Summer, summer summer time !!! We’re headed into the hottest part of the year and usually its around this time that families decide to take their summer vacation. This year,we went on a road trip to visit family and friends out in Georgia and then from there we headed to Orlando, FL! It was an awesome vacation! And as you can imagine it can be overwhelming to pack enough clothes, snacks and other random stuff for a family of five. I’m going to show you the way that we packed for our vacation and hopefully it will eliminate some guess work for you the next time you pack for vacation.
Keep it At a Minimum
I suggest that for each family member you bring about three pairs of shoes, 6 tops, 4-5 bottoms and 2 sets of pajamas. When you’re going on a beach vacation, bring two beach towels. If you are not staying in a hotel, bring a regular towel and wash cloth per family member. Bring two bathing suits for each family member. Of course if you’re traveling with a baby or toddler who still soils their clothes very regularly, I suggested you double that amount for that child. For a baby or toddler, I suggest that you bring about 12 shirts or onesies and about 10 bottoms because that child could go through 2 to 3 outfits a day. As for shoes, bring three pairs per person: a pair of sneakers, a nice pair sandals or casual shoes and a pair of water safe shoes.
For myself I packed: 10 shirts 3 pairs of shorts, a pair of jeans, two dresses, a pant jumper, a shorts jumper and two sets of pajamas/lounge wear.
I also had two bathing suits. I brought 3 pairs of shoes: a basic pair of flip-flops, a casual pair of sandals and a dressier pair of sandals, one purse and a beach tote. Another thing I recommend, especially as a woman and a mom: if you want to look good on your vacation but you don’t want to pack too much, make sure that mostly everything you’re packing is in the same color scheme. Pick three colors and stick with it. I went with black, white and shades of blue. That way you can mix-and-match your tops and bottoms interchangeably with no problems. Bring one purse that coordinates with everything. This will allow you to mix and match and recreate a variety of outfits with just a few basics.
Don’t forget to bring your favorite accessories! Whether it’s a sun hat, a blazer or cardigan, a couple pair of “sunnies” or shades and a couple of statement necklaces. Adding these items to an outfit will completely change your look.
Ziplock Bag it!
Ziploc backs are your friend! I used gallon sized freezer bags to pack the boys undergarments. They each had a freezer bag with socks, underwear, and undershirts. I found that it’s a lot easier for me to keep everything separate and compartmentalized for them. You could also use Ziploc bags to store leak-able products such as shampoos and lotions. They also work great for shoes, to prevent them from having contact with your clean clothes.
Keep it Clean
I’m pretty sure where you’re going there will be a washing machine and a dryer. Whether it’s in a hotel, rental home or a family members house. If not, there is always a laundry mat in the area. Don’t over pack because its always easy to wash it and use it again. No one likes traveling with an excessive amount of clothing and especially traveling back with an excessive amount of dirty clothing. The more clothes you bring the more clothes you are liking to dirty and the more dirty clothes are likely to bring back from vacation. Who like washing mounds of dirty clothes for the entire week after you return from vacation??? Plan on doing laundry if you’re going to be away with a few children. Bring one container of detergent and a laundry bag. One of those little dollar store laundry tote bags should do. Wash one time in the middle of your stay and then when you’re on your way home. That way you can pack clean, neatly folded laundry that is going to get placed in your bags so that when you get home all you have to do is put things away into the drawers where they belong.
Happy Kids=Happy Travels
As for entertainment on the road or on the plane, make sure you bring reading books, activity books, coloring books, stickers, an iPad with headphones, and hand held games. Small toys that are easy to contain can be brought along as well. I would stay away from things with tiny pieces that could possibly get lost. I packed a basket that I put in the backseat of the car which was filled with a variety of activities for my kids. There were coloring books and crayons, snacks, little action figures, and a Ziploc bag of mega blocks and a set of animal and letter magnets with a magnetic cookie sheet.
Avoid Cramming It All In
If you insist on bringing more clothes than suggested above, you probably will have a some issues with using just one bag. There’s tons of tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube that tell you how to roll your clothes so that you can fit more into your suitcase. Personally I’m not a fan of rolling my clothes because they seem to come out more wrinkled. By packing a smaller amount of clothing, you totally eliminate the need to play magician or genie in order to cram everything into your bags. Pack light, fold simply, layer them neatly and everything should be fine.
Do you have any practical vacation packing tips that you want to share? I’m always interested in learning more ways to make things work.
Hope these tips have been helpful, Happy Vacationing!