Long-Term Travel Guide:
The Ultimate Packing List for a MonthA month-long vacation seems like the dream for most families. It’s the best way to get away from the busy hustles of the workplace. It’s also a great way of bonding with your loved ones. However, this month-long vacation could be your worst nightmare if you don’t know how to prepare (and pack) for it. If you’re the type who struggles with creating a packing list, we got you covered. In this blog post, we have curated the ultimate packing list for a month. Now planning your trip is as easy as checking off the list!
Tips on how to pack for a month-long trip
Before anything else, you need to know a few tips before packing for a month-long trip. Always keep in mind these 3 tips!
✓ Hand wash the delicates - For a month-long trip, you won’t be able to get away without washing certain clothing pieces. We’re referring to underwear, socks, bras and under shirts. Doing a quick wash in the sink will help hold you over if you don’t have access to laundry. Watch this video to see how to wash clothes in the sink when traveling. Also, here’s the detergent we recommend - Dr. Bronner's Lavender Soap.
✓ Pack less pants, more shirts - Pack 3 to 4 pairs of pants or shorts that can be paired with almost ALL your shirts. That way you can create many different outfits (just change the shirts, shoes, jewelry) with one pair of pants! Stick to classic, comfortable and neutral pieces that you can re-wear over and over.
✓ Use clear packing cubes to stay organized - Staying organized is hard enough when traveling, so do yourself a favor and don’t think twice about packing cubes. They will save you time, energy and stress over where you packed what. Give the kids their own color so they feel special (and color code them for your sanity). These clear packing cubes are great because you see what’s inside each cube, without having to take everything out. When arriving at your various destinations, no need to unpack. Place the cubes into drawers or on top of a table - just like traveling drawers!
The ultimate packing list for a month of travel
Below is a list of the essential items you need to pack for a month-long trip. We cover all the items that must be packed inside your checked luggage. We have also divided the clothing packing lists for each member of the family. Enjoy!
✦ CLOTHES & SHOES ✦
CLOTHES FOR MOM
Underwear / Sleepwear
✓ Panties - Bring at least 10 pairs so you don’t need to wash during the first week of your trip. Pro-packing tip: Avoid packing white or light-colored panties, as well as lace material ones which are more prone stains and tears.
✓ Bras - Bring at least 3 to 4 bras (bring the most comfortable ones you own). You can get away with bringing fewer bras if you’re going to a colder region (less sweaty).
✓ Socks - Bring at least 10 pairs of socks. A few ankle socks, a few no show socks, and a few high socks (especially for boots or colder weather).
✓ Pajamas / Cotton Shorts - Bring lightweight pajamas and shorts. Three pairs will be enough since you’ll only use them for lounging or sleeping.
✓ Comfy Shirts - Bring at least 3 comfy shirts you can use for sleeping or lounging.
✓ Cotton Shirts - Bring at least 5 cotton T-shirts or tank tops you can easily pair with leggings, jeans or shorts. Pro-packing tip: Opt for neutral colored shirts so you can easily match all your clothing items together. Also, bring a few darker colored shirts (easier to re-wear if you have a small stain).
✓ Dressy Tops / Blouses - Bring 3 to 4 dressy tops for nice dinners, going out for the night or unexpected dates.
✓ Jeans / Leggings - Bring at least 2 pairs of jeans and 2 to 3 pairs of leggings. Maybe bring one pair of blue jeans and one pair of black jeans? It’s nice to have some variety with your outfits. Leggings are very lightweight, easy to dry and go well with a wide range of tops - they’re also the comfiest bottom for moms! Pro Tip: Use leggings for the occasional workout or pair with a T shirt, sneakers and jean jacket for a day out.
✓ Skirts - If you’re a fan of skirts (meaning you wear them at home) then bring your favorite two skirts. If you never wear them at home, you probably won’t wear them while traveling, so leave them at home.
✓ Shorts - Bring 2 to 3 different types of shorts especially if you’re traveling to a tropical destination. Denim shorts are a must for every day sightseeing - they can be paired with almost any shirt.
