Family Vacation Packing: 11 Items You Don’t Want to Forget

By Barbara Danza, Epoch Times
August 24, 2018 Updated: October 8, 2018

If you’re about to pack up and hit the road with your family, you’re likely packing toothbrushes and the kids’ favorite stuffed animals or blanket. Don’t forget a few miscellaneous items that are commonly forgotten but so helpful to have on hand. 

Make sure you’ve got these in your suitcase before you head out on your next adventure.


Garbage Bag

Even if you have access to laundry facilities where you’re going, you’re bound to have a collection of dirty clothes you’ll need to pack up when vacation is over. Keep these items separate using a simple garbage bag. Empty, it takes up virtually no room in your suitcase, but you’ll be glad you have it.

Zipper Bags

They’re most useful but so easy to forget to pack. Clear, disposable zipper bags can hold garbage on the go, carry snacks, keep leak-prone items separate, organize small toys, and keep things dry at water parks or beaches. Zipper bags fit nicely in the outside pockets of suitcases, where they can be easily accessible while you’re in transit.

Folded Duffle Bag

As you pack your bags, another bag may seem like overkill, but it can make all the difference both during your stay and for the return trip home. A foldable duffle bag or backpack can be used for shopping, hold necessities during daily excursions, and carry souvenirs or items that just don’t fit in the suitcase as you repack at the end of your trip.

Disposable Plates and Utensils

Whether you bring back restaurant leftovers, have snacks on hand, or opt for a light meal in, you’ll be glad you’ve got the tools to comfortably enjoy your food. If you’re concerned about space, bowls can generally be used as plates, but plates cannot completely double as bowls.

Coffee and Tea

If you’re serious about your morning coffee or tea, you may be disappointed by the offerings you encounter during your travels. Bring along your favorite blend and your morning self will thank you.

Chargers and Batteries

Cameras, phones, laptops, and other devices won’t last too long if you forget their power sources. Pack portable backups and all the required plugs-ins to keep your essential tools in business.

Hand Wipes

For sticky fingers after an ice cream, before picking up a hamburger after a day on the go, after the petting zoo, and simply as a refresher, hand wipes come in easy-to-pack portable containers and are indispensable.

Lip Balm

Traveling in different climates or by plane can make you yearn for your favorite lip balm. Pack an extra in each bag you’re carrying. You’ll be glad you did!

Jeans and a Sweatshirt

Even if you’re headed somewhere sunny and warm, cool mornings and evenings, an unexpected thunderstorm, or an overactive air conditioner are all reasons to make sure everyone has a sweatshirt and pair of jeans available.



Band-Aids

Band-Aids take up no space at all but if you need one, you’ll be glad you don’t have to scramble to find one. Pack them in various places for easy access.

Printed Directions

Technology is helpful but if it fails for any reason, it’s great to have a physical backup—especially when traveling in an unfamiliar place. Print any confirmation emails, tickets, and phone numbers you may need during your travels as well.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza
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