes are a traveling MUST: 

☑ Separates / organizes family’s items

Avoids fights between kids

Provides responsibility for their “own color” set

Creates excitement to pack items all neatly

Keeping your suitcase (and the rest of the family’s items) organized and somewhat clean is important for your sanity during the holidays. Having your own packing cube set for each suitcase is a must, especially since it can avoid unnecessary fights over “who’s is who."

Our recommendation is for each family member to have their own set or to share a larger suitcase and separate by color. Blue for Bobby and Purple for Peone...see what we did there?

Carry On Packing Cube Set

- One set per family member, fits a carry on suitcase.

Burgundy Starter Set in a suitcase

Checked Luggage Bundle Set (Sharing)

- Can be shared by multiple family members, siblings, hubby and wife. Select the “two color” option at checkout.

Rose and lilac complete bundle set in a suitcase


Things to Remember Before Your Holiday Vacation

Cute Christmas decors for holiday trip

To ensure that your holiday trip goes smoothly, prepare at least two months in advance. Prior to booking your trip, make sure that every member of the family is available during the dates you are booking. Follow this holiday checklist below to feel more on top of your schedule:

✔ 2 Months Before - Hopefully you already have your flight booked. If not, get on it ASAP! Make sure everyone’s passport is up to date if you’re traveling  internationally. Double check on your travel insurance to make sure it’s also up to date. If you’re reading this close to October 2020...make sure you bring your passport whenever you travel within the United States, unless you have a Real ID. Read more about that here.

 1 Month Before - Traveling internationally? A month before the trip, check with your doctor if your family needs any vaccinations for your destination. This would also be a great time to purchase any new travel items - new clothes, clear packing cubes, new suitcases, etc. Check the weather before buying any new clothes!

✔ 1 Week Before - With only a week before the holiday trip, moms should have a definite packing list (you can print this one to use). Renting a car? Now would be a good time to confirm the reservation. Any other last-minute shopping (snacks, extra toiletries, etc.) can be done at this point.

✔ 1 Day Before - Check in 24 hours before the flight. Make sure all suitcases are organized and packed. Read off the packing checklist to your kids as they say “yes packed” or “oops I forgot that”. You can also print out a checklist for each kid to use! Double check your carry-on essentials and medications. Make sure the house is prepared to be left for awhile (trash is taken out, laundry is done, fridge is emptied).

Here’s a Closing Up the House Checklist if you want the full list! Give some spare keys to a trusted family member in case of an emergency. Also, make sure all your pets are taken to their pet hotels or friends’ houses.

The holidays are the best time of year! As long as you’re prepared, plan ahead and pack like a boss, the stress of traveling shouldn’t mess this up for you. Still need to get your hands on some clear packing cube sets for your family? You’ll find something for everyone since EzPacking offers so many options, sizes and colors. Also, remember to let the family help you with the planning! This way, you’ll be less stressed and actually bond before the actual holiday trip!

Happy Holidays!

-The EzPacking Family 

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