Going on family vacations is considered a necessity in most households. Around fifty percent of American families take a vacation every year together, and around thirty percent take several. Getting out of town as a family is great for everyone's emotional health and a fun way to make cherished memories that will last a lifetime. While budgeting for and planning a vacation can feel overwhelming, knowing what to pack shouldn't be. Whether you've already booked a vacation or are still daydreaming about which beach to go to, keep reading for the must-pack essentials for any family vacation. 

The Right Luggage 

The type of luggage you choose can make or break the experience, especially if you've got young children in tow who can't carry their bags. Investing in high-quality and functional suitcases is key. If you're going to be flying, rolling luggage is a must through busy airports. You'll have your hands full with the kids, and taking the load off makes a big difference. If you're not the type to want to check bags, backpacks for the whole family could be the right luggage. Consider everyone's age and needs and use luggage to match them. 

Preparedness Kits 

Accidents happen; if you're a parent, you know this all too well. In addition to accidents, preparedness kits can come in handy for travel essentials like passports, tickets, and snacks. You save time through convenience by storing a small first aid kit, daily medicine and supplements, and other essentials in one space. Your kit should also include device backup chargers and a reasonable amount of cash for emergencies. 

Entertainment Options 

Whether you're going to be traveling by plane with multiple layovers or you're taking a family road trip, having things to occupy and entertain your children is a must. It doesn't matter if your kids are toddlers or teenagers; younger people don't have the patience that adults do, so having plenty of entertainment options is great. Aside from their iPhones or tablets, items like books, crayons, a notepad, and fidget toys are great options. Children becoming impatient can affect everyone's mood, not just there's, so don't forget this category.


One of the most important travel tips for a family vacation is bringing along snacks! You might think you can easily pull off an exit for some fast food or gas station snacks, which are great in a bind, but they're not great for you. One of the hardest parts of traveling is getting to the destination while still in a great mood. Sugary convenience foods will cause a lot of energy in a setting where children have to sit still and, worse, a fussy crash. Choosing to pack healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and jerky is a much better option. 

What to Bring for Baby 

Traveling with a small baby is another ballgame! If you haven't traveled with an infant or young toddler, be prepared to bring the whole kit and kaboodle. You'll need everything you'd need on a typical day at home. Pacifiers, wipes, extra bottles, thermometers, and special items like their favorite blanket or toy.

Additionally, you'll want a safe way for the baby to sleep and get around. Cribs aren't compact enough to travel with, so invest in a safe co-sleeping product. When exploring a new city with your baby, a wrap is a way to get it done. Baby carriers are bulky, whereas wraps easily fold down to a small item you can store in your day bag. They take a bit of a learning curve to learn how to use, but there are online tutorials that make that easy. 

Light Layers

While the clothing you pack for your vacation depends on everything from individual tastes to the climate of your destination, light layers are essential for the whole family while en route. Whether you're in a plane or a car, temperatures fluctuate. Wearing pieces that can easily be taken off and put back on ensures everyone's comfort and can be used for different weather once you arrive. 

Traveling as a family is something from which everyone in the family gets value. Even if the children are too young to remember, you will, and there will be cherished photos they can enjoy when they're older. Make sure everyone is comfortable by preparing your packing list to include the above-mentioned items. Happy Trails!