From Checklist to Check-In: Preparing for a Family Trip


Family Travels: 5 Great Vacation Ideas for This Summer

Are you planning to take a family vacation this season? If so, there are plenty of things to consider. What will you pack, and how will you pack it? Forget one important thing, and your trip could be wrecked. In the interest of happy families everywhere, we are pleased to present the following tricks and tips that will help make your family vacation a success.

Line up your lists

Triumphant travelers create lists before they go. In fact, many make lists before they even open their suitcases for packing. Taking a road trip? You will need one kind of list. If you’ll be flying as a family, you need another sort of pre-travel list. Whatever you do, don’t think for a minute that you will automatically remember every little thing you need to take along. Make a list, check it three times, and your family vacay is bound to go much smoother.

If you will be traveling by air, you’ll need to know how much you can take along. Visit the website of your air carrier, or give them a call to find out the exact number of bags that may be checked in by each traveler. Be sure to ask about combined weight, as some airlines charge hefty fees for overweight baggage, even if the number of suitcases is correct.

Age appropriate packing

When you pack for an infant, be sure to remember things like diaper rash ointment, gentle sunscreen, a snuggle blanket, and swim diapers. Go ahead and tuck baby’s favorite washcloth into their luggage, too. Strong detergents used by hotel laundries can leave a residue that makes room towels irritating to sensitive skin, says The Travel Channel.

School-age kids can help with their own packing. Show them how to roll garments so they consume less space, and remind them to wrap their toothbrush and toothpaste in a plastic zip bag.

Pre-trip preparation

Your baby doesn’t need to know your travel plans, but older kids typically enjoy hearing about where they will go, how they will get there, and things they’ll do once they arrive. Visit the library a few weeks before your departure date, and look at picture books about your destination. If you’ll be spending nights at a Marriott or other hotel, drop by their website, and show your kids what your lodging will look like.

Bone up on a few important foreign phrases you and your kids can use abroad. If your children have never flown before, explain in simple terms what they may expect in security lines as well as aboard an aircraft.

Buy a few disposable cameras, start a travel journal, and let the little ones begin documenting your family travel adventure before you go. The older kids feel involved, the likelier they are to be perfect traveling companions.


A family vacation can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Plan ahead, compose packing lists as you build your itinerary, stash your valuables in carry-on luggage, and relax.

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