Family Travel: Pack Light, Pack Right

July 2, 2012 21 Comments »
Family Travel: Pack Light, Pack Right

My family and I have travelled enough to learn from our past mistakes when it comes to packing. Here is a list of things to keep you from forgetting those essentials. It feels good to pack light and pack right!


Where ever you go, always remember to keep a copy of your flight and car transfer confirmations on hand as well as your credt/debit card, some extra cash and i.d. I tend to keep these important documents with me at all times. Leave the unnecessary documents (i.e. store credit cards) at home. To be extra safe, make a photocopy of your passport and keep the originals in your hotel room safe.

Photo Credit: Yutaka Tsutano


Capturing every moment of our family adventure on camera is essential. I always bring extra batteries, chargers, memory cards and a disposable water camera (for beach vacations). That doesn’t only go for my cell phone but it also goes for other devices as well. Even better, some hotels nowadays have iPod docking stations so you can listen to your own tunes.


Nowadays you can find almost every must-have OTC (over the counter) medicine in a travel size. We always carry cough, allergy, and pain medication on us in case of an emergency. You never know what may happen on vacation. One time, my daughter broke out in a bad rash due to a certain sunscreen I used on her. I literally had to take an hour long bus ride to get to the nearest pharmacy where I could purchase some anti-histamine lotion. If you take regular medication, jot down the prescription number, doctor’s phone number and pharmacy’s phone number – just in case!

Photo Credit: Ginny


Just like medicine comes in travel sizes, you could probably find your favorite shampoo in a travel size. Soap, wipes, mouthwash, deodorant, lotions, etc., can all be found in the travel size section of your pharmacy. Not only are they super cute by easy to pack too.

Just in Case

Whether you’re traveling to a warm or cool destination always bring an out of season outfit just in case! There have been a handful of times where my destination was supposed to be warm but it turned out to be freezing! This might be a little superstitious on my end, but I always pack an umbrella too. I figure if I bring it, it won’t rain. 😉

Photo Credit: Peyri Herrera

For The Ride

My 8 year old loves to read, draw and play cards to keep busy on the way to our destination. Travel size toys are always fun. The best thing to do is go to your local discount store and grab a few things for $5. Toys, crayons, and puzzles always make a rather long flight a little easier and far more entertaining.

Luggage/ Carry On

We love these bright and unique name tags for our luggage but tying a colorful string or bright tape can help you distinguish your suitcase from a bunch of similar looking ones. When it comes to carrying on, remember to always check your airline requirements for size and weight.

Photo Credit: Highways Agency

Roll, Don’t Fold

You may think this is crazy but I never fold, I roll my clothes instead. By rolling, I get more space out of a suitcase. Believe it or not, it helps with the wrinkles too! Try it and see for yourself.

Keep Fresh

Keep your luggage smelling fresh till you get home to wash the dirty laundry. Simply stick a couple of dryer sheets in between clothes. Dryer sheets give your suitcase a dose of instant freshness. A plastic bag to keep any wet items is always a great way to keep any unwanted smells out too.

I hope this list helps you out some next time you travel.

What would you add to this nifty list?


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  1. Carol July 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Great tips! Love the roll don’t fold one especially!

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 2:22 am - Reply

      Thanks, Carol! It’s a must when I pack. 🙂 How else would I get all my clothes in there!

  2. Mercedes @BeChicMag July 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Great tips. I especially like the ones about the documents and the just in case.

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 2:23 am - Reply

      Thanks, Mercedes! I remember, while on vacay in the Bahamas, a couple lost their passports! The looks on their faces said it all…. 🙁

  3. Alexandra July 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Awesome tips and ones that we easily forget, but can save us time and headaches! Love the tip about keeping things fresh with dryer sheets!

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 2:24 am - Reply

      Hi Alexandra, I really hope these tips do just that – save someone from a headache!

  4. RubyDW July 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Awesome tips amiga especially for my electronics I use up memory on my electronics fast memory cards sure do come in handy! Thanks

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 2:24 am - Reply

      Hi Ruby! I’m the queen of killing batteries. Glad you liked that one too. 🙂

  5. Comiendo en LA July 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Great Tips! Let’s travel!

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 2:24 am - Reply

      Thanks! Lets!

  6. Lisa - AutismWonderland July 3, 2012 at 1:46 am - Reply

    I always roll too 🙂 Great minds think alike!!

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 2:25 am - Reply

      Thanks, Lisa! Yes, they sure do! Ha-ha! 🙂

  7. Cristina-ColombianaenCA July 3, 2012 at 2:57 am - Reply

    I’m part of the “roll, don’t fold” group! My mom always ask how can I carry everything in only one suitcase. Great tips!

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 3:22 am - Reply

      Yay TEAM ROLL, DON’T FOLD! LOL – it’s the only way to pack, right Cristina? 🙂

  8. Maria Amelia July 3, 2012 at 3:19 am - Reply

    This list captures everything I always prepare for trips. But my favorite tip are the tags. They do make all the difference when you are on line at the carousel…

    • Rachel July 3, 2012 at 3:22 am - Reply

      Aww thanks, Maria. I got them as part of a review and fell in LOVE with them.. I use them on back packs, zippers, and luggage, of course. 🙂

  9. Peru Delights July 3, 2012 at 3:53 am - Reply

    Great tips on travel wisely. I used to do a lot of that when my kids were little, but now I wish l could travel light. I don´t know why I need so many things!!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Presley's Pantry July 3, 2012 at 5:26 am - Reply

    I would say to pack really light, and leave some room in the suitcase for any stuff you buy in your travels.

  11. Monica July 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Great tips! And I echo that the unique luggage tags are the best investment a person can make…

  12. Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ July 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    I roll, too! It’s the best way to pack. Toiletries??? Hmmm. Well, after leaving $500 worth of makeup and such things on a flight to Paris, I started doing this differently… Way differently. I still travel with, but far more refined and simpler. Great tips!

    • Rachel July 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t know what I’d do if I didn’t roll my clothes… It makes such a big difference. Ohh lala- Viva Le France!

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