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Your family holiday packing list with printable holiday checklist

Your family holiday packing list with printable holiday checklist

This family holiday packing list includes affiliate links.

If you’re packing for a family holiday and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by all the stuff you need then I’m here to help!

I’ve created this easy to follow family packing list so you can check everything off as you pack it.

We’re going on a one-week family holiday to Majorca on Sunday so I thought I’d share my family holiday packing list. We’re a family of five with three children, George (7), Joseph (5) and Alba (2).

It’s an all-inclusive package holiday so packing for this trip should be relatively easy. 

I’ve seen a lot of family holiday packing lists online that suggest you pack everything AND the kitchen sink! But, trust me, you really don’t need to go crazy. 

Admittedly, when my kids were younger I did pack a lot! If you’re travelling with a baby or toddler then check out my ultimate baby and toddler holiday packing list. You do need a bit more when you’re travelling with little ones! But now my kids are getting older it’s going to be nice to ditch the baby baths and baby monitors and endless list of baby stuff and travel a bit lighter!

I like to divide my holiday packing into categories:

  1. Hand luggage
  2. Kids clothes and accessories
  3. Family toiletries
  4. My clothes and accessories
  5. My Toiletries + hair and makeup
  6. Tech, gadgets and extras

Even after years of travelling, I still make a list before each and every trip I take, especially a family holiday packing list!

It stops me from over-packing and panicking that I’ve forgotten things. 

I also find that lots of these items can’t be packed until the day before we leave so it makes me feel a bit more organised at least knowing what I need to pack!

I try to make my list at least a week in advance and this gives me a chance to buy anything we need.

I try to get the kids as involved in packing as possible – partly to teach them how to do it and take responsibility for their belongings, partly so I don’t do everything and partly to keep them busy for an hour!

If they need new clothes then I’ll give them my phone with the H&M app and ask them to add some things to the basket. I’ll then whittle it down to a sensible amount of new things!

Travel Hack Tip: If you need anything new, save time and energy and order everything online in one big shop.

Before this holiday I did four online shops in one evening and had everything delivered the next day. I think that when you’re buying little bits and bobs here and there it can feel messy and chaotic and I often don’t realise how much I’ve spent!

The online shops I use for holidays are:

  1. H&M
  2. Amazon
  3. The Works (for stationary and colouring books to keep the kids entertained on the plane)
  4. Morrisons (for toiletries, medication, sun cream and snacks for the plane)

Let’s begin with the holiday checklist for families….

Don’t forget you can download the family holiday packing list at the top and bottom of this post. I’ve also got all items in a simple list at the bottom of the page in case you’d like to copy and paste the list into your own document or app.

Table of Contents

What suitcases to use for a family holiday

I’ll be using the Clifton set of three by Antler. This will be enough for our family of five.

I like to use suitcases with four wheels as they’re easiest to push. One adult could push all three of these suitcases around the airport, leaving the other adult to round up the kids!

If you travel regularly it’s worth investing in good luggage. A slightly cheaper option than the Antler set is the Z-Frame set. I’ve had this for about 12 years and they’ve lasted well. They look a bit tired now but they were good value considering they got a lot of use!

Here’s my beautiful new Clifton set waiting to go on holiday in my kitchen!

What hand luggage bags to use

When we’re checking in luggage we like to keep our hand luggage simple and every family member carries a small backpack.

I use The Travel Hack Backpack as the easy to access exterior pockets make it simple to remove things like electronics, liquids, water bottles and documents which you keep having to get out at the airport. We also use this as our daily family bag when we arrive.

The boys have these Batman backpacks (standard school style bags), Alba has this cute little one and Sam has this one.

My ultimate family holiday packing list

Kids clothes

I write out this packing list for my kids and encourage them to pack for themselves (I have to double check my younger kids bags!!)

I ask them to pack their clothes into a large packing cube and I pop their clothes into one case together. The packing cube keeps their belongings separate and keeps the case neat and organised. It helps keep things together when you arrive and also when you come home.

  • 1 x hat
  • 1 x sunglasses
  • 1 x goggles (I now buy Zoggs in the right size – in my experience all the other brands just break)
  • 1 x swim shorts
  • 1 x swim shorts with matching rash vest / all-in-one shorty swimsuit
  • 5 x day time shorts
  • 10 x t-shirts
  • 2 x smart shorts
  • 2 x smart shirts
  • 1 x sandals (my kids have the Keen Newport H2 sandals which they love as they can run in them, climb in them, play football, go in the sea, walk on the sand etc. They live in these sandals all summer. They also last really well so I’ll be buying George a new pair each summer and they’ll get passed along to each child.)
  • 1 x jumper
  • 3 x PJs
  • 10 x pants
  • 2 x socks (they’ll wear trainers on the plane but it’s unlikely they’ll wear their trainers while we’re away)

Family toiletries

When it comes to family toiletries, I tend to buy everything new for the holiday so I can pack it all in the suitcase ahead of time. I know all of these items will get used at some point so I don’t mind buying doubles of what we already have at home.

