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Quick packing tips for the whole family

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Pack light, pack right

Heading out of town? Better get packing! Here's everything you need (and some things you don't) for the ultimate family getaway.
1

Use packing cubes

Packing cube

Packing cubes are lifesavers when it comes to organizing your suitcases. Lightweight and transparent, these zippered bags make it easy to find what you need. Sharing a suitcase? Assign a different color to each family member or pack a cube for each day of the trip (Eagle Creek, $17).

2

Give kids their own luggage

Kid luggage

Put the kids in charge of their own luggage. Trunki wheeled kids luggage, by Melissa & Doug, is made for children to hop on and ride when their little legs get tired. May we suggest wearing the kids out before giving them a free ride? It's amazing how a few laps around the airport can result in a super chill plane ride (Amazon, $28).

3

Toss in a first aid kit

Boo-boos happen, so don't forget the bandages! Antibiotic ointment, a thermometer and children's pain and fever reducers are also good to have on hand... just in case. Keep a small bag or container with these items in a handy, easily accessible spot.

4

Pack light

As tempting as it might be, you're probably better off leaving your entire wardrobe at home. (Despite what your husband might say, we know you would wear the sandals, boots, sneakers and wedges on your two-day trip, but you probably don't need to.) Only bring what you're sure you need, and if all else fails, you have a reason to go shopping when you get there!

5

Entertain the kids with a snack/craft combo

Sometimes, it's totally OK to play with your food. Traveling is one such circumstance, because we all know a mama would do just about anything for a quiet five minutes on the road. Surprise the kids with a craft that's also a snack! Mmmmm... licorice.

Expert tip

On longer road trips, Carrie Anne Badov, Partner and Editor-in-Chief, EverythingMom Media Inc.says instead of unloading all the luggage from the car, she brings a smaller bag into the hotel with toiletries, PJs and change of underwear. "Depending on the number of short hotel stops, we may just wear the same clothing (the next day) as we're only in the car."

More helpful family travel tips

7 Ideas for a last-minute family getaway
10 Things to bring on a family vacation
5 Family travel tips to make your life easier

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