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Family Vacation Packing List

Relax! Packing for your vacation can be easy and stress-free with this vacation packing list.

Getting things ready for a vacation can be hectic enough, even without having to worry about bringing everything for the little ones. Follow this quick and easy family vacation packing list to make sure you have all the clothing, necessities, gadgets, gear and more for your journey.

The Basics

These are the versatile staples that most everyone needs, no matter where they’re going.

  • Comfortable clothing for the destination (light, breathable clothing for warm locales; sweaters and jackets for layering in colder ones)
  • Extra cash for cash-only stores and restaurants; and in case wallet or cards are lost
  • Extra house keys (packed away in case main keys are lost
  • Backup pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses
  • Daily toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, deodorant, etc.)
  • Rain ponchos or compact umbrella


A vacation is all about getting away and unplugging, but packing these useful electronics as back-ups can be well worth it.

  • Cellphone chargers and cords
  • Portable USB power bank (to charge items on the go)
  • An affordable cellphone (or tablet) pre-loaded with games to keep kids busy
  • Headphones or earbuds (for listening without bothering others)

For Kids

Even the most well-behaved kids might get squirmy on a long car ride or flight. Having these items handy for just those times can save their stress — and your nerves.

  • Non-perishable snacks and water/juices
  • Activity/puzzle book
  • Cellphone or tablet (see above)

Vacations by Type

Other than the anytime basics, the type of vacation you’re on usually dictates what you bring. While not exhaustive, here are a few surefire ideas to start.

Beach Relaxation

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and hats
  • Flip flops
  • Large beach towels
  • Sun umbrella and beach chairs
  • Swim goggles, flippers, water wings (for little ones)
  • Cooler for snacks and beverages
  • Change of dry clothes (and a bag for wet ones)
  • Large beach bag to carry it all

Theme Park Exploration

  • Comfortable shoes (lots of walking)
  • Battery-powered hand fan or water mister
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and hats

Ocean Cruising

  • Dramamine/motion-sickness medicine
  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing suits
  • Dress clothing (for formal dinner/functions)


Pack Smarter

Now that you know what to add to your family vacation packing list, get these clever tips on how to pack light and right.