I also don’t mind buying new toothbrushes as we always need new ones eventually and it saves the hassle of getting everyone to pack their toothbrushes the morning we’re trying to leave. 

If you use electric toothbrushes at home then consider buying ‘holiday toothbrushes’ that you’ll leave in your travel washbag.

Speaking of which, if you travel frequently, it’s worth having a dedicated family travel washbag. You can leave this in your suitcase when you get home and leave a lot of these items in there ready for your next holiday.

  • Suncream (we use Nivea factor 50 + roll on which the kids use for their faces)
  • No more tears hair and body wash (doubles up as shower gel)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Calpol
  • Paracetamol
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Allergy relief
  • Insect repellent
  • Insect bite relief
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Hair styling products
  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Plasters
  • Bobbles/clips

Kids plane bags

  • Water bottles (I’ve recently bought these Camelbak Eddy+ bottles and they’re brilliant. I was fed up of buying cheap bottles that kept breaking or spilling!)
  • Lunch box (due to the problems at airports at the moment, I won’t be relying on buying food at the airport. I like the Bento style lunchboxes to keep things separate and stop sandwiches getting squished)
  • Mini cordial (I’ll refill their water bottles at a fountain once we get through security but Manchester Airport water tastes weird so I know they’ll want some juice in it!)
  • Snacks (avoid chocolate!)
  • iPad
  • Kindle Fire (you can get a Kindle Fire from as little as £25! Just make sure you buy a bumper case for kids)
  • Nintendo Switch (it’s also worth getting a Nintendo Switch travel case. It’s only £10 and you’d be kicking yourself if it broke!)
  • Kids Headphones
  • Headphone adaptor for the iPhones
  • Busy binder (more on this coming soon!)
  • Any little toys like Lego

Toddler plane bag

  • Change of clothes
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Nappy bags
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch box
  • Snacks
  • Teddy
  • Busy binder

Toddler extras

Alba is two and a half so we don’t worry too much about packing EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink.

  • Pushchair – we’re taking the Babyzen Yoyo+
  • Buggy snoozeshade
  • Light blanket (if we’re lucky enough for her to fall asleep in her pushchair in the evening!)
  • Nappies
  • Swim nappies
  • Wet wipes
  • Nappy cream
  • Swimming aid for the pool
  • Rabbit – Don’t forget their comforter!!
Canvas Holidays Review
Our kids have all worn this Konfidence Splash About swim vest and they’ve all liked it

Extra holiday accessories

My things for a family holiday

OK, my luggage needs a whole section of its own as this is obviously the most important section!

My hand luggage

  • Passports
  • Purse
  • Phone
  • Fully charged portable charger external battery pack (Sam and I will have all the travel documents on our phones and I panic our batteries will die!)
  • iPhone cable
  • Water bottle (I fill it before I leave and aim to drink it all before I go through security to make sure I’m hydrated before boarding the flight as I tend to get headaches when I’m flying)
  • Paracetamol
  • Headphones (optimistically hoping I get 10 minutes of peace! I use the JBL Live Pro+ headphones)
  • Kindle (I have a basic Kindle that is just for books so I don’t get distracted and so the kids don’t want it!)
  • Wet wipes
  • My lunch and snacks
  • Sun glasses

My suitcase

  • 3 x swimsuits
  • 4 x beach dresses
  • 5 x evening dresses
  • 2 x shorts
  • 3 x easy daytime tops
  • 1 x sunhat
  • 10 x knickers
  • 2 x strapless bras
  • 1 x t-shirt bra
  • 1 x PJs
  • 1 x big beach bag
  • Earrings
  • Necklace

You’ll notice I’m not packing any shoes. I have one pair of comfy sandals (they’re similar to these Birkenstocks but not branded) that I know I’ll wear for everything so I’m not going to bother packing any other shoes.

I sometimes take my running kit and running shoes with me – optimistically thinking I might go for a run or use the hotel gym – but I never do so I’m not going to bother this time!

When it comes to my clothes I mostly like to pack easy, lightweight dresses. I like that you have a whole outfit in one dress and they’re just so easy, comfy and effortlessly stylish. I also like that simple summer dresses don’t really go out of style. I’ve had some simple slip dresses for about 8 years now and I still dig the same ones out for my summer holidays!