✓ Dresses - Bring at least 1 to 2 of your favorite dresses that you could wear during the day or at night. This black maxi dress is perfect for dressing down with sandals or dressing up for a night out! If you’re not a fan of long dresses, try this simple and comfy dress (comes with pockets) for an everyday casual look.
Cold or Winter Wear
✓ Windbreaker - Bring at least 1 windbreaker that can withstand both wind and rain. Here are two options we love - plain and floral.
✓ Tights / Thick Leggings - If you’re traveling to a very cold destination, bring 1 to 2 tights or base layer leggings to double layer underneath your pants.
✓ Sweater / Jacket - Bring at least 1 warm sweater or down jacket that you can use when sightseeing in the cold, for night time brisk walks or even while on the flights (the AC gets cold).
✓ Scarves - Scarves are versatile pieces you can use for protection against the cold or sprucing up a basic outfit, bring at least 1 to 2 of your favorites. Also, make sure they are neutral so they match with most of your outfits.
✓ Gloves / Beanie - Optional pieces you can bring if you’re going to a very cold destination.
✓ Swimsuits - You can get away with just 1 to 2 swimsuits while traveling. Make sure you bring suits you love wearing. Pro-packing tip: Try purchasing a reversible swimsuit like this one.
✓ Cover Up - Bring at least 1 cover up that you can use when lounging on the beach. Pro-packing tip: Pack a versatile cover up that can double as a top or dress, like this one. If you don’t want to bring a cover up or a sarong to save space, you can use one of your scarves as a wrap!
Active Wear / Workout Gear
✓ Quick Dry Shirts - Going trekking or hiking? Quick dry shirts are your best friend as they can dissipate sweat more easily than regular cotton shirts. Bring at least 2 quick dry shirts, depending on how much trekking you’re planning to do. Pro-packing tip: Quick dry shirts can be washed in the sink and be ready to wear the morning.
✓ Jogging / Yoga Pants - For a very active trip, it’s a must to stay comfortable while moving around. Bring at least 1 to 2 jogging pants or yoga pants.
✓ Baseball Hat - Bring at least 1 hat to help protect you against the rays of the sun while staying active. Bring a neutral color that will go with all your outfits!
✓ Sports Bras - Sports bras are a must when traveling, to double for workouts and busy days sightseeing. Bring 4 to 5 sports bras that you love wearing.
✓ Walking Shoes - Bring 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes, either comfy sandals or athletic sneakers. We love these affordable Adidas sneakers that can double as workout shoes as well as everyday walking shoes with jeans and a T-shirt.
✓ Wedge Heels - Depending on the type of trip you’re taking, don’t bring heels at all if you don’t normally wear them. If you do love dressing up for a night out every couple days, bring 1 pair of comfy wedges like these you can throw on with a casual dress or jeans.
✓ Sandals - You’ll need a comfy pair of sandals that will last you all day. We suggest bringing a pair that has back (not slip on with open back). These will give you more support and be comfier throughout the day. For beach or pool days, you can wear these as your flips flops. No need to bring an extra pair!
CLOTHES FOR DAD
Underwear / Sleepwear
✓ Briefs / Boxers - Bring at least 10 pairs so you won’t need to wash during the first week of your trip. Pro-packing tip: Try merino-fabric types, which are moisture-resistant and dry very quickly.
✓ Socks - Bring at least 3 to 4 pairs of regular high-ankle socks and a few ankle socks for your athletic shoes.
✓ Sleeping Shirts - Bring at least 3 sleeveless shirts you can use for sleeping or for lounging around.
✓ Cotton Shirts - Bring at least 5 cotton shirts which you can easily pair with jeans or shorts. Pro-packing tip: Darker-colored and plain shirts are ideal because stains are less likely to show up and they are easier to pair with other clothing items.
✓ Dress / Collared Shirts - Bring at least 2 dress or collared shirts for dinner, going out and fancy occasions.
✓ Jeans / Trousers - Bring at least 2 to 3 pairs of pants. For men, you’ll be wearing jeans a majority of the time so bring a couple options.
✓ Shorts - Bring 2 to 3 different types of shorts, especially if you’re traveling to a tropical destination. You can bring denim shorts, patterned shorts and black shorts for versatile outfit planning.
