The Ultimate Vacation Packing Checklist

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Good old family vacation!

They’re filled with children laughing, relaxing by the pool, navigating the airport and of course, sightseeing!

But what’s not so fun is when you forget your sweater and have to buy one, or Johnny forgets his favorite pair of shoes and has a meltdown.

To help you avoid some of the stressors that come with vacation I’m bringing you the ultimate guide to packing because we can all use a little help getting organized!

First things first, make a list! Actually, two lists to be exact.

I know lists seem tedious but trust me, they save so much time and energy in the long run!

The first list is a “Vacation to do List” where you plan out what needs to be done before leaving for vacation.

Vacation to do List

  • Plan where you are going
  • Map out how to get there
  • Reserve a place to stay
  • Cancel newspaper
  • Stop the mail
  • Let neighbors know you will be gone so they can check on your house and make sure everything looks okay.
  • Arrange pet or plant care
  • Set up your lights on timers so that they turn on and off as if you were home. This deters anything happening to your home when you’re gone.
  • Gas up vehicle if you are driving
  • Get an oil change and other maintenance, again, if you are driving

Creating a “Vacation to do List” will help put your mind at ease and will help you be more relaxed once you get on vacation!

This will help you avoid wondering or worrying if you did “this” or “that”.

Letting a neighbor or family member know you will be gone can also help keep your home safe while you are gone!

Don’t forget to give them the name and number of the hotel as well just in case they can’t reach you on your cell.

If you are driving to your destination make sure to bring extra chargers and an emergency kit in the back of your car just in case of emergencies or bad or unexpected weather.

When traveling, it’s always better to be a bit over prepared than under prepared!

The next list you’re going to want to make is a “Packing List”.

Creating a packing list for everyone in your family will help avoid the dreaded meltdown and will ensure everyone brings exactly what they need!

This will also help you weigh your bags before you get to the airport so you don’t have to spend time taking something out of your bag if it weighs too much.

Packing List

  • Cool and warm weather clothes, even if you are going somewhere warm make sure to bring one or two sweaters you could wear just in case.
  • Beach items, if you are going to the beach make sure to pack everything you and your family is going to need ie, beach towels, sunscreen, cover-ups, swimsuits, hats, beach toys, sandals, swim shoes. Put all of your beach items in one bag so it’s easy to find them once you get to your destination.
  • Shoes, again all in one bag unless you only have one pair of shoes to wear for the trip!
  • If you are driving make sure to bring pillows to make the ride more comfortable, food and beverages to avoid making too many stops.
  • If you are flying make sure each family member or at least the adults have a carry on bag with a full outfit including extra shoes, PJs and toiletries just in case bags get lost along the way. This will ensure you at least something else to wear while you’re waiting for your bags to arrive and that way you won’t have to spend extra money on clothing and such.
  • Pick three or four neutral colors for tops and bottoms that go together for the entire trip.
  • When deciding how many outfits to bring, count the number of days you’re going to be on vacation, then cut that in half. This will help you cut down on bags and will ensure your bags aren’t too heavy. You may also want to bring one set of clothing to wear for both travel days that is comfortable. That way, you won’t have to rush around looking for what to wear when you leave from vacation or are arriving.
  • Bring layers, light jackets, short sleeve shirts, etc.
  • Bring an extra bathing suit just in case
  • To fit more in your suitcases make sure to roll clothing instead of folding.
  • If you are packing necklaces, to avoid them getting tangled up lay them on a pillowcase and roll them up. This will ensure you have tangle-free necklaces and your own pillowcase to sleep with!

Whether you are driving or flying, make sure to bring some food and snacks with you so that you have something to eat once you arrive.

That way the first day of your vacation isn’t spent running to the grocery store! It’s vacation right, relax!

My last and final tip is for if you are driving to your destination and will need to stay at hotels here and there before arriving.

Make sure to pack a small bag or backpack with everything you need for just one or two nights per person.

That way you don’t have to lug all the suitcases into the hotel each and every night.

At the end of the day, a vacation is all about spending time with loved ones and making tons of memories!

Making these lists beforehand will help put your mind at ease and help alleviate some of the added stress that comes with travel! Where are you traveling to next??

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  1. I love to do lists. As someone with mild anxiety, it really helps me to calm down and get everything in order. You certainly have it covered with this list!

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Making a list really helps ease some anxiety! Lists are fantastic!!

  2. These tips will come in handy for the many golf trips I take around the world.

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      That’s great, Misty!! Wow, that’s so cool to travel the world!!!

  3. Yes! We’ve forgotten to stop the mail in the past and that’s no good. And you can never bring too many swim suits! Fun to change it up. Great list!

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Yeah, that can really be a pain when you come home to a bunch of mail on your porch or worse! Right!! It’s always fun to try out a few different swimsuits on the beach! Thank you, Megan!

  4. Nancy says:

    Great packing tips! I always pack an extra outfit in my family’s carry-on backpacks for our flights. That has saved us!

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Thank you so much, Nancy! Yes, that is such a lifesaver!! It’s a bummer when your bags get lost or misplaced but better to be prepared!

  5. Great tips! I aaaalways make a list and am such a horrible over-packer. I just like to be prepared, haha!

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Thank you, Amanda!! Haha, I’m like that too sometimes! I just really don’t like missing something!!

  6. says:

    I’m definitely pinning this! As much as I love to travel I’m always forgetting something, this is so so helpful!!

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Thank you so much, Carmen! I’m so glad you found this super helpful!!

  7. Great packing tips … unlike most people … I LOVE packing. It is half the fun for me while going some place 🙂


    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Thank you so much, Tanvi! That’s great!! I guess I don’t really mind packing but I do find I get anxious about it!

  8. says:

    Having a list makes vacation less overwhelming. It also helps prevent me forgetting something important. I love lists!

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Yes, exactly!! Lists are just an overall lifesaver!!

  9. says:

    These are great tips! I am the WORST at packing when it comes to trips (I just want my whole closet to fit in my suitcase!)

    1. TwoCraftyGals says:

      Thank you, Cathy! Haha oh me too!! I just don’t want to forget anything!

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