Packing is not the most exciting part of any trip, and it is less so when packing a whole family. But by following these tips you are sure to have more fun and less stress!
1. Make a list and make it big. Use a big flip chart sheet or a dry erase board so everyone can easily see it. Draw pictures of items for kids not old enough to read. Put EVERYTHING you want them to pack and the quantity of each on the list.
2. Assign each child a color or shape to mark off items they have laid out to pack. This puts the accountability of packing on the child, not you!
3. Nothing goes in the bag before you double check their choices.
Before you know it, your kids will be creating the list themselves and learning a valuable lesson about trip planning and organization at the same time.
It is tempting to pack up your whole house when traveling with kids, but trust me, resist the urge! You want to have fun on vacation, not break your back shlepping around a bunch of heavy gear. Less is more. Most hotels have laundary facilities and those that don’t are ususally not too far from a public laundrymat. Off the grid adventuring? Then who cares if you are wearing stinky clothes? Bring 3 days worth of clothes and wash them as needed. Not convinced? Picture yourself in the airport at 2 am with 4 tired and cranky kids hauling 200 pounds of luggage on a quest for a rental car. Then pick small duffles or suitcases to pack in. When it is full, zip it up and call it done.