Cold or Winter Wear
✓ 1 Windbreaker - Bring at least 1 windbreaker that can withstand both wind and rain. Also, that doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage.
✓ Sweatpants - If you’re traveling to a very cold destination, bring 1 to 2 warm sweatpants for lounging or for a casual day in the cold.
✓ 1 Warm Jacket - Bring at least 1 warm sweater or down jacket that you can use when sightseeing in the cold, for chillier nights or even while on the flights (the AC gets cold).
✓ Gloves & Beanie - Optional pieces you can bring if you’re going to a very cold destination.
✓ Swim Trunks / Board Shorts - Bring at least 2 swim trunks, since these items barely take up space.
✓ Rash Guard - Are you planning on hitting the surf while traveling? Boogie boarding? Just want to protect your skin? Try this lightweight rash guard, perfect for any day in the sun.
✓ Quick Dry Shirts - Same with mom, quick dry shirts are also perfect for dads. They dry quickly as you sweat or as quickly as you wash them! Pack 2 to 3 shirts.
✓ Jogging / Jogger Pants - Bring at least 1 to 3 jogging pants or opt for jogger pants which can also be used for lounging.
✓ Baseball Hat - Bring at least 1 cap to help protect you against the rays of the sun while staying active. Make sure it’s neutral and goes with all outfits!
✓ Sports Socks - Bring 1 to 2 pairs of sports socks, depending on how active you plan to be on the trip.
✓ Everyday Walking Shoes - Bring 1 pair of walking shoes, which can double as workout shoes as well as everyday shoes, like these gray or black comfy sneakers from Adidas.
✓ Sneakers / Night Shoes - You will pretty much get away with wearing your athletic shoes during the day. You’ll want to bring another pair of nicer sneakers or shoes for going out at night. Pro-packing tip: Opt for darker-colored or neutral-colored sneakers so they can be used for day and night, and also won’t get as dirty on the trip.
CLOTHES FOR KIDS
Underwear / Sleepwear
✓ Panties / Briefs - Bring at least 10 pairs so you won’t need to wash kiddie panties and briefs during the first week of your trip. Pro-packing tip: With kids, expect the unexpected, you might have to wash clothes earlier than planned.
✓ Diapers - If your kid is still wearing diapers, bring at least 15 to 20 pairs in your checked luggage. Once you arrive at your first destination, find a pharmacy and buy some more. Pro-packing tip: Research prior to your trip if the country you’re visiting has the specific variant of diaper your child is using.
✓ Socks - Bring a combination of regular high-ankle socks and low-ankle socks for sneakers. Bring at least 7 to 10 pairs.
✓ Pajamas - Bring a few combos of pajamas, some for the cold and some for hot weather. Bring 2 to 3 outfits so you can switch off without doing laundry.
*Pro Tip: Lay out all the kids clothes on the bed. Have them “choose” 5-10 of their favorite outfits. Bring those and a few more options. On the trip, there is no excuse for not wanting to wear the outfit they chose, right?
✓ Cotton Shirts - Bring at least 7 cotton t-shirts which can be easily paired with jeans or shorts.
✓ Button Up Shirts / Dresses / Skirts - For girls, bring 3 to 4 nicer outfits, maybe a couple dresses, skirts and a few nicer tops. For boys, bring 2 to 3 collared shirts or button-up shirts.
✓ Jeans / Leggings - For girls, you can bring 2 pairs of jeans and 2 leggings. For boys, bring at least 3 jeans which they can use many times.
✓ Shorts - For girls, denim and colored shorts can spice up any outfit. Boys can also bring knee-length, denim and khaki shorts. Depending on the weather, bring 2 to 3 pairs of shorts (add an extra if all summer weather).
Cold or Winter Wear
✓ Windbreaker (With Hood) - Bring 1 good windbreaker (with a hood) that can work for both wind and rain, like this adorable Boys Dinosaur Windbreaker Hoodie.
✓ Layered Leggings (For Cold Weather) - Children are easily affected by temperature changes, so if the weather will be cold make sure to bring 2 to 3 pairs of base layer pants or leggings for them to go underneath their regular pants.
