Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days to a More Organized Life : Day Twelve : Packing the Family for a Vacation

Yesterday I offered some helpful tips for prepping your house before a vacation! Today we're talking about getting the family ready to go. Packing is easy enough when you are only planning for yourself, but when you factor in kids who need diaper changes, snacks, and activities to keep them busy, it can become quite the ordeal.

I'm a classic overpacker. It is what it is and I've learned to accept it. I truly hate the feeling of not having something I need on a trip so I tend to overcompensate a wee bit. Fortunately, I've tamed it down since having kids who require so much extra stuff just so that we can actually fit it all in one car. I'm also a big believer in learning from prior experiences so here are a few things I'm doing this time around to ease the stress. Remember the intention I set in the beginning of the series...
Packing us up in an orderly way will help to keep things running smoothly during not just the packing process but the trip itself.

As I'm packing for all of us, I keep a running "Don't Forget" list. I don't generally keep full packing lists but this helps me to remember things that might get left behind, especially key items. Travel bed anyone?! As I pack things, I cross them off, but I also do a double check during our final walkthrough before leaving to be sure we got the really important stuff (nobody sleeps if Blankey gets left behind).
Since we'll be shuttling between our hotel room and the beach club, I bought gallon-sized ziploc bags to try to separate what we need for each area. Having a separate baggy for hotel room snacks will help ensure that we don't have to lug everything back and forth. I didn't take a picture but I also packed a ziploc with basic necessities (hand wipes, tissues, etc.) that can stay down at the beach saving us the trouble of hauling a giant beach bag everywhere. 
I also picked up a few new activities and books as a special treat for times when the kids are bored. Playing at the beach is fun and keeps everyone busy, but sometimes they just need a break from the sand. Having a few new (but inexpensive) things to do will keep that boredom at bay. 
I try to pack a couple extra plastic shopping bags, especially for trips to the beach, so we have a place to put dirty or wet clothes for the drive home. Then the bags can just be emptied into the laundry without getting suitcases and all other clothes wet on the way home.

What do you do to make packing easier?

I'm so glad you are joining me for this 31 day series. If you've missed a day and want to catch up, you can see all the previous days' topics here!


  1. great tips! a master packing list, ziploc bags and a sharpee marker have been my main-stay travel tools for years!
    When my children were small, I sometimes packed daily outfits in gallon-sized bags. Easy for quick changes in the car, or for Daddy to dress them so Mommy can sleep in.

    1. I like that idea about packing outfits in gallon bags! Might also prevent my picky dresser from pulling everything out of the suitcase every time it's time to get dressed :)


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