Packing light can be tough enough for one, but when you are packing for a family, it can be one of the most stressful parts of the trip. Traveling with kids means you need to be prepared for just about anything, which means precious luggage space becomes even more valuable.
Believe it or not, it is possible to avoid overpacking when you’re traveling with kids. One of your best tools to keep your bags light and manageable is to start planning ahead of time. Create a checklist and stick with it, but more importantly, don’t wait until the last minute.
Give yourself plenty of time to decide what you need to bring for each member of the family so you have time to make changes as needed. If you wait until the last minute, you are more likely to start panic packing, throwing in unnecessary things that won’t be used but will weigh down your bags.
Plan everyone’s outfits around an easy-to-match color scheme with items that can be used with more than one outfit. You’ll want to make sure you have enough necessities like socks and underwear for everyone, but some clothing items can be worn again, and many hotels have laundry services you can take advantage of if it becomes necessary.
Unless you plan to go back country camping or spend your entire trip on a private yacht at sea, there is a good chance you can purchase what you need at your destination in a pinch, so it isn’t necessary to pack for every possible contingency. Take what you know you will need and support the local economy at your destination if you find your family needing something you didn’t pack.
When you pack carefully, you won’t have to stress yourself out lugging around overstuffed baggage. The space you save in your bags won’t just lighten up your load, it will also make sure you don’t have to scramble to figure out how to get your souvenirs home at the end of your trip, letting you and your family relax and have fun picking up mementos along the way.
Flying with family? Find helpful packing tips here.
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