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A Foolproof Family Plan for Packing for a Trip!

13 July 2018

Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry if you packed everything important. Filling your suitcases and luggage can be especially challenging if you are traveling with children. Not only do you have to pack everything that you could potentially need, but you have to pack for the kids as well.

Luckily, there are strategies to plan ahead when packing and also ideas that can help you fit more into each suitcase so that you can check fewer bags when flying or have more room in your car when driving.

Decide what you will need

If you are traveling somewhere warm, you will mostly need summertime outfits. What if it gets cool? You should always take at least one warmer layer for the kids (and for yourself) regardless of how warm it will be at your destination. You could always encounter cold air conditioners or bad weather. You can check your destination’s weather forecast too to see if you need to prepare for rain.

Compartmentalize

Once you have decided what to bring, you should come up with a strategy for how to organize your suitcases. Rather than having one suitcase per person, consider designating certain suitcases for certain items. For example, have one bag for socks and underwear and another for jeans and shorts.

But everyone’s things will get mixed together, right? You can use packing cubes – thin bags that compress items inside a suitcase – to separate each person’s belongings. Yes, these cubes can help you get more into each suitcase, but they can also help to keep different people’s items separate in the same suitcase. This will allow you to pack so that you can check if you have everything for each child by counting. For example, if you have five people traveling with you, you can check your packing by only putting each cube in the suitcase when it is full and then counting the number of cubes to double check. To continue with the example, you should have five “socks and underwear” cubes, five swimsuit cubes, five jeans cubes, and so on….

If you do not want to purchase packing cubes, which are not overly expensive, you can use Ziploc bags or something similar. These will not do quite as good a job of compressing your items, but they will help them stay separated inside your suitcase.

You still may have to buy something

No matter how well you plan, you will probably not bring everything that you could possibly need. Sometimes, it could be possible to improvise with items that you DID bring. If you didn’t know that the hotel had a swimming pool, for example, you could just have the kids wear shorts inside of swimsuits. And there might be instances where you will need to buy an umbrella, rain jacket or sweatshirts. With proper planning, however, these instances will be few and far between, and packing for your travels will be stress-free.