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How to Pack for Your Family Holiday

Comprehensive checklists when packing for your summer vacation.

“What did we forget?”

Ah, the question every parent asks themselves as soon as the front door is shut and the holiday journey commences.

Packing for holidays with kids can be an all-consuming process for parents, especially if you are travelling abroad for an extended period of time. To give you peace of mind, we have put together a comprehensive checklist that will help ensure you have everything you need before you leave.

Documents and essentials

  • Passports – check the expiry date a few months before your trip
  • Proof of relationship – if your children have a different last name to you
  • Visa documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Driving licence
  • Tickets and boarding passes - print or downloaded
  • Phone and charger
  • Adapter
  • Purse with credit cards and cash - do you need to change currency?
  • House keys 


  • Shorts and trousers
  • Dresses and skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Blouses
  • Jumpers
  • Underwear
  • Shoes – sandals, runners and evening shoes
  • Hat
  • Pyjamas
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain coats
  • Scarves and gloves depending on your destination

Pro tip: When packing your kids’ clothes, it is a good idea to bag each outfit day by day and label them. This way, you can simply grab the bag of the day and your children will be dressed with minimal fuss. It is also wise to bring a laundry bag with you so you can keep track of what has been worn. Remember that if you are going on a sun holiday the chances are your kids will be in swimming gear for most of the trip so you might need less clothes than you think.


  • Body wash or soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturiser
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties and clips
  • Tampons and pads
  • Razors
  • Nail clippers
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

First Aid Kit

  • Any regular medication
  • Contraceptives
  • Thermometer
  • Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
  • Plasters and bandages
  • Antiseptic
  • Antihistamines


  • iPad or laptop with movies downloaded
  • Books and magazines
  • Favourite games
  • Colouring books and pencils/crayons
  • Cards
  • Cuddly toys
  • Music and podcasts

For baby

  • Nappies
  • Nappy cream
  • Changing mat
  • Wet wipes
  • Steriliser
  • Bottles
  • Formula and/or breast pump
  • Pacifiers 
  • Baby food
  • Drinking cup
  • Bibs
  • Baby monitor
  • Muslins

If you go to the beach

  • Waterproof nappies
  • Swim suit or shorts
  • Sun cream
  • Hats
  • Goggles
  • Beach towels
  • Repellent spray
  • Arm bands
  • Toys – bucket and spade, inflatable rings, etc.

Pro tip: Download a list-making app to categorise your different checklists and tick them off as you go. You can even save the lists for your next holiday. Also, don't forget to check the weather forecast as it can be an influential factor in your packing decisions. 

Travelling with kids in tow is stressful for all parents. But remember, if you forget something it is not end of the world and can likely be replaced when you reach your destination. In years to come when you are looking back on the fond memories of your family holiday, you won’t remember that you forgot to pack extra pairs of socks!

Last but not least – don’t forget to have fun!


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