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37 Packing Hacks for Your Next Family Trip (Updated for 2023)

Posted by Dianne Chen on
Family packing rose starter set

**Thanks to Jenna for this lovely photo!

Be sure to consider these hacks for a safe, hassle free and organized trip! It’s the little things that make a big difference. We’re here for you. Challenge yourself to choose 10 of these hacks for your next trip!

The Best Packing Hacks and Tips for Your Family Trip

Brave the outdoors and step right into an adventure that's one for the books for you and your family with these genius hacks and tricks. Ready to make that family trip the best it can be? Let's start with number 1.

1. Create a packing list for each family member

Write down the clothes, medications and other essentials you need to bring for each family member. Maybe even write down the number of outfits needed for each person! You can also choose to download from a variety of our free packing lists.

2. Check the weather & plan accordingly

Snowy mountain slopes

Just because you go to the same destination at the same time of year, does not mean the weather will stay same. Always double check. Rainstorms? Heat waves? Be prepared. 

3. Travel snacks

If you’re traveling for hours, be sure to bring some finger food snacks and bring enough extra food in case you are stranded on an unwanted layover and all they have is Burger King. 

4. Bring a foldable souvenir / shopping bag

It’s not a surprise to know that you'll come home with more stuff than you left with (especially when traveling with the kiddos). Simply pull this baby out whenever you need it and use it to pack your souvenirs when you travel back home.

5. Provide one small carry-on bag for each kid

Toddler with carry on and packing cubes

Limit one small bag per kid; and tell them they can only bring what can fit inside their bag! This helps them decide which items are the most important ones.

6. Decide which bag to carry: Wheeled backpack or suitcase?

Start packing by deciding which bag is most helpful: a multi-purpose wheeled backpack, a large suitcase or a carry on?

7. Invest in a luggage scale

Purchase high quality luggage scale to weigh bag before you travel

Investing in a high-quality luggage scale, like this one from Dr. Meter, allows you to weigh your bag before traveling so you can maximize your travel allowance.

8. Store important documents and items properly

Place all important items into an Extra Small Packing Cube, where it’s easy to grab! Include passports, IDs, keys, wallet, headphones, chapstick and other important items. Don’t come home from your lovely Hawaii trip and forget where you put your house keys. 

9. Bring necessary meds

Bring important "screened" medications along with their prescriptions and store them in a safe place with you on the plane. Don’t pack them in your checked baggage, just in case your luggage gets lost.

10. Pack days in advance

Mother packing in advance for her family using blue  EzPacking Starter Set

Packing in advance avoids cramming in the last minute and gives you enough time to think about what you packed, if you forgot anything, or if you should take some items out (take those extra 3 workout outfits you won’t use or those large fluffy slippers that take up the whole suitcase). 

11. Color Code the kids into 1 suitcase

Avoid overpacking and use travel cubes to sort your kids’ essentials. They will be stoked when you tell them they each get their own color! 

12. Bring half of what you’ve originally packed 

After packing in advance, go back to your checklist, cross out unnecessary items and leave only the most important essentials in your suitcase (that you know you will for sure use). 

13. Use a mini pouch to store airplane essentials

Perfect to throw into your airplane tote bag, purse, or backpack, this mini cube is perfect for the most useful items you’ll need during the flight. Phone, charger, iPad, book, earbuds, headphones, eye mask, ear plugs and any other entertaining items.

14. Use clear packing cubes

Starter Set in turquoise

These clear packing cubes come in different colors, sizes, and sets, so there’s something for everyone! This will save you time (when unpacking), lots of space when packing (if it doesn’t fit in a cube, don’t take it) and efficiency (you can actually see what’s inside each cube), these are really a win-win situation.

15. Crosspack

In case someone loses their bag, place an extra set of clothes for each family member in each suitcase. Also a smart idea: Pack an extra pair of clothes for yourself in your travel tote bag or backpack. 

16. Pack underwear inside your bras to save space

Place underwear inside bras when traveling to save space

Instead of folding your underwear in the usual way, roll it over and place it under your bra to save space and maintain the cup’s shape. 

