Packing for vacation can be something very stressful – especially when you’re responsible for packing for the entire family. I created a few printables and have some tips to help make it a little less stressful.
Have a Plan
Know what you need and how much time you have to get everything together and be realistic. I make a list of everything I need to get done before we leave then sit down and decide what I can get done each day. For example, my list might include work, school for the kids, sports practice, bills to get paid, chores that need to be finished, shopping that needs to be done, and car repairs that need to be taken care of in addition to things related to the trip. Looking at the time I’ve got left before we leave, I spread those things out so I’m not as overwhelmed. As you get things done, cross them off the list. I use pencil so I can move things as needed because life happens sometimes. Days when you’re feeling more ambitious you might be able to get more things done than you’d planned to. Or when you come down with the flu before you leave, you’re out of commission for a couple of days and need to rework those things into the remaining days you’ve got before you leave.
Download your pre-vacation organization list here.
Don’t wait to start packing. Even if you’re not physically putting things into suitcases, start working on your list of things you’d like to take with you. Below are some generic lists to help get you started. You’ll need to write in things specific to your family and children that you don’t want to forget. You can use the lines on one side to write in the amount needed and lines on the other side to mark off when it’s packed. If you’re worried about forgetting anything, pack these lists so you’ll know what you took and can make sure it’s all back in the suitcase before you head back home.
Download the packing list for adults here.
Get the packing list for infants here.
Print the packing list for kids here.
There’s nothing wrong with letting the kids get involved. Or ask a girlfriend to come over and hang out while you get organized. Multi-tasking always makes me feel better so catching up with a friend while I’m packing makes it less stressful and seems less like work. Bonus if the friend has their kids come over for a play date to entertain your kids too. Use the free printable below to get the kiddos involved with packing. Just print it off and write the number of each item they’re supposed to pack.
Download the kiddo packing list here.
Pick a Landing Spot
Make sure you’ve got a designated landing spot for everything. I have my kids put everything together then I put it into the suitcase to make sure it’s all clean, matching, and appropriate. My kids know I have the final say and veto power regarding what they pack. Depending on the trip and destination, I’m more strict than other times.
Know How You’re Packing
Decide if you’re going to pack each person’s things in their own bag. Or if you’re going to pack outfits together. Are you going to pack everything in a big suitcase or pack kids outfits together in zip top bags? Having a plan will help you know what luggage you’ll need to get out so you don’t spend time looking for things you won’t need.
What’s your tip for packing for vacation to make it less stressful? Leave a comment to let us know.