The Ultimate Family Summer Vacation Checklist featured on Family Travel with Colleen Kelly

Planning a family summer vacation? Exciting, isn’t it? Just picturing the endless sunshine, sandy beaches, and precious family moments is enough to ignite wanderlust in the most homebound of us. However, with the thrill of family travel comes the daunting task of packing.


What should you bring for the baby? What are the travel essentials for a traveling mom and dad? How about the kids? Luckily, we’ve created the ultimate summer vacation checklist for the entire family. Let’s dive in!


The Traveling Mom & Dad Essentials


As the backbone of every family trip, the traveling mom and dad carry a lot on their shoulders. Literally. Here are some must-have items for your summer escape:


  1. Comfortable Clothing: Lightweight, breathable clothing is a must, think linen or cotton. Don’t forget your swimwear, sunglasses, and sunhat. 


  1. Travel Documents: IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, travel insurance documents, and any hotel or activity booking confirmations. 


  1. Tech Gadgets: Your smartphone, chargers, portable power bank, camera, and perhaps a Kindle for those quiet beach moments.


  1. Toiletries: Don’t forget travel-sized sunscreen, insect repellent, and your preferred toiletries.


  1. First Aid Kit: Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any necessary prescription medicines.


Baby Travel Essentials


Babies may be tiny, but they come with big needs. Here’s what to pack for the littlest members of the family:


  1. Baby Clothing: Pack enough outfits for different weather scenarios, along with hats for sun protection, swim diapers, and regular diapers.


  1. Feeding Supplies: Bottles, formula, bibs, and baby food. A portable high chair could be handy too.


  1. Travel Crib and Baby Carrier: These will make your life so much easier when you’re on the go.


  1. Toys and Comfort Items: Bring their favorite toy or blanket for comfort.


  1. Baby Toiletries: Include baby sunscreen, baby wipes, and diaper rash cream.


Kids Travel Essentials


For those with older children, here’s your summer vacation checklist:


  1. Kids’ Clothing: Similar to adults, pack comfortable clothes, swimwear, and nightwear. An extra outfit or two wouldn’t hurt.


  1. Entertainment: Portable game devices, coloring books, or any toy that keeps them engaged during transit. 


  1. Snacks: Some healthy snacks to keep the hunger pangs at bay.


  1. Water Bottles: Keep the kids hydrated with refillable water bottles.


  1. Safety Items: Wristbands with your contact details for safety can be helpful in crowded places.


The All-in-One Family Gear


In addition to individual items, some essentials are beneficial for the whole family:


  1. Snacks and Drinks: Pack a cooler with refreshments, snacks, and lots of water. 


  1. Beach/Outdoor Gear: Beach towels, beach umbrella, picnic blanket, and waterproof phone cases.


  1. Navigation Tools: Don’t forget your map or GPS if you’re heading somewhere new. 


  1. Entertainment: Consider a portable speaker for music or an instant camera for quick family snaps.


  1. Travel Bags: A sturdy, spacious travel bag to carry all your essentials is a must.




There you have it: the ultimate family summer vacation checklist. Remember, preparation is key to enjoying a stress-free and memorable vacation. By covering the essentials for the traveling mom, the traveling dad, and the kids, you’ll be well-equipped for any adventure that comes your way. So, whether you’re heading to a tropical paradise, a bustling city, or a peaceful countryside, this family summer vacation checklist should make your packing easier. 


As you embark on your journey, cherish each moment. The giggles, the exploration, even the inevitable, “Are we there yet?” After all, family vacations aren’t just about the destination; they’re about the journey, the shared experiences, and the invaluable family time.


Read related articles: 

Winter Travel Packing Hacks

Tips for Taking Grandkids on Vacation — Without You!

Fall Camping Gear Guide 2022

The Best Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Babies


Click to subscribe to the Colleen Kelly Travel Newsletter.

Recommended Posts