My toiletries

  • Face SPF (I use Featherlight from Beauty Pie)
  • Face cleanser (Japanfusion from Beauty Pie)
  • Moisturiser (Japanfusion)
  • Wash cloths – I like the FaceHalo cloths (they seem expensive but they’re the only ones that genuinely last for years)
  • Perfume – Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
  • Body lotion
  • Hair brush – A mini tangle teezer is great for the whole family
  • Hair straighteners – Original GHDs are the best for crazy holiday hair!
  • Leave in conditioner (I use the Wella Elements Conditioning Spray)
  • Bobbles and clips
  • Makeup bag – I just take the basics as I don’t wear much makeup on holiday
  • Sanitary items – I use a menstrual cup and Wukka period pants. I switched for environmental reasons but now I wouldn’t go back to tampons and pads as they’re so much better.
  • Razor – I actually rarely take a razor because I use an IPL device now.
  • Lip balm
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash/shower gel

I decant any of my bigger toiletries into small travel bottles to save on space and weight. I also feel that my travel bottles are more secure and leakproof. Look for silicone bottles as they last longer and it’s easier to squeeze everything out.

I have crazy, curly, frizzy hair so I tend to tie it back while I’m on holiday or I end up looking like Monica from that episode of friends when they go to Barbados! I’ve accepted that me and holiday hair don’t work well together and it actually makes packing so much easier as I don’t bother taking curlers and dryers and styling sprays etc! I just spritz it with conditioner and curl a few strands at the front with my GHDs and I’m done.

Things to do the night before you leave

  • Make sure you have your Covid pass on your phone
  • Make packed lunches for the family
  • Get an easy to eat breakfast ready to eat in the car
  • Double check you’ve got the instructions for airport parking / or confirm your taxi
  • Make sure there’s fuel in the car if you’re driving
  • Set your alarms!
  • Double check you’ve got travel insurance and got your policy number 
  • Make sure all devices are preloaded with films, shows, games, music, books, magazines etc
  • Make sure all devices are fully charged
  • Water your houseplants
  • Remove anything from the fridge and any food that will go bad before you get home
  • Empty the bins
  • Check a neighbour can put your bins out while you’re away
  • Turn electronics off at the plugs
  • Make sure your windows are all shut
  • Does someone need a key to your house in case of an emergency?
  • If your phone memory gets full then delete some things to make space for new photos
  • Charge watch?

Do you pack a family first aid kit?

Personally I don’t take a first aid kit. I take some plasters and pain killers (Calpol for the kids) and rehydration sachets but that’s it. We’re staying in a hotel so if we need any serious medical help I’m sure they will have trained staff to help. If we need really serious medical help then we’ll be going to hospital.

Do you pack a car seat for your kids?

If we’re going on a self catering holiday where we have a villa and hire a car for the week then yes, we do take the car seats for the kids. It was a bit of a faff when the kids were younger and all had bulky car seats that were awkward to carry but now they’re getting bigger the boys can use the Trunki Boostapak portable seats which are easier to carry.

This holiday is a package holiday so we won’t have a hire car and will be taking a coach transfer. Children don’t need to sit in car seats on coaches so we won’t be taking our car seats with us.

What pool toys do you take for your kids?

No holiday packing list would be complete without a few pool toys!

I do recommend packing a few pool toys. If your kids see that other children in the pool have toys then they’ll want them too and they’re usually twice the price at the hotel gift shop!

If you don’t already have any pool toys then this 29 piece pool toys set is a great option.

My kids love these Zoggs Dive Sticks. These keep the kids entertained for hours as one adult can sit by the side of the pool and throw them into the water for the kids to dive down and retrieve.

Another firm favourite is a foam squirt gun but you obviously have to be careful as not everyone in a shared pool will appreciate these!

We don’t take inflatables to a hotel because they often aren’t allowed in hotel pools. But if we’re staying in a self catering villa then I’ll pack as many inflatables as our luggage allows! I bought a load from Primark years ago and they’ve lasted so well!

Baby specific FAQs

Do you take a baby carrier?

If you’re travelling with a baby aged 18 months or under then I highly recommend travelling with a baby carrier! We always used one when our kids were younger. They’re so handy for getting on and off the plane as you’ve got your hands free to carry your bags. They’re also good for walking places where a pushchair would be difficult and a baby carrier was always a guaranteed way to get our kids to sleep!

Do you take a travel cot?

No, we have never travelled with a travel cot. They’re big, bulky and heavy and accommodation providers can always provide a cot.

If your child sleeps in a cot at home but will be sleeping in a bed on holiday then I wouldn’t worry about it too much. My kids always accepted that we had different rules on holidays to the rules we have at home and would go back to their cot at home with no problem. We’d make sure the bed was pushed against the wall and place pillows, blankets or cushions on the floor in case they fell out of bed.

