10 Packing Tips for the Perfect Family Vacation

I learned an important lesson about packing the hard way. When our five children were young, packing for them was a nightmare. There was never enough time — or energy — to get everything done. One year we arrived at our destination only to find that one son’s suitcase had been left at home. Another year we unpacked, and only two of the four boys had underwear. With five children, we were always on a budget, and buying new clothes and underwear was not part of the vacation plan. To help parents alleviate stress and avoid spending, here are 10 packing tips to help prevent problems and assure that you are ready for your vacation.

by: Teresa Bell Kindred

10 Packing Tips for Parents: Help Plan a Perfect Vacation

1. Think like a boy scout … Be prepared. Make lists and pack several days (even a week) before you are ready to leave. Then have someone else double check your lists.

2. Take ed medicines and prescriptions with you. I learned this the hard way, too. One of our sons had severe asthma, and one year the nebulizer (a machine that aids with breathing) was left at home.

3. Remember the weather can change. Take jackets and umbrellas just in case.

4. Roll clothes and place in a suitcase instead of folding. It saves space and prevents wrinkles.

5. If you are traveling by airplane, label all suitcases carefully. You never know whether or not your luggage will end up at the same place you do.

6. If you are on a budget, take sunscreen, sunglasses and lotion with you. It’s usually more expensive at resorts or hotels.

7. If you take lots of sporting equipment with you, why not FedEx it ahead to your vacation destination? It’s just less stuff you have to worry about!

8. If you don’t have luggage with wheels, get some. If you have to beg, borrow or buy, it’s worth the trouble.

9. If you are an avid reader, consider getting a Kindle or something similar. It’s much easier than carting a sack of books around with you.

10. Before you leave home, have everyone double check their own list. If one son forgets an I-pod or your daughter forgets her cellphone, it can make for a very long travel time!

Have fun and remember: A little planning goes a long way towards creating a perfect vacation.