You’ve planned your family vacation down to the last detail, but now it’s time to pack. Packing for the whole family can be a lot to tackle, however, you don’t have to bear the whole burden. If you have children who you think are old enough to pack for themselves, give them a shot! You might find that this is a task that you can unload. Here are three steps to help them get the job done.
Explain the Trip
First, tell everyone what the trip will entail: how many days you’ll be away, specific plans, what what they’ll need for various activities– comfortable shoes for walking, warm layers for chilly evenings, rain gear, swimwear, etc. This can also help make traveling easier for your children. Trips away from home involve a lot of change, so letting them know what to expect can help them prepare mentally and emotionally.
Make a List
Print out a checklist that outlines the number of days, activities and items that they might need. Organize it in a way that you feel will make the most sense to your children. Make it fun with stickers, emojis and boxes to check off so packing feels more like fun and less like a chore. Allow them to pack a few essential toys, books or activities, but also show them their bag or suitcase so that they don’t go overboard. Ask them to lay everything out near their bag, but not to pack it. (Unless they are experienced.)
Check Their Work & Pack
When they are done, walk through the list with them to ensure that they have everything set to go. Then, show them how everything can be neatly packed. Include their own dopp kit with toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc. This will make it easier for them to get ready each day you are away. Also include a laundry bag for dirty clothes, which helps to keep clean clothes separate from soiled ones during the trip. Once you’ve packed for them for a couple of trips, give then a test run on their own. Eventually, this will be one less thing for you to worry about!