PLANNING TOOLS

6 Essential Family Travel Packing Lists

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Updated June 2020

Download and print the packing list you need for your next family vacation…or download and print them all!

Start with the basic packing list for every trip. Then add on the outdoor, beach, winter and baby-toddler lists as needed.

Plus check out the carry-on lists for kids and parents. And readers’ picks for extra items you might want to include.

Lists are right below. Scroll to the end for the printable PDFs

6 Printable Packing Lists

Packing Lists

Packing List Basics (Stuff You Always Need)

  • Long pants/capris/shorts
  • Jeans
  • Tank tops
  • Short sleeve t-shirts
  • Long-sleeve t-shirts
  • Casual dresses or skirts
  • 1-2 evening outfits
  • Sweater or fleece
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Rain jacket
  • Walking shoes
  • Dress shoes
  • 2 bathing suits
  • Cover-up
  • Flip-flops
  • Light scarf or pashmina 
  • Jewelry/ accessories
  • Toiletries
  • Make-up
  • Sunscreen
  • First-Aid/medicine kit
  • Sun hat/baseball hat
  • Contact lens kit
Readers’ Pick:
Men’s Travel Pants

I love Ex Officio clothes for travel and their Men’s travel pants have the go-everywhere functionality and comfort my husband looks for in all his clothes, but especially his travel clothes.

So it’s not a surprise readers like these slacks. They keep the bugs away, provide sun protection, release body heat to keep you cool and are antibacterial, so they can go longer between washings.

They convert to shorts with the pull of a zipper and come in five neutral colors that will can take him from mountain trail to city restaurant with no problem.

  • Jeans/pants/shorts 
  • Leggings
  • Tank tops
  • Short sleeve tops
  • Long sleeve tops
  • 1-2 dressy outfits
  • 2 bathing suites
  • Cover-up
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  •  Underwear
  • Sneakers
  • Water shoes or flip-flops
  • Dressy shoes (if needed)
  • Fleece or hoodie
  • Rain jacket
  • Sun hat/baseball hat
  • Toiletries
  • Hair accessories
  • Medicine
  • A favorite Snuggly
  • Play dresses/skirts/skorts
  • Tights
Readers’ Pick:
Boys Summer Rain Jacket

Columbia’s Glennaker rain jacket is a sized-down version of this outdoor-wear company’s popular men’s rain jacket. it’s lightweight and wind and waterproof.

Elastic-trimmed sleaves to keep arms dry and it’s easy to wash. Ideal for summer travel when you want to stay dry and cool.

Carry-On Packing Lists (for airplane or car)

  • Mom or Dad’s airplane carry-on
    •  Wallet
    • Sunglasses    
    • Passports or ID
    • Airline tickets/boarding passes
    • TSA or Global Entry #
    • Hotel/rental confirmation
    • Car rental confirmation
    • Itinerary
    • Light hoodie/sweater
    • Plane socks
    • Slip-on shoes 
    • Plane socks
    • Magazines/book/e-reader
    • Guidebook
    • Water bottle
    • Travel pillow (overnight)
    • Medications you’ll need en route
    • Pocket stain remover
    • Smart phone/cord/portable charger
    • Lipstick/lip balm
    • Keys
    • Snacks
    • Laptop/tablet
    • Eyes glasses
Readers’ Pick:
Travel backpack

This Sunhiker small travel backpack is compact, lightweight and water-resistant.

It has a deep main pocket, a separate pouch for electronics and a small zipper pocket to keep things like money and keys handy.

It has waist and chest straps and water bottles holders on each side. Plus it comes in seven colors and is priced uner $30. I can see the appeal.

  • Kids airplane carry-on
    • Cozy hoodie/sweater
    • Plane socks
    • Plane pillow (overnight)
    • Change of clothes (small kids)
    • Books
    • Toys, games, crafts
    • Tablet/iPod/E-reader/smart phone & cords and portable charger
    • Snacks
    • Water bottle
    • Lollypops or gum (for ears)
  • Mom or Dad essentials to keep handy in the car
    • Driver’s license
    • Wallet
    • Sunglasses
    • AAA card
    • smartphone and cord
    • Plug-in device charger for multiple cords
    • Hotel/rental confirmation
    • Addresses for navigation preloaded on your phone
    • Itinerary
    • Reservations/tickets booked ahead
    • Ideas for places to stop
    • Guidebook
    • Books on CD/audiobooks
    • Family music playlists
    • Medications you’ll need en route
    • Pocket stain remover
    • Lipstick/lipbalm
    • Keys 
    • Cooler/ice 
    • Snacks
    • Water bottle
    • Car emergency kit     
    • Car first-aid kit
    • Road maps
    • Container, wipes, towel, ziplock bag, extra clothes for motion sickness 
  • Kids’ backseat essentials
    • Books/audiobooks/e-reader
    • Toys, games or crafts
    • Tablet/iPod with charging cord
    • Snacks
    • Water bottle or juice
    • Blanket and pillow
    • Cozy hoody or fleece
    • Flashlight
Readers’ Pick:
Wireless headphones + charging case

It’s hard to argue with the appeal of Apple’s airPods and the charging case makes them very handy for travel.

Your tween or teen can fully charge the case before you hit the road, and recharge the earbuds several times as needed before you reach your destination.

One pair will sink with your iPhone, iPad and laptop.

