General Essentials For A Road Trip
These family road trip essentials are the bread and butter of comfortably navigating yourself to and from your chosen destination.
It is very important to have an adequately charged Smartphone for the entire duration of your trip, especially if you are using a navigation app for directions.
Having both a phone charger and a supplemental battery pack provides additional security when relying on battery power for any and all of your electronic devices.
- Car window sun shade
- Infant/child doses of pain relivers
In addition, if your baby or toddler uses a pacifier, purchase a washable pacifier clip before road tripping.
This will save you from having to strain to reach the pacifier should it fall from their mouth.
Next, if you happen to be taking a road trip during the process of potty training your toddler, the most essential item to bring along is a portable potty chair.
Select a travel potty chair that takes up minimal space and has an inner container that is easy to empty and clean.
Last, road trip snacks for toddlers have to be easily portable, not too messy, not too crumbly, and somewhat healthy in order to prevent sugar overload.
Be sure to pack dried cereal or crackers in spill-free snack cups.
Likewise, store all liquids in a spill-free sippy cup.
Travel Must Have Item: Waistband Wallet
While yes you need a wallet to keep all your cards and cash in, a waistband wallet is a little different. If you are staying at a hotel, there is usually a safe there for any important items like a passport. If you arent staying in a place that has a safe, then youre likely bringing the passport with you wherever youre going. The best way to keep it safe is in a waistband wallet. A waistband wallet can be kept discretely on your person and under your clothes. Its often made of breathable material for comfortable all day wearing.
If you are going on a water adventure, then using one of these waterproof pouches to keep your important documents and even phone dry is another travel must have item.
Why Do I Need A Vacation Packing List
I love to travel, but it definitely comes with its own set of stressors. When we vacation as a family there are a lot of things to remember.
Packing can become overwhelming especially for a longer trip. If you are packing for multiple people having a vacation packing list is essential.
A packing list helps me remember to take along items that I would normally forget to take. It is also a tool I can give each family member so they dont forget anything!
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Here Is Your Free Packing Check List:
Keep scrolling for links to my curated selection of great travel accessories and luggage you might want to grab before your next trip.
*If you make a purchase I will earn a commission at no cost to you.
Start with great luggage
Whether you need a weekend bag, or a full set. If you like hard-shell or soft luggage, a great set of luggage will last years. I also like a top opening suitcase for those small hotel rooms or cruise cabins where space is scarce.
Use a RFID travel wallet for your cards and travel documentsto keep them safe
Grab some packing cubes to keep your things organised and super easy to find
Use a toiletry bag that holds everything and more!
Essential accessories that I take with me on my travels
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If youre in New Zealand visit my Travel Store to grab what you need for your next trip. Shipping NZ-wide.
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Travel Tip #: Best Shower Cap
If I said shower cap, most people would think of the plastic chintzy things you find often as a freebie in hotels. While those may be good in a pinch, Ive found an even easier and more reusable shower cap to use, a beanie. Now I know it’s material so you can’t directly stick you hair in the water, but the light mist that comes from showering won’t get your hair wet. For us ladies, who are not always washing our hair every day, this is a perfect solution. It not only keeps your hair dry, but it prevents heat getting to it , it also can keep your hair somewhat styled and prevent you from having to redo it all. You may even have this already at home plus its machine washable so easy to reuse again and again.
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Along with filling them out and using them to guide my packing before we leave, I also bring the list along so I can double check and make sure we have everything before we come home.
If youre looking for more ideas for organized travel, you can see how I pack our organized suitcases in this post.
And get some creative ideas for traveling with toddlers and preschoolers in this post.
Do you make a packing list when you go on trips, or do you just wing it? Tell me about your strategy in the comments!
What Ive Stopped Packing
Packing lightly is just as much about what you dont bring. A few things dont make my cut:
Laundry Care: I used to wash clothes by hand using a Scrubba. Now, I either send it out or settle for plain soap and a hotel sink. It might not be perfect, but its good enough.
Headlamp: Unless I know I have an adventure planned, I skip the headlamp and plan on using my cell phone for a flashlight in case of emergency.
Voltage Converters: Unlike adapters , voltage converters are rarely necessary. Almost all modern electronics accept dual voltage, so theres no need to bring a separate, heavy device that transforms voltage from 240V to 120V .
