Whether you’re taking a road trip or flying with your family, you’ll want to make sure your family is prepared for the journey. Once you get to the destination, you can pick up anything you forgot to bring along, but a missing item that’s needed en route could pose a bigger problem. This packing list guide will help you make sure you have the basics for your next family vacation.

Top 5 Essentials on Your Packing List

1. First on Your Packing List is Clothings

In general, people tend to pack too many clothes when they go on vacation.

That can result in bags that are too heavy and could mean less room for souvenirs.

For each family member, add just one outfit for each night you’ll be away from home on your packing list.

If you check the weather in your destination before you leave home, you can avoid having to pack unnecessary jackets and sweatshirts.

If you have young children, pack their soft footie pajamas to keep them from running barefoot on hotel room floors.

Family holiday packing list

You won’t know when those carpets were last shampooed. If you find that you do need warmer clothes once you get to your destination, you can always pick up sweatshirts or ponchos in a local store.

2. First Aid Supplies Must Be Included

You can never predict when you or your children will get injured, but you should expect some accidents to occur as you travel far from home. 

include first aid kit to your family packing list

You can prepare for this possibility by including first aid supplies for everyone in the family on your packing list.

In addition to bandages and antiseptics, be sure to pack an over-the-counter pain reliever, antihistamine, and any prescription medication.

This is also a good time to pack some sunscreen for your family.

If you’re traveling by air, you may be limited by the size of the container you can bring so you should still plan on buying more once you arrive at your destination.

3. Include Dry Snacks and Water on Your Packing List

You can count on your family getting hungry on the trip. Avoid hangry family members by being prepared and packing snacks. If you’re flying, you may just need to pack a few bags of nuts or crackers. The airline will probably provide extra bottles of water during the flight.

If you’re taking a road trip, you have more freedom in what you can bring along and add to your packing list.

Pack a cooler with ice and bottled water. In addition to bags of dry snacks, you can bring along the supplies you’ll need to make sandwiches on the road.

The cooler can also keep fresh fruit and vegetables in good condition during the drive.

Bringing along enough supplies will keep you from having to stop at expensive fast-food restaurants along the way.

include food in your family packing list

4. Personal Hygiene Supplies is a Must

If you’re flying for your family vacation, each person will need a quart-size transparent plastic bag for their personal hygiene products.

include hygiene kits to your packing list

You’ll also be limited to 3 oz., so make a list of the travel-size products you’ll need to buy before you pack for the trip and add those to your packing list.

These supplies will include deodorant, shampoo, soap,  contact lens solution toothpaste, and brush. Also include mouthwash, dental floss, and any other beauty products your family regularly uses.

You can buy rubber bands to neatly organize and pack chargers for mobile devices.

Be sure to bring along protective cases for your phones and other electronic devices as well.

5. Include Entertainment on Your Packing List

You’ll also want to make sure everyone in your family is kept entertained during the trip and when you spend time in your hotel rooms.

Loading content onto a tablet or laptop can help, but you shouldn’t expect your children to be delighted about spending the whole trip watching movies or TV shows.

You should also bring along age-appropriate books for everyone in the family. If you have board games and puzzles, add those to your packing list.

Giving your family a variety of solitary activities will keep them occupied during a long drive or flight. It will also be helpful if you happen to get stuck in the hotel on a rainy day.

Easy Games for travel entertainment


Before anyone in your family starts packing for the trip, it’s a good idea to create a packing list for each family member. This will ensure that they won’t forget anything.

Moreover, it will keep the family from over-packing. More luggage can cost you money or space in your vehicle.

Therefore, you should do what you can to keep your cargo light. Planning your packing process will help things go more smoothly as you prepare to leave home.

To read more helpful travel tips and ideas, check out our post; The Ultimate Guide on How to Travel with Kids