The countdown has begun and the children are hopping up and down with excitement! The only problem is that you are buried under a mountain of laundry and you don’t have a single thing packed! How do you get the entire family out of the house without forgetting that one thing you know you are going to need but are probably going to forget?
Here are our top ten tips to pack quickly for a family vacation:
- Create or use a packing list that is laminated and use dry erase markers to cross off items as they are packed.
- Lay out everything you are packing by person and in order. For example, shirts on top, then pants, then pajamas, etc. It will be easier to spot a category you missed for someone.
- Involve your kids in the packing process. They are more likely to remember their favorite blanket or remind you that those shoes are too tight. This will save you a lot of heartache later.
- We keep a spare cell phone charger, clothes, diapers, wipes, and snacks in our car at all times. These staples come in handy if we didn’t pack quite enough or leave one of them at home.
- Use packing cubes. This will save you not only space but a significant amount of time when unpacking at your destination. Everyone has their own bag. We have an extra packing cube that is used for dirty laundry when we fly. If we are driving, we pack a folding hamper.
- Pack in outfits. Grab one top and a matching bottom. You can roll them together and then there will be no way for your child to wear an unfortunate outfit choice.
- If you are driving, bring a small bottle or pods of laundry soap. You will then be prepared if you under packed or if something needs immediate attention. As a mother of a child with special needs something always needs cleaning.
- Have one bag designated for everyone’s toiletries. This will ensure that six hair brushes aren’t packed.
- Set aside a large eighteen gallon bin the week of your trip and set aside clothes you know you will want to pack. This bin is off-limits for wearing. That way you aren’t trying to do laundry the day before you leave.
- Have a sense of urgency. I can pack up my family of six in two hours and be out the door. It takes practice, but once you get a good rhythm you will be surprised how quickly it can go.