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Printable Packing List for Travel — for Everyone in the Family!

When I was younger (and child-free) I nabbed every opportunity I got to travel—nationally and abroad. California, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Colorado . . . Ecuador, France, Canada, St. Martin, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Bermuda . . . point me to the plane, and I’d jump on it. The yen for travel was really a value instilled in me by my parents who were both teachers. We traveled during the summers—often to visit family across the nation—and I had been to or through all forty-eight continental state by the age of twelve. (I still, disappointingly, have not managed to make it to Alaska or Hawaii—but they are definitely on my list!) Along the way, I developed a trusty packing list—that I quickly turned into a printable packing list. I found that having something to check off (both when packing for travel and packing for return) prevented a lot of headaches. As our family grew, so did my packing lists. They’ve morphed with my children’s (and my) needs at different ages, but they’ve never lost their value. In fact, I’ve been asked to share them so many times that I thought—what could be more useful to share with my fellow moms than printable packing lists? Right before spring break/summer travel? I got you, mamas!

travel printable packing list mom

To get started on your own packing list, think about toiletries. My mom’s advice when packing toiletries was always to start with the beginning of my day and to walk through my morning routine—then to move through the end of the day and walk through my evening routine. Of course, there are always things that are one-offs. Are you on (or going to be on) your period? Taking any special medications? Do you need make-up for your trip? What are the essentials? Sunscreen? I’m a person who prefers to take only carry-on luggage when possible, so I really dig those sample sizes you can find at your big box store of choice that will all fit in your little ziplock baggie required by TSA for liquids. When taking a road trip, the rules on sizes are a little looser, but I’m still a big advocate of not over-packing. No one likes lugging around unnecessary items, right?

For me, the toiletries list looks like this:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Body wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Moisturizer (with sunscreen)
  • Q-tips
  • Make-up
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Hair bands/clips/bobby pins
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Contact case & solution
  • Glasses & case
  • Medications/vitamins

When it comes to clothing, I obsessively check the weather for our trips, but even without doing that, it’s usually smart to pack a light jacket (especially if it can double as a rain jacket) no matter where you’re going. When flying, it pays to wear this jacket—both to have less to pack and because the temperature on planes is so very unpredictable. Beyond that, my list goes like this—adjusted as needed:

  • Undergarments (I tend to pack by a “plus one” for this line item—# of days, plus one)
  • Shirts
  • Shorts/Jeans (These can generally be worn more than once in my opinion; this lowers the quantity and weight of clothing packed)
  • Skirt/Dress/”Nice” outfit (if necessary)
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Running clothes (and sports bras)
  • Shoes (flip-flops/sandals/running/etc) I try to wear the least complicated but also heaviest pair on travel day
  • Bathing suit(s)

My last section is the short list of non-clothing items that I tend to think of as necessary for travel. This is probably a very individualistic part of your list, but it generally lends itself to entertainment—both during travel time and while on your trip. Mine all gets packed in my laptop case for the most part. Play with it to suit your needs:

  • Phone charger (must!)
  • iPod (and charger; may be the same as phone charger)
  • Laptop (and charger)
  • Knitting (sometimes; less often now that my hands are full of kids)
  • Books/magazines
  • Jewelry
  • Water bottle (I pack an empty refillable one so that it passes the checkpoint but can be filled while waiting for the plane.)
  • Sunglasses

Printable Packing List for Mom

Let’s just, for argument’s sake, assume that hubby packs for himself. Mine does (although I do repack it so his things will fit in the same suitcase as mine.) When I started packing for a baby to join us, I realized that I had entered a whole new era. Not unlike the hour that I sat in staring in wonderment at all the THINGS that accompanied me home after our first baby shower—and trying to wrap my mind around WHERE TO PUT THEM—when packing, it seemed that there was an endless list of items that we might desperately need when traveling with this tiny human. I started our trips by basically packing his entire room (which ended up being ok since he ran a 102 fever on our first big Florida trip) . . . but when I flew with him—by myself—to Seattle to visit my bestie, I knew I had to pare it down. The short list goes like this:

  • Onesies/shirts (I tend to pack these by the 2 per day rule. Tiny humans are messy; also, their clothes are tiny, so it kind of balances out.)
  • Pants/shorts
  • Jacket (of course)
  • Pajamas
  • Socks & shoes (if you do that kind of thing with yours)
  • Diapers & wipes (It’s handy to use a service like Amazon Primeor Shipt to deliver these items when you can—particularly for a trip that will last at least a week…so much easier than packing so many! Picking them up yourself when you get there is also an option, of course.)
  • Diaper cream (better safe than sorry)
  • Bags (empty ziplock or grocery sacks always seem useful)
  • Thermometer
  • Tylenol/Ibuprofen and syringe for administering
  • Toothbrush
  • Travel crib (we like this onefor the small size and ease of set-up) with sheets
  • Stroller (the best when traveling with baby, in my opinion, is one where the carseat attaches)
  • Baby carrier (big-time k’tan and baby sling fan here)

In the travel diaper bag, I pack what’s needed for the day in the way of diapers and wipes as well as a change of clothes (for me and the baby) and the following:

  • A couple of toys
  • 2 or 3 books
  • Sound machine
  • Light blanket (we like aden & anais swaddling blankets)
  • Food/snacks (if applicable)
  • Cups (I pack one for water and one for milk)

Printable Packing List for Baby

Updates are being made constantly now that my little guy is three and we’ve added another baby to the mix. My little tip? Keep a printed copy of these lists slipped inside the piece of luggage that you most often take when traveling. I have to say that the big kid is hands down the easiest to pack up — I roll all his clothes, pack them into his backpack, and slide toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, and deodorant into the front pocket of the pack. One day, they’ll all be that easy, right?

travel printable packing list kids

What’s on your go-to packing list? Is there anything you’d add?

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2 Responses to Printable Packing List for Travel — for Everyone in the Family!

  1. Savannah January 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm #

    This is great! Thank You!

    • Meg Wicks January 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm #

      So glad you found it helpful!

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