17. Let your kids help you with the packing

Kids packing with Starter Set

Get your kids excited with the upcoming trip and teach them to become responsible at the same time by giving them a part in planning and packing. Ask them to take out 3 to 4 outfits from their closet that they want to wear. They will feel responsible and in charge and you don’t have to argue with them over what to bring - they chose their outfits! Win-win!

18. Pack by outfits

Go over all the outfits you will wear with the clothes you’ve chosen. If one item doesn’t have a full outfit, don’t take it. You’ll get to the destination and say “this doesn’t match with anything.” Such a waste of space.

19. Make a proposed itinerary

Swimming? Don’t forget that bikini and goggles for the kids. Skiing? Bring the ski jacket, gloves and ski goggles! Knowing what activities you’ll be doing will help with the packing process.

20. Bring travel size toiletries

TSA Approved Toiletry Bag

Aside from TSA purposes, collect or buy mini versions of your shampoo, conditioners and other toiletry essentials so it can easily fit inside your Extra Small Travel Cubes.

21. Store cotton swabs in an old medicine bottle

Stop! That old medicine container you’re planning to throw is still usable for storing bobby pins, cotton swabs, earrings and other tiny items.

22. Place makeup brushes inside a sunglass case

Keep your makeup brushes clean and protected by using a spare sunglasses case as storage. 

23. Don’t bring soap

Rather than buying or bringing a soap (which consumes space btw), use the one available at the hotel. 

24. Protect makeup products by placing cotton pad or cotton balls inside each compact

Place a cotton pad inside your compact powders to avoid breakage during the flight or when you accidentally drop it on the floor.

25. Organize your car

Packing hack: Car organized with cubes for family trip

Whether you’re driving for more than two hours or less, keeping your car organized helps you avoid losing or breaking any item inside it.

26. Bring a first aid kit and put it in a clear packing cube

Accidents happen all the time and being on the road is not an exemption; use an Extra Small Cube to store bandages and other first aid essentials to attend to your whining kiddo.

27. Pack healthy snacks and drinks together

Driving and a hungry child? Not the perfect combination. Be sure to pack healthy food and drinks to keep them in the mood.

28. Bring a laundry bag

EzPacking travel laundry bag

Pro Tip: Separate clean clothes from the dirty ones using a laundry bag. Easily throw your laundry in the machine when you return home! Pack away the clean clothes into your closet. 

29. Use a binder clip over your razors

Life Hack: We all know how bad razor cuts can be -- so protect yourself by using a binder clip to cover the blade.

30. Use plastic wrap under bottle caps

Here's another packing hack to keep in mind: Use a clear plastic wrap and put it under bottle caps to avoid spills inside your suitcase.

31. Place rolled-up socks inside shoes

No matter how big or small your socks are, they still take up space - a lot of it. So roll each pair into a ball and place it inside your shoes.

32. Wear boots, jackets, or heavy items on flight

Those bulky boots you’re planning to bring are going to eat up a huge amount of space in your suitcase, so wear them! Also throw on that thick leather jacket you’re planning on bringing.

33. Fragile item sock holder

Can’t leave without your favorite scent? Protect your perfume bottle from breakage by placing it inside a thicker pair of socks for extra protection. 

34. Bring multi-purpose accessories

Rather than bringing another towel or blanket, use a scarf for dual purpose - to keep you warm and fashionable all the time!

35. Use shoe bags

Travel shoe bag
**Thanks to Ursula for this awesome photo!

Save space for your shoes but before placing them inside your suitcase, store them inside an EzPacking shoe bag to keep away from clean clothes! 

36. Use a jewelry roll for travel

Use a jewelry roll to keep your bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces safe when traveling. Our travel jewelry organizer pouch has different size zipper compartments with a see-through design, making it super easy to take out and re-pack your smaller items.  

37. Secure your home before leaving

Keep your mind free from worries by securing all locks, windows, and doors before leaving your home. Download our free Closing Up the House Checklist below!


Did you enjoy our list of packing hacks? Which 10 packing hacks are you willing to try for your next trip? Let us know!

Also share with us your favorite packing hacks that we missed on the list.

Have fun traveling!

P.S. Want more packing tips? Check out our post on Smart Packing Tips: Guaranteed to Make Your Travels Easier!


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