Papercopies of travel documents: I pull up confirmation numbers, credit card backup information, and other documents from secure internet-based storage. Its a good idea to share that info with someone you trust back at home, too.
Solid Toiletries: For awhile, I stuck to solid shampoos and other items in order to avoid TSA restrictions on liquids and gels. Most of the products dont work well and/or are very expensiveand I always seemed to have extra room in my ziploc bag anyway. Now I stick to liquids.
Anything and everything I dont use at home: Think twice before packing items you dont ordinarily use at home. For me, its things like sewing kits and scarves. Some people love them, but they make no sense for me.
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How To Use This Packing List
To make your life easier, our Travel Packing List for Kids is organized by category: Clothing/Accessories, Entertainment, Technology, Toiletries/Bath, Eating, Medicine, and Miscellaneous. Weve included extra lines so you can easily add more items that you want to remember to pack.
This list also features columns for every member of the family, for up to five people. Have a large family? Just print another list!
Mexico Beach Packing: Clothes
Wondering what clothing you should pack for Mexicos beaches?
As Mexicos warmer beach temperatures dont fluctuate too much, sundresses, shorts, tank tops and sandals work pretty much all year-long. In the winter months, you might throw on a cardigan at night, but other than that, its bathing suits and warm weather wear throughout the year.
If you want to walk around in a bathing suit, it might turn heads, but that doesnt mean its not done. As mentioned, Mexicans dress conservative, and expats often end up adapting. In short, the more youre extra with your clothing, the more youll stand out.
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Essential Travel Gear For Babies And Toddlers
If taking a vacation with a baby or toddler feels overwhelming, it’s time to streamline your load with gear that’s portable and lightweight. We’ve put together some essentials.
Find out about lightweight strollers and travel beds, an FAA-approved harness for flying, and a light-weight travel high chair.
Travel Documents And Holders
A good rule of thumb is to have a copy of everything on your phone and stored in the cloud. For really important documents, such as passports, make sure someone has a copy who is staying at home.
Make sure to add to your holiday packing list:
- Passport and visas – you can arrange for a company to do this for you or complete the process yourself. Have a secure but quick access section for them. I use a plastic A4 folder for this.
- Travel insurance documents. Forward a copy to someone at home and have a copy in your suitcase as backup.
Ooh, travel money deserves an article on its own.
Here’s the short version:
- Cash – take some cash with you in the local currency but no more than you’d need for 1 – 2 days. It’s also helpful to have some US dollars in small denominations to help you get out of any emergency situations. Avoid changing money at the airport or in large hotels as the rates are usually really high. If possible, book cash in advance by following the advice from Money Saving Expert here.
- – do take a credit card with you, with maybe one backup, but leave the rest at home. Contact credit card companies in advance so that they don’t block your card while you’re away. Put one into your checked luggage and one into your personal item. Set up text alerts for unusual spending so that you can cancel them the moment someone starts to use it for something dodgy.
Chic Document Holder
Plastic Document Holder
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Beach Clothes & Accessories:
- Water shoes: In case anyone doesnt like touching the bottom of the ocean.
- Sunglasses: Get polarized ones for everyone to protect your eyes from harmful rays.
- Hair ties: Trust me, if you have long hair, this is a must!
- Hairbrush: Salty beach hair is beautiful until you try to run your hands through it! I always have a small detangle brush in our bag it makes things a lot easier when we shower after the beach.
A two-bedroom villa at South Beach Resort
Misc Section On A Vacation Packing List
There are lot of extras that we may or may not need on a trip. I will admit I have over packed before.
Sometimes it really pays off and other times I feel like I wasted time and space. I have always wanted to be over prepared rather than under prepared.
You can peruse the misc section of this free printable vacation packing list and see what items you think your family will need.
Be sure you dont forget the important items like ID, passport and MONEY!
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Customizable Checklist Google Sheets Version
While the pdf version contains a comprehensive list, Id actually recommend that you access the Google Sheets version. Why?
- Chances are there are a few unique items that you like to travel with. The Google Sheets version gives you the ability to add these item so that you can tailor this checklist to YOUR vacation.
- Plus, you can save your modified vacation rental home checklist and use for future vacations! What a time-saver, right?
Click here for the free Google Sheets version . Please save your own copy to modify.
