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Family Vacation Packing Tips: The Kid's Suitcase

A family vacation is something most parents look forward to all year long. Whether you're hitting the beach, the slopes, or visiting relatives, getting away from home for a few days or weeks can be rewarding for the whole family. Getting the kids packed and ready for the flight or car ride isn't always an easy task though.

Don't let the stress of packing your child's suitcase get you down. Use these easy tips from Pottery Barn Kids to make sure you get everything done in a timely manner so you can enjoy your family vacation.

Let Kids Help

Kids are not always the most organized members of the family. Leave it up to them and they might pack a suitcase that gets them through about a day of your two-week vacation. Sure, they'd bring the candy and games, but clean underwear and socks might be surprisingly absent. That doesn't mean your kids can't help you pack.

Mackenzie Blue Multicolor Dino Spinner Luggage

When getting ready for a family trip, do the packing with your kids even if they're only four or five. They may not be able to even lift the suitcase you pack for them, but they can still pick out the preferred pajamas they want to take. Letting them choose items like t-shirts for the trip also works to get them excited about a vacation that could involve new things like airplane travel and strange, foreign locales.

Get Started Early

Packing with your kids can be a fun way to start your vacation but the key is to start early. That means giving your kids lots of time to pack and enjoying the process instead of going into a deep panic an hour before you're supposed to leave for your trip.

Ideally, you should start packing with your kids a couple of days before you plan to leave. This will give you time to tackle laundry, pick out appropriate luggage and let them choose clothing, toys and other items like books they may want to take with them. Aim to have your child's luggage ready about 36 hours before you walk out the door to start your trip.

Remember Your Destination

Before you begin packing, remember where it is you're going! Your child might need a light sweatshirt if you're going on a summer beach excursion, but they probably won't need that wool sweater, scarf and parka. Remember that you'll probably also be able to get some things while you're on vacation if you run low like extra t-shirts, swim trunks and even underwear.

Leave Time for Revisions

You started packing early, giving your kids plenty of time to get their favorite items together. You also left time to tackle the laundry that you're going to need to do to make sure they've got clean clothes for the whole vacation. Did you leave time for changes your kids might want to make?

If you've got young children, they may want to pack and re-pack their suitcase, choosing certain similar clothing items like bathing suits, as well as other fun toys more than once. Of course, there's a limit to how many times you should allow your child to re-pack, but letting them make a few changes when it comes to what they bring on vacation ensures they have a good time too.

Just make sure they've got the essentials in there when the suitcase gets closed-up for good.

Mackenzie Navy Shark Camo Extra Large Rolling Duffle Bag

Keep Activities Accessible

Getting destination appropriate clothing into your child's bag should come first, but after that, it's all about entertainment. Whether you're driving or flying, you need the right stuff to keep your kids busy during travel time.

Whatever your kids use for entertainment, whether that's a tablet, book, portable gaming system or something else, make sure it's easily accessible in a carry-on bag. If you're driving, pack an entertainment tote you can keep in the passenger compartment with you.

Packing a suitcase for your kids should be fun. Give yourself time to get the laundry done, then let them help the rest of the way. You'll still need to make sure they've got the right essentials, but you might be surprised at just how much fun you can have packing with your kids.

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