5 Tips for Stress-Free Family Packing

Packing for a family vacation can be challenging, but these 5 simple tips can help streamline the process.

Family vacations and holiday travel let your family bond and enjoy new experiences together – but getting everyone packed can be quite a challenge! We’ve put together some of our best tips for making the process a little easier.

1. Leave Time for Washing and Drying
Certain materials like cotton and wool will take longer to dry, so start laundering travel clothes at least a few days before you leave. We like using Gain Flings Scent Duets for long-lasting freshness in a convenient, easy-to-use pac. For an extra scent boost that will last throughout the trip, add Gain Fireworks to each load, or tuck a Gain dryer sheet into each suitcase for a burst of fresh scent. Once you’ve finished washing the family’s clothes, stow it out of reach to keep it clean and ready for the trip.

2. Start with the Staples
When you’re filling suitcases for a family, it’s easy to over-pack in an effort to plan for every possibility. Focus on the basics first: the items that will keep everyone presentable, happy and healthy throughout the trip. Make sure to pack:

One outfit per day for every member of the family. Check the 10-day forecast for the location you’re traveling to so you know what types of clothing to pack. Toss in a few extra shirts for members of the family who are prone to spills. If you’re low on space, consider which items could be worn two times, like pants or sweatshirts. And don’t forget socks, underwear and pajamas for everyone!

A toiletry bag for the whole family. Use this list as a starting point, and add to it as needed:

  • Soap, shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrushes for every family member
  • Toothpaste (we recommend Crest Pro-Health for adults and Crest Pro-Health for Me for kids)
  • Deodorant
  • Razors and shaving gel
  • Comb and brush
  • Contact lens solution and case, if needed

Essential electronics. Don’t go overboard here! Consider what you can do without, and remember that vacations are for spending time together rather than in front of a screen. Take your phones, chargers and a camera for capturing memories. If you think you can get away with leaving the tablets and handheld video games at home, go for it!

Snacks and toys. Think portable and convenient. Trail mix, dried fruit and yogurt-covered raisins are satisfying, yummy snacks for the whole family. To keep kids busy en-route, pack travel-size board games (magnetic ones are great!), colouring books and crayons, and small crafting kits that are easy to assemble and don’t require glue or glitter.

3. Handle Holiday Outfits with Care
If you’re traveling for the holidays, everyone in the family will probably need a nice outfit to wear to dinner. Pick special outfits well in advance and get them ready with time to spare. Iron and fold shirts, pants and dresses carefully before you pack to avoid wrinkles. Don’t forget coordinating items like dress shoes, a tie or jewellery.

4. Stay Healthy on the Road
Road trips can disrupt your digestive system, and changes in locale can lower your immune system, leaving you susceptible to colds. To keep you in top shape while on the road, assemble a wellness kit with fabric bandages, non-aspirin pain reliever, any medications your family needs and a travel-size pack of Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong to soothe any on-the-road sniffles.

5. Pack a Laundry Bag (or Two)
Keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones by packing a separate bag to serve as a dirty laundry bag. Or, better yet, pack two or three bags and separate laundry into loads once it’s been worn. When you’ve returned home, you can pop each bag of clothing into the machine without wasting time sorting again.

What are your top tips for family packing? Let us know what makes the process easier for you in the comments below!


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