Minimal and Budget-Friendly Family Vacation Packing List

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Preparing for your family’s next vacation can seem overwhelming. The costs of supplies, new clothes and other travel essentials can add up quickly. Now might be the perfect time to try out some minimalist travel tips. Use this budget-friendly family packing list to simplify everything and reduce your stress.

  1. All the Essential Toiletries

Toiletries can be a big part of your travel budget. Pack what everyone needs before leaving home so you’ll avoid spending extra cash at convenience stores for things you already have. Remember to include daily-use toiletries for everyone, such as:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash

Checking your bathroom bags before leaving home will ensure everyone has what they need to maintain their hygiene during your trip.

  1. Enough Clothes for Every Day

It’s tempting to pack more than one change of clothes for each day of a family vacation. Having choices for what you’ll wear for meals or pictures is nice, but minimalist travelers only pack one outfit for every day of their trip. Ensure each member of your family has at least one pair of the following:

  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Pajamas

Multiply these basics by the number of days you’ll be on vacation, and avoid the temptation to go buy new things. You most likely have these staples in your closet already. Leave that uncomfortable dinner dress or pinching pair of shoes at home. If you’re unsure you’ll wear something during your family vacation, it’s better left at home.

  1. At Least One Bottle of Sunscreen

It’s always wise to bring one bottle of sunscreen whenever you travel, whether your family walks around an amusement park or lounges by a lake. People of all ages need it to prevent burns and even skin cancer. Apply it before anyone goes outside and keep an eye on the clock. Skin care experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every two to three hours to maximize your protection. 

  1. Multipurpose and Comfortable Shoes

Shoes take up so much space in vehicles and suitcases. You really only need one pair. Make sure your chosen shoes are comfy and wearable in most environments. Tennis shoes would be best for hiking trips, but you could also wear them to meals or the movies to reduce how many pairs you need to bring. If you’re heading to the beach, flip flops are a great, lightweight and inexpensive second pair to bring along. 

  1. Weather-Appropriate Accessories

Checking the weather of your destination can make a big impact on packing only the necessities. If the forecast is bright and sunny all week, it might be safe to leave the rain gear and sweatshirts at home. 

The weather can also give you an idea of what items you may need to purchase for the trip. If the UV levels are really high, consider buying hats to protect everyone’s faces from sunburn. If it does look like rain, get a few disposable ponchos, which will be cheaper and lighter alternatives to rain coats. 

  1. Emergency Medical Supplies

Create a handy medical kit to bring on your upcoming adventure. You’ll have everything you need to respond to potential health complications, and your family can reuse it during every future vacation. Include a few essential medical response supplies like:

  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Thermometer
  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Health insurance card
  1. Your Preferred Travel Entertainment

Traveling is much more enjoyable when there’s some kind of entertainment available. You don’t need to spend money on new electronics, though. Check your house first for coloring books, crayons, and car-friendly games. Even just an empty notebook can entertain the kids with simple games like tic-tac-toe. 

  1. Snacks in Reusable Containers

Snacks are a must for any roadtrip, but don’t go stock up on plastic sandwich bags. You may not even need to buy new food. Instead, check your kitchen for any open boxes or travel-friendly foods. Toss some dry cereal or crackers in reusable tupperware containers. You’ll save money and reduce the amount of trash you produce on the trip.

Try a Minimal Vacation Packing List

Use these handy ideas to prepare for your upcoming trip. You’ll pack everything your family needs to have fun and stay safe without overspending or bringing too much stuff.