✓ Jacket & Sweater - Find 1 quality sweater they can wear everyday, like this Patagonia Pink and Blue Fleece. If the weather will be extra cold, they’ll need a second layer like this warm and puffy down jacket.
✓ Gloves / Beanies - Optional pieces you can bring if necessary for weather.
✓ Swimsuit / Board Shorts - Bring at least 2 swimsuits for girls and boys. If one is dirty or wet from the previous day, they’ll have a second one to use.
✓ Rash Guards - Kids are at a higher risk of getting burnt, so make sure to lather the sunscreen, wear a rash guard, and a hat. There’s also very cute options for long sleeve swimsuits, like this ruffled pink and blue duo. Keeps them protected, but they’re still in their swimsuits!
✓ Everyday Walking Shoes - Bring 1 to 2 pairs of shoes they can wear everyday for walking around. Make sure one pair is closed toed, to keep them less dirty and protect those little toes.
✓ Sandals with a strap - These adorable flower sandals with a strap are perfect for beach days. It’s important your kids shoes have a strap so they don’t end up missing one of their shoes half way through the day.
✦ HEALTH ✦
✓ Advil / Tylenol / Motrin - Useful for both bodily pains and headaches.
✓ Fever Relievers for Kids - Bring kids Motrin for relieving fevers and pains for kids.
✓ Prescription Medications - Make sure you don’t forget your specific prescription medications, as well as a sufficient amount for the trip! Pro-packing tip: If you will be away for over a month, you may need to ask your doctor for extra meds before leaving.
✓ Decongestants / Antihistamines - For relieving sinus pain or pressure, make sure you bring a kiddie version as they are at higher risk for developing colds.
✓ Antacids - For those prone to acid reflux disease, though you can also easily get these from local pharmacies.
✓ Motion Sickness Medication - To avoid getting dizzy or nauseous while on the road, plane or boats.
✓ Anti-Diarrhea Medication - For those times when your system just isn’t cooperating.
FIRST AID KIT
Prepare for the Kid’s Occasional Fall
✓ Antibiotic Ointment - Pack a mini Neosporin for falls and scratches.
✓ Band Aids - For kids, pack cutely colored and patterned bandages to lessen their anxiety after a fall.
✓ Tweezers - Tweezers can help in removing splinters that might have gotten caught in the skin or in the wound.
✓ Alcohol - Great for disinfecting before touching the wound.
✓ Hand Sanitizer - Milder than alcohol and ideal for sanitizing kid’s hands.
✓ Wipes - Great for disinfecting hands, face and even areas you want to sanitize like the dining table or sink area.
✓ Thermometer - Must have for determining and tracking body temperature of kids, best to opt for a digital thermometer.
✓ Gauze Pad and Medical Tape - Better option for larger and deeper wounds.
✦ TOILETRIES & OTHER BODY ESSENTIALS ✦
✓ Travel Size Shampoo, Conditioner and Soap - Bring travel-sized versions of your favorite shampoo, conditioner and soap. If you’re very low maintenance, hotels usually provide for these items. Or you can buy these products locally.
✓ Toothbrush and Toothpaste - Again, some hotels provide disposable toothbrushes and mini toothpastes. You can bring your own to be on the safe side.
✓ Deodorant - A must have especially when traveling to a warm, tropical region. Deodorant sticks like this one are more ideal since they last longer and won’t leak.
✓ Face Moisturizer - Transfer your favorite facial moisturizer in a small plastic bottle to save space in your luggage.
✓ Sunscreen - There are travel-size sunscreens you can opt to bring like this one from Coppertone. They have packs of 6 which are perfect for the family!
✓ Razor - Make sure to bring a separate facial razor for dad and a body razor for mom!
✓ Insect Repellent Lotion - If you’re traveling to a tropical destination, it’s a must to bring an insect repellent lotion. Try using this natural lemon scented one, it won’t have that toxic smell (especially harmful around the kids).
✓ Contact Lens and Solution - Can’t forget these babies… Also a must to bring an extra contact lens case just in case!
✓ Nail Clippers - Long nails are more prone to germ infestation! Make sure you bring a small but good quality nail clipper that the entire family can use. You are allowed to bring these on airplanes too!
