Packing for vacation can be a daunting task. By breaking down each step, you will find that making a packing list is a simple and easy task to complete. I will show you three steps to become successful in packing for your family and have a fun and successful vacation.
How to start a packing list:
If you read my About Me Page, you know I like to make lists. So we are going to start the old fashioned way by grabbing a pencil with a large eraser and a large pad of paper and a super-large cup of coffee. This is called putting our brain on paper or brain-dump.
Page One: Clothes and Shoes
Write Page One on the top right hand corner. At the top, write the dates you will be traveling like this:
1 2 3 4 5 6
Space them out so you have enough space to add dots between like this:
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6
The numbers represent how many days you will be traveling and the dots represent how many nights you will be sleeping at your destination. Now draw a line down the center of the paper and a line across the page. It should look like a plus sign. You now should have four boxes on your paper. Label them according to who you are packing: mom, dad, kids, baby, etc. If it’s easier, you can even label them with proper names.
Let’s start with packing the kids. With kids, it’s easier to make outfits instead of packing individual pieces. To figure out the number of outfits, underwear, and socks, count the numbers at the top of the page because that’s how many outfits you need. Make sure the two travel day outfits (first and last days) are comfortable. Then list the appropriate outfit to match that days activity. If you have small kids, always add two extra outfits. Also count how many underwear and socks you will need for the day outfits. The socks count will depend on if your child wears them at night. The count will go like this: one pair per day plus the night pair plus the two extra pairs. See How to Pack Kids Clothes for Vacation to simplify this process.
Now count the dots between the numbers. Those will be how many pj’s they will need to pack. In our house, we wear our pjs for two nights in a row.
Now for matching shoes. When traveling, I try to minimize the amount of shoes and only take what we need according to what will be doing on vacation. We always pack tennis shoes and house shoes. Example: I’ll pack snow boots if skiing or flipflops for swimming.
This is how you will make the packing lists for all the people in the house. See How to Pack Adult Clothes for Vacation to simplify this task. Take the time to finish Page One before moving on. This will save you a lot of time and headache.
Page One should look like this when you are finished.
Page Two: Toiletries
Flip to a clean page. Write Page Two in the top right corner and rewrite days and dots at the top of the page. Label the top of the page Toiletries. List all toiletries including vitamins and prescriptions.
Page Two should look like this when you are finished.
Page Three: Menu and Grocery List
Flip to a clean page. Write Page Three in the top right corner and rewrite days and dots at the top of the page. Now draw a line down the center of the page. Many times we take food to prepare for meals. Use the number at the top of the page to make sure you have enough food for the amount of time you will be away. Sometimes we will wait to pick up perishables when we get to our destination but this list will be a great shopping tool.
The left column will be the Menu. Evenly space down the left side of the paper the upper case letters B, L, D, and S. B stands for breakfast; L stands for lunch; D stands for dinner; and S stands for snacks.
The right column will be the grocery list. Make separate lists for Dry goods and Cold goods.
Page Three should look like this when you are finished.
Page Four: Other, Pets, and Day Of…
Flip to a clean page. Write Page Four in the top right corner and rewrite days and dots at the top of the page. Now draw a line down the center of the page then split the right column in half.
The left column will be labeled Other. The top right box will be labeled Pets and the lower right box will be labeled Day Of…
The Other column will be used to list everything excluding clothes, food, and toiletries.
The Pets box will be used to list all things related to your pets: food for however many days you’ll be gone plus a little extra, leashes, kennels, etc.
The Day Of box includes items like pillows, snack bags for car, leashes for pets, water bottles, cold food, last minute toiletries, etc.
Page Four should look like this when you are finished.
I hope this will help simplify your packing process.