Your Ultimate Family Travel Checklist: Essentials for Your Summer Vacation

Your Ultimate Family Travel Checklist: Essentials for Your Summer Vacation

Summer has arrived, and it's the perfect time for your family to pack up and set off on an unforgettable adventure! For some it will be snowy mountains and for others shimmering beaches! Maybe an extended family get-together or a trip to just bond with the kids!

Wherever you may go, to ensure a smooth and worry-free experience, you need a comprehensive travel checklist. To be unprepared in a foreign country can be a harrowing experience and whether you are a seasoned traveler or taking your kids on their first big trip, this family travel checklist will help you prepare for the unexpected.

Make sure you have everything you need for an amazing journey together.


A travel checklist is more than just a packing list—it's a  plan to ensure your family is ready for any situation that may arise during your trip. From essential documents and clothing to toiletries and gadgets, a travel checklist helps make sure nothing important is left behind. It serves as your guide to a stress-free vacation, keeping you organized and focused on the fun ahead. Think of it as having a personal assistant who knows exactly what your family needs for the journey. To ensure a fantastic vacation, your packing list is your roadmap. This blog is your ultimate guide to packing perfection.


Tailor your travel packing list to your destination, the length of your stay, and the activities you plan to do. Here are some essentials every family should include: 

  1. Travel Documents: Passports, IDs, driver's licenses and travel insurance documents are absolutely essential or you may never get past the airport! But there are other documents that you must carry that can make all the difference. Vaccination documents, especially for Equatorial countries, allergy information for any person that has multiple allergies, the address and phone number of your Embassy in your destination country, are crucial in case things go south.

 Also sharing your printed itinerary with family members or a neighbor along with your phone number or email is essential. I remember once my neighbor’s house busted a water-leak and the entire floor was underwater. I was able to contact them to get the passkey to enter the house and turn off the leak and get the place cleaned. 

  1. Route Plan: As crucial as travel documents is a carefully thought-out route-plan. Multiple destinations require specific logistics and arrangements and in many cases these are either ignored or misunderstood by most travelers, especially ones travelling in mid to large size groups. In Bangkok, you will be late everywhere if you can’t find a mini-van for a group of 6.

A good route plan means knowing where you are going and what you are going to do there and when. Once that is fixed, you then understand carefully what the needs are in respect to your group and make the arrangements accordingly. Whether it is mini-vans, vegetarian food or extra beds, thinking these through will save you time and money. 

  1. Clothing: Needless to say you will research your destination and pack the clothes accordingly. But if it’s hot where you are going then plan for more ‘Dri-Fit’ clothing to avoid laundry bills at hotels. When soiled, a simple wash under a tap will make it clean and ready to wear in a few minutes. Good for the gym, daily tours and treks they complement your wardrobe with style and efficiency.

If it’s cold outside, then plan to layer down rather than picking heavy outer wear. That gives you more options to wear and it’s much more effective in the cold.

Pick shoes based on functionality rather than style. With baggage limits on airlines becoming much stricter, it’s now a choice of what to pack! You need to leave place for shopping and gifts so packing smartly makes all the difference.

Another absolute thing to consider is internal flights. The baggage allowance from Dubai to Toronto is 30 kilos, but the allowance from Toronto to Calgary may be only 25 kilos. So check your allowances carefully and plan your packing. Some essential packing tips:

  • Sleepwear – one set for every 2 nights
  • T-shirts – one for every day
  • Shorts – one for every 2 days
  • Shirts – one for every event/function
  • Underwear – one for every day
  • Jeans & Trousers – one for every 2 days
  • Sneakers – 2
  • Formal Shoes – 1
  • Slippers – 1
  • Sandals – 1 
  1. Toiletries: Given a chance we would like to carry every bottle of cologne or make-up tin we could! But on most days, a travel-size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, and razors will cut it just fine for the bare-essentials! Boy or girl, always pack a body trimmer & sun-screen so you are always beach or pool ready. For girls, there are now a large variety of travel make-up and cosmetic options, so choose one just for travel. Try not to mix what you use every-day with your travel needs if you can help it. Check out our make-up kits here, they are perfect for travel.

Color Icon 10 Pan Palette - Stop Playing Safe

Color Icon 10 Pan Palette - Nude Awakening

  1. Gadgets and Tech: Almost as important as food and water are phones, chargers, headphones and adapters, and they must be packed in a separate pouch. Why? Because it’s easier to take them out and get them scanned at airports. This way you won’t leave anything behind. A power bank is a must if you plan on spending a lot of time trekking, or away from your hotel for long periods of time.

If you have a roaming connection, then change your data settings to “PULL” so that you can get your emails only when you need at a W-Fi spot, rather than using expensive data connections for data-heavy and mostly un-important emails.

Check out our travel recommendations below:

Haylou GT7 Neo Wireless Headphone With 5.2 Bluetooth, 8mm Audio Experience, Call Noise Cancellation, 22h Battery Life and Smart Touch Controls - Black

1-World 70w Gan 3 Port with Built-In USB-C Cable AC Travel Adaptor - Blue

  1. Health Essentials: Worried about a bad tummy spoiling your trip? Must have medications for travel are fever and pain medications, tummy and nausea pills and a well equipped first-aid kit and insect repellent. Green tea is a must for cold mornings and electrolyte tablets are a must for hot days or hangovers.
  1. Food and Snacks – Especially important if you have hungry kids in tow, packing a tasty yet fulfilling snack bag can be a challenge. Sweets and junk food will in the short term alleviate hunger, but then result in cranky kids a few hours down the line. High sugar snacks defer sleep and having cranky kids unable to sleep on a long flight can be stressful. A solution, for every bag of junk food buy a bag of healthy crackers or nuts. Make sure everyone has their water bottles in their carry on bags, filled everywhere you go. This will also reduce your dependence on sodas and junk drinks that are sold at high prices at tourist hot spots. Before you know it you would have spent 40 Euros on water that you could have filled for free and any fountain.

For the fitness freaks, pack your protein powders and nut bars. Try to stick to your schedule as much as possible and incorporate your daily foods into your travel schedule as much as you can. That way the weighing scale will still be kind when you get back home!

Check out these must haves from our selection:

Collagen Lemon Tart Protein Bars (12 Bars)

Double Fudge Brownie Protein Bars (Pack of 5 Bars)

Stay away from foods that make you uncomfortable or that are excessively spicy or oily. No matter how strong your gut is, you don’t want to take a chance on your dream holiday.

  1. Money – Once you know your budget for your holiday it is always a good thing to break it up into cash and pre-paid cards, with your regular credit cards to be used only in an emergency. Some areas in Europe and Asia are now awash with card scanners and phishing and scamming are now at epidemic levels. So carry cash well distributed amongst your group and pre-paid cards filled with set denominations of USD 500 with a PIN and time expiry. That means you need a pin to use it every time and any unused credit after a certain time is simply credited back to your account. This is a fool proof way to avoid being scammed and not worrying at all about the long-term effects of being phished. A card used at a vendor and then swiped by a scammer is almost impossible to reverse if it is proven you are in the same country at the same time.

Remember, this is just a basic family travel packing list. You might need to add more items depending on your destination and activities. Consider the climate, cultural norms, and personal needs when packing. It's all about finding the balance between packing light and ensuring you have everything you need.

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