  • Flying/ Driving essentials with a baby or toddler
    •     Diapers/wipes/changing pad
    •     Extra outfit (2 for long flights)
    •     Pacifier
    •     Blanket
    •     Fleece or sweater
    •     Bottle or sippy cup
    •     Premeasured formula
    •     Snacks
    •     Food (for longer flights)
    •     Toys (one new one)
    •     Crayons
    •     Books/videos for your tablet
    •     Stroller
    •     Front carrier
    •     Harness or car seat (optional)
    •     Infant Hammock (optional)

Beach Vacation Packing List

  • Sun Hats 
  • Rashguards
  • Reef-safe sunscreen
  • Lip balm with spf
  • Aloe gel or calendula
  • Flip-flips and water shoes
  • Baby Powder (for sand) 
  • Waterproof camera
  • Sand toys
  • Frisbee, soccer ball or football
  • Kite
  • Boogie board
  • Scuba gear
  • Inflatable tube/toys
  • Swim safety vest
  • Book or magazine
  • Towels
  • Blanket
  • Folding chairs
  • Umbrella
  • Snacks
  • Water and Juice
  • Cooler and ice
  • Light blanket (baby)
  • Dry clothes/underwear to wear home
Readers’ Pick:
Waterproof camera

Kansing’s underwater digital camera takes both photos and videos in up to ten feet of water and can stay submerged for up to an hour. Keep It’s handy for snorkeling or underwater fun in the pool and the surf.

It has a selfie screen and continuous shooting mode, to keep the kids and teens happy. Iit into the pocket of swimming trunks and has a wrist-strap so you won’t lose it in the water. The bright yellow casing helps, too.

Winter Vacation Packing List

  • Long underwear
  •  Heavy socks
  • Turtleneck
  • Light fleece/sweater
  • Heavy fleece/sweater
  • Ski pants
  • Ski jacket
  • Snow boots
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarf or gator
  • Goggles or sunglasses
  • Helmet
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Sunscreen
  • Pocket warmers
  • Pocket-size snacks
  • Pocket-size collapsible water bottle
  • Skis/ski boots
  • Snow board/boots
  • Ice skates
Readers’ Pick:
Merino wool women’s base later

Mountain Warehouse’s merino wool thermal baselayer is lightweight, warm and soft in a way baselayers often aren’t.

It wicks away moisture and sweat, and comes in black or grey. Pair it with merino wool thermal bottoms.

Outdoor Vacation Packing List

  • Hiking boots    
  • Water shoes/sport sandals (kids)
  • Flip-flops/sport sandals (adults)
  • Hiking poles
  • Rain gear
  • Sun hats
  • Fleeces
  • Bathing Suits
  • Quick-dry shorts/pants/shirts/socks
  • Extra socks (so you always have a dry pair)
  • Flashlights
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Area Map
  • Geocaching equipment
  • Card games 
  • Camp lantern
  • Camp chairs
  • Tent
  • Camp mattress
  • Sleeping bags/pillows
  • Camp stove/fuel/lighter
  • Pots/Pans
  • Spatula/cooking fork
  • Dishes/cups/utensils
  • Groceries
  • Trail snacks
  • Extra bottled water
  • Water-purifying tablets or filtering straw
  • First-Aid Kit Hand sanitizer
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Insect bite/plant-rash salve
  • Aloe or calendula
  • Water-proof Band-Aids
  • Large Band-Aids
  • Butterfly Band-Aids
  • Blister pads
  • Gauze
  • First-aid tape
  • Tweezers
  • Small Needle
  • Benadryl
  • Rehydration tablets
  • Antidiarrheal tablets
  • Stomach reliever
  • Pain reliever 
Readers’ Pick:
Women’s Hiking Boots

Merrel’s Moab 2 waterproof hiking boot has an air cushion in the heel for schock absorbtion and a removable inner sole that you can air out. water proofing keeps water out but vents sweat to keep your feet dry.

Bungee laces make it easy to take the boots on and off and guarantee you won’t have untied laces to trip over on the trail.

Baby & Toddler Vacation Packing List

  • Diapers/wipes/changing pad
  • Baby Powder or diaper paste
  • Swim diapers
  • Extra onesies
  • Extra clothes
  • Crib or playard sheet
  • Baby blanket
  • Sleep sack
  • Pacifiers
  • Bath-time essentials (towel, washcloth, baby soap/shampoo)
  • Small quantity of baby laundry detergent
  • Small bottle of dish soap
  • Cuddly toy
  • Travel toys
  • Picture Books
  • Pool/bath toys
  • Bottles or spill-proof sippy cups
  • Feeding essentials (bowl, spoon, fork, bib)
  • Pre-measured formula
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Essential baby food
  • Essential baby snacks
  • Burp cloths
  • Travel Stroller (and bag if gate-checking)
  • Car seat (and bag if gate-checking)
  • Travel crib (and bag if gate-checking)
  • Carrier
Readers’ Pick:
Portable Privacy Pod

Anyone who has ever tried to share a hotel room with a baby or toddler will understand the genius of Slumberpod privacy pod.

It’s a small, lightweigh pop-up tent sized perfectly to fit over your portable crib or travel playard. A zipper lets you decide how much privacy you get and how much light baby can have.

It’s ventilated and made of breathable fabric and flexible aluminum poles. It folds up into its own bag, small enough to fit into a carry-on.

a checklist with boxes to tick

The Printable lists:

Packing list basics

Carry-on packing list

Beach packing list

Winter vacation packing list

Outdoor vacation packing list

baby and toddler packing list

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