Tips for packing your family for a trip abroad

Preparing for a big trip takes big planning! Whether you are going for a short time or extended stay, you know that it is best to be strategic about it. Here are some things that I learned while packing for Spain that I would love to pass on to you to help you on your next travel adventure;-)


Use the advantage of time. Packing up an entire family can be a daunting task, so use the time that you have on the front end. With work and school and other obligations that don’t take a break, it might be best to do a bit at a time. Pull out th suitcases and lay them out, if you can. Drop things that you want to pack in them as you think about them. I had to take a few things out of rotation in my wardrobe so that it could get packed early. Also, by starting early, you can see what people need more of…like undies and socks of course, lol!

Make a packing list and copies for everyone. There are basic items that you want to make sure everyone has, but there is no need to do it for everyone. I know that some of you do, but if you have teens, this packing duty stuff can (and should) be divied-up. There is no sense in having the opportunity to travel together and burning your self out by doing everything yourself! Let the kids have responsibility for getting ready. This will give them training for when they truly have to pack and keep up with their stuff on their own for real.

Make list of amenities that will make you feel at home while you are away.  It is not guaranteed that you can find your favorite product /brand overseas, so bring what you can from home 😉 There were particular scents that I wanted to have on hand for 7 weeks. Since the weather would be warming up, I wanted to make sure I had good scents and other things that would make it easy to handle the heat. I also would be wearing sandals a lot, so a good foot cream was necessary to pack to make sure my feet didn’t get/look dry.

Pack for a week, not for how long you will be staying. More than likely, if you are staying an extended time, you will have access to at least a washing machine. Plan to use it! Unless you are going to Milan for Fashion Week, you will not need to dress to impress, but to live and navigate. And that brings me to my next point:

Pack clothes that suit the climate and temps you will be in. We traveled in early May thru all of June. I knew that I needed to wear fibers that breathe well, like all cotton tops, and that is what I packed. I also packed clothes that I felt good in so I could focus on my experience, not being awkward in something I wasn’t used to wearing 😉 And try to pack things that you can wear in layers…you never now when the temps will dip, and they certain did on our trip. And double duty items such as a pashmina scarf are a Godsend. I was wearing a pashminsa as a scarf one night, my daughter got chilly and had no jacket with her, and my scarf doubled as a wrap to keep her warm. Win!

Expect the unexpected and flow with it. You can’t prep for EVERY contingency, so be cool with that. But also know that if you think thru your packing, you will be more prepared for the unexpected than you think!

Happy travels,


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