The Complete and Only Family Vacation Packing List You’ll Ever Need

Over 60% of Americans go on vacation every year.

And we don’t blame them.

After all, life is hard! Everybody deserves a well-earned rest every once in a while as a reward.

Going away on vacation as a family offers a host of benefits. You unwind, relax, and have fun all together in a beautiful part of the world. However, there some challenges involved too!

One particular hurdle to overcome arises before you even leave: packing.

In the rush to get ready, it’s all too easy to leave essential holiday goods and gear behind. Thankfully, having a family vacation packing list to call upon can make a mighty difference.

A checklist of things to take means you’re less likely to forget the essentials. The tricky part is knowing what to put on it in the first place!

Want some help with that endeavor?

Read on for all of the main items to pack on your next family vacation.


It goes without saying that clothing is a fairly important thing to pack! Here’s a bunch of clothes that you and the kids will both need at your disposal on any vacation.

Beach Wear

Going to the beach?

Make sure you’re prepared! Towels and swimsuits are the order of the day. However, you might want snorkels, goggles, beach cover-ups, and so on too.

Oh, and don’t forget the spade and bucket!

Casual Wear

Casual clothes are, most likely, what you’ll be wearing most often on holiday.

Think pants, belts, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, vests—and don’t forget the socks and underwear! Having some tights, shorts, and sweatshirts might be helpful too.

Smart Wear

Everybody loves to dress up once in a while on holiday.

You might go out for a nice evening meal, or treat yourself to a luxury sunset cruise. Whatever you do, have at least one smarter outfit for everybody to wear.

Walking Wear

Like going out for walks?

Well, be sure to take walking shoes and socks for everyone, as well as hardy outdoor clothes. Quick-drying pants and shorts might come in handy too.

Cold-Weather Wear

Nobody wants the bad weather to come in when they’re on vacation.

But, on the off chance it does, be sure to pack something to keep you all warm and dry. Packing waterproof jackets, sweatshirts, and pants at a minimum is a good idea.

Essential Outdoor Items 

All adventures are better (not to mention safer!) when you’re prepared. Here’s a selection of gear you’ll be pleased to have on any upcoming trip.

Sunscreen and Insect Repellent

Sun protection is super important for you and the family.

Nobody likes getting burned. It’s a recipe for tantrums and tiredness—not to mention pain! Likewise, having bugs about is no fun either.

Pack the sunscreen and insect repellent to prevent both from being an issue.

Quality Footwear

Like to explore when you’re on vacation?

Well, whether you’re walking around cities or hiking up mountains, make sure everyone has appropriate footwear. Pack sneakers at a minimum, but think seriously about proper walking shoes too.

Hats and Sunglasses

More protection from the sun!

Sunhats and sunglasses make a big difference. They keep the blazing sun off your head and out of your eyes. Everything’s more enjoyable (and safer) as a result.

Of course, if you’re expecting wind and rain over sunshine, then you’ll want beanies instead of sunhats.

Camping Stuff

We could write an entire post on camping gear to take away!

Planning on camping while you’re on vacation? Well, you’ll want everything from cooking equipment to tents and sleeping bags and mats. You might want a cooler to keep the drinks cold, a lighter for the stove, and a torch for the night time.

Water Bottles

Finally, pop some water bottles in the suitcase too.

It’ll mean you won’t have to keep buying plastic bottles from the shops. That’s good news for your bank balance and the environment.

First Aid Kit

You hope you’ll never need them.

But you’ll be pleased to have them if you ever do! Here’s a host of basic first-aid gear to consider taking along.

At a minimum, take band-aids, pain killers, allergy tablets, and meds for tummy aches. You might also want vitamins, supplements, tweezers, and bandages—just in case!

Oh, and don’t forget any inhalers and prescription meds you might need.


Of course, you can’t go traveling without your ablutions. Here’s a stripped-back selection of travel ablutions to take:

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, soap/shower gels, and feminine hygiene products are all essential.

However, you might also want your eye drops, deodorant, mouthwash, and razors. Pop it all in a toiletry bag with a washcloth and you’re good to go.

Unless that is, you want your make-up too! Oh, and then the hairdryer, special hair care products, and a brush.


On the plane, in the car, or whenever the rain comes down, having something to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained is all-important!

Books and magazines always go down well for any adults on board.

However, the kids might need something like an iPad with games and videos downloaded. Think about downloading Spotify for music and packing some headphones.

Then, everything from long-life snacks and inflatable pillows to earplugs might be useful.

Remember your chargers, smartphones, cameras, and memory cards. Coloring books, crayons, and board games might also be useful to have.

Essential Paperwork and Documents

All holidays demand certain family travel essentials. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Passports, flight tickets, visas, insurance info, cash, drivers’ license, and credit cards! All of them might be called for on vacation. Think about taking photocopies of vital documents as well.

Remember This Family Vacation Packing List

Going on vacation as a family?

Good! You deserve it. You’ll have fun, make memories, and enjoy a lively time in a lovely part of the world.

Just make sure you don’t forget anything! Hopefully, the family vacation packing list above will ensure you have everything you need.

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