Travel And Health Tip #: Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
It probably seems ironic that as a pharmacist, my blog has nothing to do with pharmacy or medicine. But I really wanted the blog to be travel focused. Needless to say, there are some things that I learned in my pharmacy journey that Ive been able to apply to my travels. One of those is my baby shampoo hack as a gentle eye makeup remover. Specifically, Johnsons Baby Shampoo which is a no tears formulation. Safe for babies’ eyes and safe for yours too. Perfect for removing makeup at the end of the day and cleansing the delicate area of the eyes. Not only that but shampoo is known to break down oils which can help prevent styes. Even on days when Im not wearing makeup, I will still use baby shampoo to keep the oil buildup on my eyelids and eyelashes at bay. Its inexpensive and comes in a travel sized container too.
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Cabin Packing List Fall
Since autumn nights can get cold, our cabin vacation packing list includes more layers of clothing like:
- A warm coat
- An extra sleeping bag for warmth
In addition, a packing list for cabin vacation in winter is extra fun if you bring:
- Winter toys like sleds, snow tubes, and a snow shovel
- Snow fort kit, snowball maker
- Winter sporting gear like cross country or alpine skis, snowshoes, ice fishing tackle
For more tips on packing for winter trips, head to our winter trip packing list.
Free Downloadable Travel Packing List
Are you packing for a trip and dont know where to begin? No worries, Ive got you.
In this post you can download my free, ultimate travel packing list covering pretty much everything youll need for a vacation that ranges from a few days to several weeks!
Better still, its printable. You can just click on it and it will open in a new window for you to print off and check the boxes as you get your items together, or use the little boxes to write in quantities as required and cross out the things you dont need.
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Mexico City Packing List: Safety Items
While Mexico is much more safe than most would imagine Mexico City is a big city, with all the same characteristics of most big cities.
These include: 1) that there are parts you should avoid, like Tepito and Doctores, both near Centro Historico , and 2) that petty crimes like cell phone pickpocketing do happen, especially on the bus or Metro. Mexico City Travel Tip: Take Uber over public transportation!
For those concerned about safety in Mexico City, here are a few extra things to pack for your trip: Anti-Theft Purse, Anti-Theft Backpack, Secret Hidden Pocket Travel Scarfand Wedge Door Stop Security Alarm with Siren.
What you should really be concerned about in Mexico City
While personal safety needs to be your top priority, the majority of Mexico Citys best neighborhoods are as safe as most of the worlds big cities. The real dangers in Mexico City are the ones most people dont think about.
Mexicos tap water is unsafe to drink, and even locals dont drink it. In Mexico City, and all of Mexico, filtered water is the norm but thats not to say all filtered water is created equal! For those whod rather be safe than sorry in the fight against Montezumas Revenge, a filterable water bottle is the way to go.
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packing list for mexico resorts & Beaches
Mexico Beach Packing: Toiletries Etc
While Mexico is much safer than most would imagine the things you really need protection from on Mexico beaches are the elements, especially the sun and the bugs.
Mexico travel tips: Bugs are especially abundant and active in the summer months. If youre able to, avoid being outdoors for about 30 minutes just after sunset. Take in the nice views, but then head inside for a bit, as this is their most active time.
Given the heat and humidity, youll need to stay hydrated more than normal, and keep your skin protected. This is especially important for those who plan to drink a lot, as alcohol will further dehydrate you.
what to pack to mexico
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The Ultimate Holiday Packing List With Printable
Here’s the ultimate holiday packing list to suit every situation with a free printable travel packing list for you to download.
Seriously. We’re assuming nothing and cover luggage, visas, medication and what to wear while travelling and I’ve organised it into a streamlined system so no-one gets overwhelmed.
I’ve also put links to anything you may need to buy next to the travel tips and gathered them together on a single page in
To get your printable copy of this holiday packing list, simply pop your details in the form below.
Packing List For Mexico City & All Cities In Mexico
All items listed above cover general Mexico packing, but this is all about packing for Mexicos cities. While most Mexico weather is on the warm side, cities are often colder than what most associate with average yearly weather in Mexico.
All info below applies to Oaxaca City, and the areas around Mexico City, known as Central Mexico. The Central Mexico area includes some of the biggest tourism destinations San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, and of course, Mexico City.
Central Mexico has whats known as an Eternal Spring climate, meaning you can expect cooler, springtime temperatures nearly all year. The chart below will give you an idea of Mexico City weather, which is what you can expect from most of Central Mexico.
Central mexico & Mexico City Weather
packing for mexico list
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