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Home | Blog |10 Packing Tips to Make Family Travel Easier


When you're planning to travel with your family, things can get overwhelming and chaotic. Use this free printable family vacation packing list, and you will not forget anything that is needed, nor will you have an unorganized suitcase.

If you’re traveling by air:

Liquid Rules: 3-1-1 for Carry-Ons

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has introduced the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage. According to the standard, you can carry only 3.4-ounce (100 milliliters) bottles or less by volume, of liquids and they should be enclosed in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bags for all domestic or international flights.

All liquid items must be stored in a plastic bag, which must be placed in a screening bin at the check-in point. According to the TSA, “the one-quart bag rule per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.”

If you are in doubt, you can pack liquids in checked luggage, but, medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk in reasonable quantities exceeding 3 ounces must be declared and will be inspected for compliance.

Items Restricted to Checked Luggage

If you plan on traveling with sharp objects such as box cutters, scissors, or even knives, don't even consider it! It is prohibited to carry sharp objects> However, disposable razors and certain needles that are needed for medical purposes must be declared, but then they are permitted to be carried onboard.

These items are not permitted to be carried onboard and must be declared at the checkpoint:

  • Baseball bats
  • Golf clubs
  • Pool Cues
  • Ski poles
  • Martial arts and self-defense items
  • guns and firearms must be unloaded, locked and packed into a hard-sided container.

Luggage Guidelines

Individual items like these may be checked in with your luggage or carried on a domestic or international flight:

  • Umbrellas
  • Crutches
  • Collapsible manual wheelchairs
  • Strollers
  • Car seats
  • Cameras and reading materials

The TSA recommends packing your coats and jackets in your checked luggage because they must go through X-ray machines. Each airline may have its guidelines for checked luggage measurements and may impose additional fees for checked baggage.

Here are ten packing tips on what to pack for family vacation:

1. Make a packing list for every member.

First, check the weather conditions where you are traveling to and pack clothes that are appropriate for it. If there’s a ski resort nearby, then carry ski equipment. If there’s a golf course near the hotel where you’re staying, bring your golf clubs and other essentials. Always bring an underclothes travel wallet, you don’t want to get pick-pocketed on your trip!

It will be the easiest if you have a separate list for everyone in your family. When you begin packing, you can cross out items that you have already packed. You can also highlight or put a star next to the things that need to be packed at the last minute like your kid’s favorite blankie or snacks.

You may want to have a duplicate copy of this list for when you are packing to come home. That will help you to ensure that you won’t leave anything behind.

Here’s an example of a packing list:


  • Shorts
  • Tops
  • Pajamas
  • Jacket
  • Jeans
  • Dress or Polo Shirts
  • Running shoes
  • Dressy shoes
  • Sandals
  • Underwear
  • Bathing suit
  • Rash Guards


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Brush
  • Makeup


  • First Aid Kit
  • Medicine
  • Toys
  • Snacks
  • Juice or Water

2. Cross pack.

Sometimes—not intentional—but someone’s bad doesn’t end up at your destination. So, cross packing can make it a little bit safer. Put a set of clean clothes for each family member in someone else’s suitcase. For example, you can put an extra outfit, clean pairs of underwear in your partner’s suitcase.

3. Maximize space in your luggage.

Packing cubes can save the day when it comes to packing! It can help you corral all of your items and organize them for easy finding, packing, and repacking. You can use a color-coding system so that each family member can identification quick and easy.

4. Bring a backpack that can be used during the day.

Having a backpack that can fit in your suitcase is a lifesaver during busy trips that may involve different activities. Get out the bag and fill it with the things that you will need for the day. When you and your family are going home, you can either pack it inside your luggage again or use it as an extra bag for the items that you brought. Backpacks are also useful for carry-on’s especially for the kids since they will fit into the overhead bins or under the seat.

5. Roll, don’t fold.

Travel experts advise that you should roll your clothes to become space efficient rather than folding them. Tightly rolled clothes can take up less space than folded ones. Another bonus is that when you roll your clothes, it will prevent it from getting wrinkled, unlike folded clothes.

6. Fill in space.

Packing can be a pain in the neck. You need to make use of every space that you have in your suitcase. You can roll small tops, underwear, socks, other small items and stuff them (make sure to put them in a ziplock or plastic) into your shoes to fill every possible space in your luggage.

7. Pack your cords in Ziplock bags.

Having an unorganized set of cords can take a long time to discern what is what, so to organize your cords, you need a stash of ziplock bags. Then if any of those cords look the same, label them.

Your phone chargers, camera chargers, adapters, headphones - take extra plastic bags. You can even store house keys, parking ticket, medication, car keys and other loose accessories.

8. Use flat cotton makeup remover pads to secure makeup.

To all moms out there who wears makeup on a daily basis, this tip is for you. To prevent your eyeshadows or pressed powder from shattering during travel, place a flat cotton pad in between the pressed powder and lid. Then pack them in a zip-lock bag for added safety.

9. Make use of empty bottles and tubes to keep valuables safe.

To avoid being robbed, it’s best to avoid flashing the cash. If you’re on the beach and you want to swim, you can hide your money in an empty suntan lotion container or bottle stashed in your cooler. If you want safe-keeping, then put them in your rental car and lock it up. Use a safety pin to secure the car key or key fob to your clothing or one of the key rings that slide over your wrist, so it is with you at all times.

10. Clean your home before you leave.

Coming home to a messy house is not a right way to end a vacation! If you can go home to a clean house, you can take your luggage right up to your bedroom or the laundry room and be back to ‘normal’ within 30 minutes.

You don’t have to worry about a thing! Hire a trusted house cleaning service, and your home will be cleaned while you relax with your family!