Welcome home! You’re relaxed and re-energized from your latest fantastic family vacation. But, all the suitcases and bags that need unpacking are staring at you, unfortunately not unpacking themselves.
Are packing and unpacking your least favorite parts of family travel? Let’s make those tasks a little less daunting. Before you put everything away consider our tips to make your life easier for your next trip. If you’re like us, you are already planning your next vacation as soon as you landed from the current one.
Create a travel tote to store everything for next time.
- This tote will save you time and energy before your next trip or even your next outing as a family to a local restaurant.
- When you find a great deal on an item, throw it in here as you may eventually use it.
- Keep extras of things in here that you may forget (like nightlights and then curse as your child is hysterically crying the first night on vacation because it’s dark and they are scared).
Here are some of the items we store in ours:
By keeping these out of sight for our kids, they forget about them and are excited to see them when we travel.
- Headphones or earbuds (depending on the age of the kids)
- Headphone splitter (very handy if you have more than one child)
- Markers (washable :))
- Triangle crayons (that don’t roll on the airplane)
- Play-dough or Crayola Model Magic
- Packing cubes (we like Eagle Creek luggage best)
- Matchbox cars
- Small figurines like a superhero collection or fairies
- Books (a stack of picture books exclusively for travel)
- Lego bags (take out of the box and put in a zipper bag with instructions – new ones or ones you only use during travel)
- Old toy or lego catalogs (they love flipping through these to create their birthday or holiday lists)
- Wipe off dry erase activity pads
- Highlights magazines or other activity books
- Deck of cards
- Take N Play magnetic games
- Sticker books
- Surprise grab bag (this contains an assortment of toys you can throw in your purse and take out in restaurants airports or hotel lobbies
- Extra charger
- Leave yourself a love note! (well or a maybe a general packing list of unique things for each kid to help you next time)
Other items that are easy to forget:
- Extra favorite blanket pillow or especially an extra lovey
- Wipes (these are essential even with older kids)
- A few laundry pods (hopefully you won’t have to do laundry on vacation but if you do…)
- An extra lightweight bag just in case you go over the weight limit at the airport (our nightmare!)
- Extra bibs or sippy cups
- A couple of diapers or pull-ups, including swim diapers
- International travel converter and adapter kit
- Outlet protectors, or painters tape to cover outlets
- Small first aid kit, including pain relievers, itch relief stick, etc.
Whew! It may seem overwhelming compiling this tote, but once you have it a simple update before and after each trip will help ease your packing and unpacking for years to come.
Think of the time this will save when you are running around the house looking for child #1’s headphones. You got this.
Save for Later!