I love family travel, but there’s so much stress that goes into getting to our vacation. Aside from planning our travel, we have to pack everything that we typically use as a family. I know packing is important, but you can take some of the stress off of you when you teach kids to pack for vacation themselves! If you do it the right way, it won’t go wrong. I promise you won’t be starting your family vacation by purchasing them underwear – they can pack!
I love my Husband dearly, but I’m the one who does all of the packing for our family vacations. When you’re prepping a house for vacation and you’ve got a ton to do, one less thing off of your plate is a relief. The list always feels daunting. Somehow your things to do just keep escalating and you don’t have a chance to breathe until you actually leave the house.
Teaching your kids to pack for vacation isn’t about them doing it 100% (depending on the age) by themselves. It’s a way to take a little pressure off of yourself, teach them independence and get them excited about the trip. I do this and it’s been so sweet to see how seriously they take the job.
There are so many great travel tools that can assist families to be organized and even though there’s “better” ways to pack, there are still plenty of ways kids can do it!
Looking for even more great family travel tips? It’s not easy to travel with kids, but these tips can help out:
- How To Get Your Baby To Sleep On Vacation
- Hacks For Sleeping On An Airplane
- Holiday Travel With Kids: Survival Guide
Teaching Kids To Pack For Vacation: With Organizing
Start to teach your kids to pack for vacation when they’re in grade school. That’s when they’ve developed how to listen to direction a bit better because they do it in school. Keep in mind that you might have to pull all of your kids clothes before they pack or you can approve what they’ve pulled to pack. As they get older, they’ll be able to do even more packing on their own.
Make A List Of What Needs To Be Packed
Every smooth family vacation starts with an old-fashioned list. You can use this list to pull the items they need to pack or you can give it to them to use if they’re older. Keep the list, even after they’ve finished packing, so you can double check their work. Look at the number of days you’re traveling to determine how much they’ll need.
Here are common family vacation packing items for kids:
- Clothes ( Tops & Bottoms or Dresses Per Day of Travel)
- 1-2 Pairs of Shoes
- 1-2 Pairs of Socks
- Underwear (Per Day of Travel, Plus 1-2 Pairs Extra)
- Toiletries (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Kids Body Wash/Shampoo Combo)
- Jacket (For Cool Weather)
- Swimwear (For Warm Weather)
Arrange What Needs To Be Packed
Next, look at every item you’ve pulled. Try to organize your kid’s travel clothes by what they’ll wear per day. For example, Monday clothes will all be together in a pile. Thursday clothes will all be together. This process will help the kids pack by themselves. This is a fun way to get them involved and ask what they’ll want to wear.
Use Kids Luggage To Give Them They’re Own Space
You can let your kids pack their clothes with yours, but I like to give them kids luggage. It allows them to have their own space to pack, feel independent and you’ll feel better about keeping your own items separate. Kids faces light up when they have their own luggage and they even love using it in the airport. I’ve even purchased Disney kids luggage to reveal a family Disney Vacation. Give it to them as a gift before your trip!
Packing Cubes Help Kids Pack For Vacation
If you don’t utilize packing cubes for travel yet, you’re missing out! They’re such a game changer in modern travel and keep your luggage organized. They’re also perfect for kids and helps them stay focused in packing for vacation. Since you divided their items into days of travel, each cube is one day of travel!
BOOM – now they can go ahead and pack each packing cube with each travel day of clothes. Kids can roll the clothes into the packing cube or just lay it flat. That doesn’t matter. Next, all they have to do is throw the packing cubes into the luggage.
Don’t forget that kids need to pack their toiletries too. I always do that in the same way, lay it out first for them. You might want to assist with anything that can spill or open up during travel. A hanging kids toiletry bag is great for bathrooms in hotel rooms.
Ways To Double Check Your Kids Pack For Vacation Correctly
There are two ways to check that your kids packed for family vacation, so you don’t have to worry. If you’re not worried at all, just go ahead and skip this step all together! The first way to check is by process of elimination. If you made the piles of clothes to wear per day, and they’re no longer out, you can assume they’ve been packed.
Are you more uptight than that? That’s ok! Check each packing cube, but there’s another step you can do on top of that so you’re organized on vacation. You can label each packing cube according to the day that the kids will need to wear the items.
That’s it! That’s how you teach your kids to pack for vacation. The more you travel, the more used they’ll be to the process and the easier it will get for you. You can use this method if you’re traveling by car or plane. Be consistent and soon enough they’ll be very independent about getting ready for vacation.