✓ Pads / Tampons - For moms out there, don’t forget to bring at least one pack of sanitary pads or tampons in case your visitor of the month comes during the trip.
✓ Hair Tools - Hair brush, comb, hair ties and leave in conditioner are all the essentials for a month long trip. Optional: Check out this mini hair dryer and travel straightening iron perfect for slipping in the side of your suitcase. Pro-packing tip: When traveling to a different country, do NOT stick either of these items into the plug without a converter. Read more here about which countries need converters.
✓ Cosmetics - It’s ideal to store cosmetics and makeup in a clear makeup bag. Only bring makeup items that you can’t live without. In tropical regions, it’s not recommended to wear thick foundations, but instead to opt for tinted moisturizers. Pack an everyday lip, natural blush and mascara for going out at night.
✦ ELECTRONICS & ACCESSORIES ✦
✓ Laptop - It’s not recommended to bring a laptop unless you have work to do or your work is remote. Opt for a tablet if you can! Pro Tip: Find out if there is a safe in the places you’ll be staying. You might need to leave important items in there when going out for the day.
✓ Disposable / Waterproof Camera - Only bring your “real” camera if you must! Phones will do the trick for the most part, and you’ll save space in your luggage without the heavy gear. Bringing a disposable or waterproof camera is a great idea for water sports, days at the beach, or just fun days to capture moments without a phone.
✓ Chargers / Power Bank - With all the different phones in the family, one is bound to be dead before the end of the day. Pro Tip: Always be prepared and bring this mini power bank in your bag each day (make sure it’s charged the night before).
✓ Headphones / Kiddie HeadPhones - Bring the least bulky headphones you have for yourself and hubby, and get the kids this perfect Kids Safe Set in blue and pink. Putting on their favorite show will keep them occupied (and quiet) for a good chunk of time.
✦ COMMONLY FORGOTTEN ITEMS ✦
✓ Portable Water Bottle - Sure you can opt to buy bottled water once at your destination. You could save money and stay more hydrated when you each have your own bottle. Pro-packing tip: Bring one portable water bottle for each member of the family, designate a specific color for each individual. Pack the bottles into the side of everyone’s backpack before leaving for the airport. Make sure they are empty for TSA Security check! After getting through, you can all fill up your bottles at the water fountain.
✓ Sunglasses and Extra Glasses - Don’t be that person who left their sunglasses in the car! Pack these (in a case) the night before. It’s also a great idea to bring an extra pair in case you lose or break them. These kiddie sunglasses are perfect for protecting their sensitive eyes.
✓ Entertainment for Kids - You can bring small toys such as blocks, miniature cars, paper dolls and small character figures so kids can be entertained while on the road. Crayons are also must-bring entertainment items since they can easily entertain a kid for a few hours. For older kids, try magnetic or portable games like this chess travel set.
✓ Vitamins / Birth Control / Retainers - These items are all a must! Make sure to check these items off your list before leaving the house.
How to organize your one-month packing list
Now that you have a complete packing list for month-long trip, what’s next?
The next step is organizing your essentials in a way that each member of the family can easily find what they need, when they need it.
Thanks to Paula from Beauty Through Imperfection for this awesome photo of her kids organization!
You can pack smaller clothing items in the medium packing cubes while larger clothing items can go in the large packing cubes. The small packing cubes can be used for thin shirts, underwear & socks or cosmetics/toiletries.
Thanks to Aimee from The Crazy Craft Lady for sharing how she organizes her kids backpacks for the plane!
You can even split one suitcase with your partner or child. Opt for two different colors and designate one color for yourself and another color for your husband or kid. These cubes are perfect for organizing the kids toys in their backpacks (shown above). It’s the ideal set for families going on a month-long trip! If you need more packing cubes, you can buy them separately to add to your complete bundle.
Color coding and organization has never been easier with clear packing cubes!
Want to download this entire list of items to check off? Here’s the free Printable Travel Packing List we promised! You’re very welcome. Download and print it now, then check off each item once you’ve packed and organized them in your packing cubes.
Not sure how to organize your luggage using packing cubes? Check out this Ultimate Guide on How to Use Packing Cubes for Suitcases for more goodies.