How can you go about packing smart for a family vacation? Obviously, there is a need to simplify your inventory, regardless of where you are going or for how long you intend to stay there. For starters, designate a bag for emergency materials and then relegate the rest of the luggage to the checked bag status. Some travelers have found that creating a list of inventory before packing is very helpful.
No matter the age of your family members, everybody will have need of a few necessities. These will include new underwear as well as external clothing. Don't forget to bring a long a sweater in case temperatures get cold. Additionally, it is wise to pack snacks for the entire family. You have to think in terms of dry foods (such as crackers, dry fruit, nuts, jams) as well as liquids that are self-contained, such as juice boxes or water bottles. Wet wipes and tissues will be essential for clean ups and any allergic reactions. Prescription medication should be stored in the emergency bag, along with extra eyeglasses, OTC medications, mints and gum.
Some families make it a point to include elderly individuals in their travel plans. This is a good idea as it stimulates the older family member and helps him or her to feel wanted. If you plan to travel with an elderly patient remember to take along all necessary prescription medications, adult diapers if necessary, and earplugs in case they are ultra-sensitive to loud sounds.
If you are having trouble simplifying, then remember that you can buy many common traveling supplies at gas stations or at grocery stores. The most important items to pack are those items that cannot be found and that are absolutely necessary for the short term. Just in case, pack for both hot and cold temperatures, not just for yourself, but also for all members of your family. Pack light clothing if possible and avoid formal dress. After all, slacks and khakis are permissible for high priced restaurants. Pack extra shoes including tougher boots in case you decide to hike. It might be worth it to pack in extra soap tissue and sanitizers (or at least buy some at the local store) in case of an emergency. Be sure to take these toiletries with you for sightseeing. For example, sometimes the bathrooms of a park may not have any soap. Lastly, take along storage bags for dirty clothing and any souvenirs you buy.
You can have a much more enjoyable vacation if you travel light!