Whether you’re taking a big family vacation, a road trip, or just sending the kids to grandma’s house, this printable vacation packing list will help you get the kids packed and ready to go.
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When my oldest was only three, she stayed with grandparents while my husband and I took a spring break trip with our college class. Having an overnight with grandparents is a great way to teach your child independence at a young age.
I think I probably spent weeks making lists, planning, and organizing all of her things to take with her. As she got older and after our second child was born, going to grandma’s house became a spring break tradition. Once my kids were old enough, I put them in charge of packing their own suitcases.
I created this fun free printable vacation packing list to save my sanity. It seems like they are always forgetting something, so a list is a must.
Suitcase must-have items
1. first aid kit
You can really never have too many first aid kits. It seems like no matter where we go, somebody is getting injured. Nothing too bad, but sometimes a paper cut is a near-death experience when you’re only seven. You only need a single-use amount of most items, so it is easy to fit a lot in a little case. Mine has bandages, wet wipes, sunscreen, Neosporin, gauze, tape, and Benadryl. I have a tiny zip bag of items in my car, at home, and in my suitcase when we travel.
My children are actually alligators. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much. They eczema and sensitive skin, and traveling tends to make it even worse. I have a homemade lotion recipe that I love. If you aren’t the DIY type, our favorite brand is Aveeno. I buy the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream – even now that my kids are teens. It works really well, isn’t greasy, and is free from all the weird things my kids are allergic to.
3. sweater/light jacket
If you’re headed to a warm, sunny beach, you might think a sweater is unnecessary, but hear me out. If it’s hot outside, chances are all of the restaurants and businesses have the air conditioner cranked up. Plus, even here in Texas where we have sunshine and 70-degree temperatures in March during the day, it easily drops 20 degrees when the sun goes down. Pack something light that won’t take up much space.
4. travel entertainment
It doesn’t matter how short or long the trip is, about five minutes in the kids are going to ask if we’re there yet. After packing suitcases, I have each kid pack a “carry on” with a few books, games, coloring supplies, or other things that will keep them busy for most of the journey.
Kids suitcase packing tips
I like to print off the list twice, on the front and back of a single piece of paper. When the kids are packing to go, have them check off one side as they put items in the suitcase. Be sure to pack the list too. As they pack everything up to come home, check off the other side. We have had more than one “favorite toy” mailed back from grandparents after a visit.
- Create a complete outfit for each day and fold it together.
- Put toiletries inside plastic zip bags in case something leaks.
- Pack an extra outfit or two, just in case.
- Take things they wear regularly – or try on that special outfit to make sure it does fit.
- Leave the favorite items that can’t be replaced at home.
Printable vacation packing list
This packing list prints on regular 8.5×11-inch paper. It has space at the top for your child’s name, plus room to add anything else you might need on the list.
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