Family Vacation Packing List & Travel Essentials [+ Printable]

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You’ve been counting down the days and your long-awaited family vacation is almost here. You’ve got your list of places to see and things to do, but there’s still one important item you’ve been putting off; packing.

Preparing for a family vacation can be daunting, but we’re here to help. To take the guesswork out of the process and make sure you don’t forget any essential items, we’ve put together this family vacation packing list and printable checklist. Scan the list and make sure you have all the necessary travel gear so you can set sail, take off or hit the road for some family fun.

General Travel Essentials for Kids and Babies

What’s a family vacation without tiny travel companions? While kids and babies may not be able to pack their own bags, it’s important for you to make sure you have all the necessary items they may need during travel and once you reach your vacation spot. 

While these items may change slightly depending on your mode of travel and the age of your children, here are our recommendations for travel essentials for kids.


Depending on where you’re staying and the length of your trip, your list of toiletries may change. Here are some toiletry items you may want to consider packing for yourself and your kids.

Clothing and Accessories 

You’ve probably already checked the weather report for your destination but weather can be pretty unpredictable, especially in certain regions. If the forecast says it will be 80 degrees and sunny, by all means, pack your shorts, flip-flops and beach essentials. But don’t forget to pack for unforeseen circumstances like cool nights, wind or rain.

  • Shirts/tops
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Dresses
  • Shoes: flip flops, closed-toed shoes and athletic or hiking shoes (if necessary)
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Jackets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Umbrella
  • Hats

Entertainment and Toys 

baby reading a book and playing with other toys on the ground

No family vacation packing list is complete without some items to entertain yourself and your travel companions along the way. We recommend these items for your tiny travelers. 

Airplane Packing List for Kids 

An airplane can be an exciting place for some kids and a scary place for others. Regardless of if your kids love or loathe flying, an airplane trip with kids can be long and boring so it’s important to pack essential items as well as some items for entertainment.

Road Trip Essentials

If you’re driving rather than flying, you’re not limited to just what you can fit in a carry-on. But you also don’t want to overload your car so that you and your travel companions are uncomfortable. Consider these items to prepare for a road trip with your kids

  • Car seat
  • Extra clothes
  • Portable toilet (for potty training toddlers)
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Snacks
  • Drinks (water, juice, etc.)
  • Tablet 
  • Headphones
  • Age-appropriate audiobooks
  • Toys 
  • Games
  • Activity Books

Outdoor Gear

baby in a tent at a campsite

Whether you plan to explore the outdoors and camp with your family or you just want to be prepared for the unknown, make sure to pack outdoor gear for yourself and your little ones. 

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Jackets
  • Life jacket
  • Sweatshirts
  • Ponchos
  • Blankets
  • Hiking boots or outdoor shoes
  • Water bottles
  • Umbrella
  • Food
  • Backpack or hiking pack
  • Flashlight or headlamp

Important Documents 

The list below includes all the necessary documents you should include in your family vacation packing list. If possible, consider making copies so you don’t have to worry about losing them during travel.

  • Applicable tickets or boarding passes
  • Passports/travel visas
  • ID cards
  • Insurance cards
  • Travel insurance

Medical Supplies

Medical supplies are important to add to your family vacation packing list both for everyday use and in case of emergency. Check the list below for the items you need when traveling with your little ones.

  • Sunscreen
  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Vapor rub
  • Teething relief 
  • Bug spray

Family Vacation Printable Checklist 

To help make sure you don’t forget any important items, we have a free family vacation packing list you can use and check off as you add the items you need.

download button for vacation packing list

If you’re missing any essential items for your trip, we’re here to help. At GoodBuy Gear, we like to be there for life’s most important moments with the baby and kid gear you need for a stress-free vacation. 

Here’s to making lifelong memories with your little ones. Safe travels!



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