Packing for my elementary-aged girls has gotten so much easier since I’ve given the bulk of the responsibility to them. They love packing because they get to choose which outfits they take on vacation, and I love it because it saves me time AND I don’t have to worry about their opinions on what I choose.
I tell them how many days we’ll be gone, how many of each thing they need, and they go to work. They leave everything on their bed for me to check and then their clothes, toiletries and other needs go in the suitcase. It’s a win-win.
Here is my basic kids packing list for travel:
- short-sleeve shirts
- long-sleeve shirts
- sandals or closed-toe shoes (depends on weather)
- flip flops
- If we are going to a special event that requires dressy attire I add:
- Sweater to go over dress (kids can get cold in air-conditioned setting)
- Dress shoes
- stockings/tights (depends on weather)
I usually pack the toiletries in my bag, but sometimes I let them pack:
- travel lotion
- hair oil
- ponytail holders
Miscellaneous Items to Pack
- Entertainment (notebook, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, electronics, doll, books, etc.)
If we’re going on a road trip, they each get to bring a backpack with car supplies:
- entertainment (listed below under miscellaneous)
- Dry snack
- piece of candy
If you’d like to use my packing list, you can download the free printable, Kids Packing List for Vacation and Travel. There is a space next to each line item for you to write in the quantity of each item, depending on the number of days you’ll be traveling and the weather at your destination.
I will say, even if you are traveling to a warm vacation destination, always pack a jacket/sweater and a pair of pants. The weather can be unpredictable and the temperature drops at night.
Enjoy your trip!