The Ultimate Packing Guide for a Family Vacation

It’s obvious that today’s kids are fundamentally different from those of the past. With an infinite source of information glued to their hands, it seems like everything is open, available, and theirs. Except for one thing – the real world. Regardless of their age, vacations with children are perhaps our best chance to create real experiences for them. Experiences that can be felt in the heart, seen with the eyes, tasted, and smelled – for real. These are experiences that cannot be created in the virtual world.
So yes, the arguments, the hassle, the “Exodus” from the house, not to mention the piles of laundry afterward – vacationing with kids can be challenging.
But so is life itself – do we give up on it? Alongside the challenges, traveling with children allows you to enjoy so many benefits, important values that they can't get in the classroom, and important lessons in compromise, flexibility, and most importantly – quality family bonding that’s hard to achieve at home.


Learning About Life in Real Time

You can teach them until tomorrow about tolerance for others, environmental preservation, and other cultures. You can preach about how to maintain patience with siblings, how to react in challenging situations, and how to keep going, even when it’s tough. But until you take them to Masada, or the Golan Heights, or the beaches of Tel Aviv (or even the Acropolis in Athens), it just won’t happen.
So whether it’s a vacation in Eilat, Tel Aviv, or the North – exposure to real places, no matter where they are on the map, is much more than checking off a box. Minute by minute, hour by hour into the family vacation, the mind opens to different cultures, history, nature, and even geography. And with all this, a love for the place, appreciation, and a desire to preserve it are born.
Extended time with the rest of the family can create friction (and don't worry, there’s plenty of that), but also surprising and good moments of compromise, patience, and flexibility (try replicating that beyond the closed door at home). Sticking to the family daily schedule and walking along a rather long route can bring about plenty of complaints, but it also teaches the children a thing or two about mental resilience, discipline, adaptation to new situations, and a sense of achievement.

Have We Convinced You Not to Leave the Kids at Home on Your Next Vacation? Great.

Now – how do you pack?
No matter how skilled you are, packing the family into bags is, how to say? Quite the task. Well, that’s why we’re here. Before we dive into the golden list, let us share a few golden rules with you.


Golden Rule No. 1: Do Not – We Repeat – Do Not Buy Outside What You Have at Home!

You know that you bought sunscreen in advance, only to find out you have to buy it again once you arrive? We spend hundreds of dollars on products we bought to pack in the suitcase, only to frustratingly realize they were left behind. So pack the phone charger, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and everyone’s hats now!

Golden Rule No. 2: You Will Always Bring More Clothes Than Needed

What if it’s cold? What if it’s hot? What if they get dirty non-stop, and here’s another thought during packing – what if I want to wear that specific outfit to that specific restaurant (I haven’t worn it in two years), and something else the next day? We all, even the most skilled, fall for this. It’s called: just in case. Who knows – maybe on this family vacation, I’ll want that cardigan?
But “just in case” takes energy. It takes time and a lot of space in the suitcase. So we have a little secret: you can do laundry. If you’re going for a short time – fine. But if the vacation is long (say, more than 4 days), it’s burdensome and unnecessary to assign an outfit for each day. Try to go for mix & match (you have our permission to wear the same jeans), and don’t forget to bring a small amount of laundry detergent, so it doesn’t come back home.


Golden Rule No. 3: Pack Small!

And this rule is divided into two parts. Part One – reduce the sizes. If you’re attached to your shampoo (even though hotels are well-equipped), don’t bring all 750 milliliters. You can definitely settle for less. Buy small bottles and fill them with whatever you want. Don’t forget to label them. It’s not fun to wash your hair with lotion.
Part Two – reduce the volumes. The internet is full of videos with tips on how to pack small (hey, Marie Kondo!). From rolling the pants to choosing thinner clothes – everything goes.
And now, let’s move on to the list itself. To make it easier for you, we’ve divided it into categories. Feel free to print!
(And one more note – of course, each family has its own characteristics. Feel free to add!)


  • Driver’s license
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Chargers!
  • Hats (no matter what’s going on outside – hats!)

Did You Pack Yourself?

  • Plane tickets
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photos for everyone
  • Copy of the passport
  • Visa if needed
  • International driver’s license
  • Vaccination booklet
  • International credit card
  • Local cash or traveler’s checks or both


  • Baby kit – diapers (including swim diapers), pacifiers, wipes
  • Bottles, formula, bottle cleaners
  • Toiletries and bathing supplies
  • Clothes (layered, and don’t forget socks!)
  • Stroller, carrier, car seat
  • Blanket

Wonders of the Toiletry Bag

  • Dental kit – toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Hair kit – brush, shampoo, conditioner, mask, hair gel or cream (small packages!)
  • Deodorant
  • Hand care kit – creams, nail file, nail polish
  • Contact lenses
  • Hygiene kit – hand sanitizer, toilet seat covers, tissues
  • Grooming – creams, nail file, nail polish, makeup, makeup remover, hygiene products, razor, perfume

What to Wear and What to Wear on Your Feet?

  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Going out clothes
  • Accessories
  • Shoes, sandals, walking shoes, flip-flops, heels (not necessarily all of them!)
  • Swimsuit
  • Glasses
  • Warm clothing

Staying Sane

  • Snacks, snacks, snacks (for example, energy bars, you can take them out of the packaging and slide them between the clothes)
  • Books
  • Streaming device
  • Headphones
  • Phones, tablets, laptops
  • Anything that helps – coloring books, markers, games, puzzles, Sudoku, and even Back to School workbooks (you didn’t hear that from us)

First Aid Kit

  • All personal medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Band-aids
  • Disinfectants
  • Antibiotics (here, “just in case” is justified)
  • Eye drops, ear drops
  • Allergy medication
We hope we helped. Have a pleasant vacation!

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