Kids vacation packing list printable with pictures, family trip packing list

KIDS Vacation Packing List: Suitcase, Carry on + Road Trip (Printable)

Prepping for a family vacation is busy enough, without worrying that you missed something critical for your kids. Use this kids vacation packing list to check off their list, so you can get back to yours! Below you’ll also find a printable with pictures, so you can hand it over to them. It’ll get them excited AND help you out.Kids vacation packing list pin

So, what should your kids pack for a family vacation? What should go in their suitcase versus carry on or road trip backpack? When should they pack it, and what goes in last-minute? And what are those extra little things that can make a family trip go oh-so much smoother?

Let’s get into it all now.

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When Should I START PACKING For a Family Vacation?

Start packing your clothes for a family vacation at least 3 or 4 days before you leave. This gives you time to finish any laundry you want for your trip. For travel essentials, start packing two weeks before your family vacation so you can pick up last-minute items without stressing. (Think: Extra power cords, kids travel trays, replacement for your worn-out backpack.)

Get your kids excited for family vacation with a Kids Travel Journal for Early Readers! It includes trip summary pages and a countdown calendar they can post on their wall. Circle when they should start packing their bags!

Sample pages of Kids Travel Journal Printable for Early Readers, family road trip printables

What Should Kids Pack in Their SUITCASE?

Kids should pack the following things in their suitcase:

  • A variety of tops: shirts, tank tops, long-sleeved tops, dresses and sweaters
  • A variety of bottoms: comfortable pants, like leggings and jogging pants, jeans, shorts/skirts and capris
  • PJs
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimsuit/swim shorts
  • A variety of footwear: shoes, sandals and boots (whatever they’re not wearing as a travel outfit), in a separate bag
  • Day before you leave: jacket, splash pants, hat, umbrella (whatever outdoor items they won’t use on travel day)
  • Morning you leave: toothbrush, toothpaste, brush/comb, hair ties

Put your kids to work AND get them excited for family vacation with a kids packing list printable with pictures. Includes a variety of pictures, so you can be clear on what they need. Think: short-sleeved versus long-sleeved tops. Write how many you want them to pack for each item, and away they go.

Kids Packing List for CAMP

A kids packing list for camp should also include:

Kids Packing List for THE BEACH

Photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie from Unsplash

A family vacation packing list for the beach should include:

  • Sunhats
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes
  • Cover-ups (I prefer the zip-up towel covers)
  • Beach towels (check out this fun hamburger towel from Inspire Uplift!)
  • Wet bag
  • Change of clothes
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Sand toys
  • Swim goggles/snorkeling gear
  • Life jackets/floaties (for families, inflatable rafts are awesome)
  • Beach mats (get a waterproof sandproof mat that rolls up)
  • Beach umbrella/shade (find a sun canopy with or without a floor)
  • Folding wagon (once you get a collapsible wagon, you’ll wonder why you didn’t get it sooner!)
  • Soft cooler (a soft cooler is handy, since it gets smaller as it empties) with drinks, snacks and wipes
  • Portable picnic table (a low folding table will keep sand and bugs away, but you can still enjoy sitting on a beach)

What Should Kids Pack in a CARRY ON?

The 5 things that kids should pack in a carry on bag are:

  • Entertainment: Include activity and reading books, favorite small (quiet) toys, and technology (with charger and headphones).
  • Sweater: Planes are notoriously cold, so bring something warm and cozy. If there’s space, a travel pillow and blanket are also a good idea.
  • Snacks: Bring along pre-wrapped snacks, including their favorite treats. It is vacation, after all! Pack some hand wipes, too.
  • Water bottle: Keep it empty until you’re past security, and fill it up a few minutes before boarding time.
  • Change of clothes: It’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes in your carry on.

You might also want to check out the best kids travel trays (including for the plane) and free printable travel games for kids.

What Should Kids Pack for a ROAD TRIP?

Photo credit: S&B Vonlanthen from Unsplash

Kids should pack the following things for a family road trip:

Let them pack their backpacks for the drive themselves, with this kids packing list printable with pictures! It’s comprehensive (so it’s actually helpful), and simple pictures means that even my preschooler could do it (also, so it’s actually helpful!).

Kids packing list printable with pictures

PLUS Family Road Trip Essentials for a HAPPY Trip

Here are my favorite family road trip essentials to pack when traveling with kids:

  • Porta potty: Even with potty-trained kids, this is SUPER handy when “I have to go pee!” sounds out in the middle of nowhere. Get a simple one to keep in the car (we like the Ikea one).
  • Travel tray: Very handy for keeping toys, books and crayons from falling on the floor. Here are my favorite kids travel trays.
  • Toy grabber: Extra handy when such things do fall on the floor. No more frequent stops to pick up those favorite toys! (Plus, they become entertainment themselves.)
  • Window shade: Keep that lovely bright sun out of their eyes.
  • Picnic blanket: Turn a blah stop into fun memories with a picnic in a pretty park. A good picnic blanket has a waterproof underside and rolls up nice and tight.
  • Portable picnic table: Not a fan of bugs on food? Get a portable picnic table for that picnic.
  • Cooler: Keep your yogurt drinks and sandwiches cold, so no one’s complaining come picnic time. Backpacks and tote bags are easiest to carry.
  • Flexible tripod: Get that awesome family picture with a flexible tripod. It wraps around tree limbs and magnetizes to your car. Cool, right?!

Did I miss anything? What are your go-to things to keep everyone happy on family vacation? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kids vacation packing list pin

Featured photo credit: Torsten Dederichs from Unsplash.

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