What I Packed for a Summer Vacation with Little Kids

If you’ve been here before you know that we recently had a family vacation. Five days and four nights of a whole lot of family fun and maybe just a little bit of chaos. I’m serious when I say it was only a little chaotic because we were prepared for just about any scenario while we were away. Luckily we didn’t have to worry about fitting everything onto an airplane, but we did have to endure a treacherous road trip (more on that here). Anyway, big thanks to American Tourister for sponsoring this post so that I can share my packing tips with you guys! Their Z-Lite suitcase was the perfect size for the things I packed for the kiddos.


So, I was able to fit all of the kiddos things for the trip into this Z-Lite suitcase (minus a few things that were way too big or bulky to be packed. I figured out a few awesome tricks for packing when kiddos are part of the equation so I’m sharing them here because maybe you haven’t thought of these yet, or maybe you have some of your own. I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!

Packing Tips for a Summertime Family Vacation

  • Pack your kid’s sleep essentials: This may seem like common sense but we made this mistake so many times. Like “oh they’ll be fine without x, y, or z” but then seriously regretted our decision after the first night. For us, that was our kid’s Dock-a-Tots, Sully’s sleep sack, Elouise’s stuffed animals, our bedtime essential oils, and the noise machines. It seems like a lot when you’re packing it, but once we got there I was so glad I could recreate our routines for easy naps and bedtimes.
  • Pack two sets of bathing suits: I suppose if your vacation is nowhere near water (sad summer vacation if you ask me) then you can skip this tip. Here’s why I’m so glad I did this. You go to the pool in the morning and come back a nap, but then you want to go back to the pool. Nobody wants to deal with putting wet bathing suits back on, especially on small children, and there’s no way your suits will be dry. So, you just solve the problem and bring TWO suits. I know it’s not the most revolutionary idea but it saved us so many tantrums and grumps kids.
  • Pack a special stash for “emergencies”: This really is a lot less dramatic than it sounds. Basically, I packed a few special treats, small toys, and coloring books just for times we really needed the kids to be occupied and happy. The perfect example was one morning I had some sort of stomach bug and we ended up staying in the room for the first half of the day. These things came in handy because hotel rooms are seriously lacking kid friendly things and have a plethora of potentially dangerous or breakable things.
  • Pack a small container of dish soap and laundry detergent/stain remover: Kids are like REALLY messy and when you’re on a trip, most times you won’t have access or at least easy access to luxuries like dishwashers and washing machines. We brought sippy cups and other kid friendly dishware items that we wanted to reuse during the trip and so we washed things in the sink after we used them. We also had quite a few times where some sort of mess was made on kid’skids clothes. Since you don’t want to wait until you get home to act on a chocolate donut stain, having a little bit or laundry detergent or even some stain remover is much needed.
  • Pack a trash bag: No, I’m not telling you that you need to take out your own trash on vacation. Although sometimes I was embarrassed by the amount of junk we piled into our trash cans during our stay. Kids, right? We like to unpack when we arrive at our destination just to make things easier to access. Then when we use something we throw it into the trash bag so we know it’s dirty and it doesn’t have to mingle with our other clean clothes. This is also great for re-packing to go home because 90% of the time we don’t wear all of our clothes and then the clean clothes will stay clean and can go back into our dresser. Less laundry for this mama! Boom!


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2 thoughts on “What I Packed for a Summer Vacation with Little Kids

  1. Amy

    This is really a very helpful post for summer vacation! I am a mother of two and I am planning for vacation! These awesome tips will help me a lot. Thanks for sharing!

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