Should I pack a baby monitor?

If your accommodation has multiple rooms then I’d definitely take a baby monitor if you have a young baby who may cry.

You probably won’t need it if you’re in a regular hotel room with your baby, but if you have a villa, two rooms or a suite or even a balcony or patio then it’s worth taking. Just remember to take extra plug adaptors if it’s the type that plugs into the wall.

A baby monitor is especially worth taking if you’re visiting a family-friendly resort because you will probably be able to hear other children in the distance and it’s hard to relax if you’re hearing phantom cries and you’re not sure if it’s your baby or someone else’s!

Should I pack a changing mat?

No, just use a towel and try your best not to make a mess!

So there it is, my ultimate family holiday packing list with everything I’m packing for an all-inclusive family holiday. I’ve put together a downloadable holiday checklist here which you can print out and tick off as you pack it.

Holiday packing is one of those things that some people love but most people hate. It feels chaotic and stressful and there’s always the panic you’ve forgotten something vitally important! That’s why I really like to create a holiday packing list and tick things off as I put them into my case.

I also like to use packing cubes so I can clearly see where everything is and keep things neatly together. It’s funny because I’m not an overly tidy or organised person when I’m at home but I love to be really organised when I’m holiday packing!

Download and print my holiday checklist here

Easy to copy and paste holiday checklist

Here’s a simplified list of the items above so you can copy and paste them into your own document or app

Luggage

  • 4-wheeled suitcases such as the Antler Clifton set
  • Travel Hack Backpack
  • Kids backpacks for plane
  • Packing cubes

Kids hand luggage

My hand luggage

  • Passports
  • Purse
  • Phone
  • Fully charged portable charger external battery pack 
  • iPhone cable
  • Water bottle 
  • Paracetamol
  • Headphones 
  • Kindle 
  • Wet wipes
  • My lunch and snacks
  • Sun glasses
  • Travel documents and Covid passes downloaded to phone

Toddler plane bag

  • Change of clothes
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Nappy bags
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch box
  • Snacks
  • Teddy
  • Busy binder

Family toiletries

  • Suncream (we use Nivea factor 50 + roll on which the kids use for their faces)
  • No more tears hair and body wash (doubles up as shower gel)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Calpol
  • Paracetamol
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Allergy relief
  • Insect repellent
  • Insect bite relief
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Hair styling products
  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Plasters
  • Bobbles/clips

My toiletries

  • Face SPF 
  • Face cleanser 
  • Moisturiser 
  • Wash cloths 
  • Perfume 
  • Body lotion
  • Hair brush 
  • Hair straighteners 
  • Leave in conditioner
  • Bobbles and clips
  • Makeup bag 
  • Sanitary items 
  • Razor 
  • Lip balm
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash/shower gel

Kids clothes

  • 1 x hat
  • 1 x sunglasses
  • 1 x goggles 
  • 1 x swim shorts
  • 1 x swim shorts with matching rash vest / all-in-one shorty swimsuit
  • 5 x day time shorts
  • 10 x t-shirts
  • 2 x smart shorts
  • 2 x smart shirts
  • 1 x sandals 
  • 1 x jumper
  • 3 x PJs
  • 10 x pants
  • 2 x socks 

My suitcase

  • 3 x swimsuits
  • 4 x beach dresses
  • 5 x evening dresses
  • 2 x shorts
  • 3 x easy daytime tops
  • 1 x sunhat
  • 10 x knickers
  • 2 x strapless bras
  • 1 x t-shirt bra
  • 1 x PJs
  • 1 x big beach bag
  • Earrings
  • Necklace

Extra holiday accessories

Toddler extras

  • Pushchair
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Swim nappies
  • Nappy bags
  • Swim aid

Things to do the night before you leave

  • Make sure you have your Covid pass on your phone
  • Make packed lunches for the family
  • Get an easy to eat breakfast ready to eat in the car
  • Double check you’ve got the instructions for airport parking / or confirm your taxi
  • Make sure there’s fuel in the car if you’re driving
  • Set your alarms!
  • Double check you’ve got travel insurance and got your policy number 
  • Make sure all devices are preloaded with films, shows, games, music, books, magazines etc
  • Make sure all devices are fully charged
  • Water your houseplants
  • Remove anything from the fridge and any food that will go bad before you get home
  • Empty the bins
  • Check a neighbour can put your bins out while you’re away
  • Turn electronics off at the plugs
  • Make sure your windows are all shut
  • Does someone need a key to your house in case of an emergency?
  • If your phone memory gets full then delete some things to make space for new photos
  • Charge watch?