Summer is just around the corner and that means peak travel season for many Americans. But with all the fun that comes with vacation, there’s also the stress of getting everything (and everybody) loaded into the car and ready to go. Packing can be hectic and without a detailed list it’s easy to forget a must-have item or two.
Imagine your camping trip without a tent. Or a journey overseas without your passport.
Never fear, Taylor Morrison has you covered no matter what kind of adventures you’ve got planned for summer with this camping and vacation packing guide.
To the Wilderness and Beyond: Family Camping Packing List
You don’t have to live in a big state like Texas to enjoy the great outdoors – but it sure helps!
Cascades at Stonemill Falls in Wake Forest, NC is near to plenty of outdoor adventure, too.
Wherever you live, don’t forget to bring all the gear vital to a great time by the campfire:
- Tent, poles, stakes, and ground cover. Consider an extra tarp if it might rain.
- Sleeping bag, pillow and pad for each camper. Extra blankets when camping in a cold environment.
- Folding chairs, bikes and toys.
- Headlamps or flashlights plus extra batteries.
- Lantern with fuel or extra batteries.
- Weather appropriate clothing. Don’t forget raingear, swimsuits and both hiking/relaxing footwear. Pack an extra layer if it might get cold.
- Personal items: sunscreen, insect repellant, first-aid kit, prescription medications, toothbrush, toiletries, towels and soap.
- Stove & fuel.
- Firewood, kindling, matches or lighter.
- Frying pan, pot, plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives, cups, mugs, cooking spoon, large knife, spatula, cutting board and foil.
- Trash bags plus Tupperware and Zip-loc bags.
- Cooler with water bottles and ice.
- Dish washing supplies and paper towels.
For food, always map out a specific meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. This way you’ll bring enough food without overpacking. Planning ahead also makes it easier to do more prep work at home.
Marinate your meats, chop veggies and wash/wrap your potatoes in foil ahead of time. The more you do at home the less you’ll have to do at camp. Meal planning also helps to make sure you bring all the utensils and condiments needed for each meal.
Don’t forget a can opener!
- When camping during the summer months, remember that campgrounds can fill up fast. Be sure to reserve your campsite in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If your family camps a lot, buy 1-2 large plastic tubs to be your dedicated “camping tubs.” This way you can grab all the essentials in a jiffy.
Driving to Florida to visit the beaches of Fort Myers? Heading west to a National Park? Wherever you’re headed, pack efficiently to avoid winding up with a trunk that won’t close.
Here are a few useful tips:
- Pack a first aid kit but keep it simple. Plenty of band-aids, hand sanitizer, flushable wipes, pain killers, tweezers, anti-diarrhea medicine, anti-nausea medicine and a small throw-up bucket just in case.
- Bring lots of towels. Towels are versatile on the road. They can be a seat cover, blanket, table cloth, cleaning device and more.
- Pack a pen & paper plus road trip games.
- Provide headphones and personal entertainment (plus extra batteries) for each child if traveling with the family. Yay! No fighting.
- Consider basic exercise equipment like a ball or jump rope to use during rest stops.
- Be sure to have cash in all denominations to pay for road tolls and other expenses along the way.
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Whether you’re flying to Italy or Indiana, vacations that require an airplane are a little bit different. You’ll have a lot less space to pack all your goodies and extra considerations to take, especially if you’re headed overseas.
Make sure you pack the essentials first before moving on to “would like to have” items.
- Important documents: passports/identification, tickets & itinerary, car/hotel reservations, directions to the hotel.
- Guidebooks, maps and your travel journal. Books to read for pleasure.
- Cash and debit/credit cards.
- Camera and cell phone plus chargers.
- Small travel first aid kit. Aspirin/pain killer plus cold pills and any prescription medication.
- Sunglasses & sunscreen.
- Voltage converter (if required).
- Entertainment for the kids: notebook, toys, games, electronic devices.
- Toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, eyeglasses, contacts plus solution, personal hygiene supplies, body wash, shampoo, brush, hair products, razor, makeup, lotion.
- Casual clothes plus formal clothes.
Don’t forget to leave space in your bag for souvenirs. If you like to shop a lot, consider packing a collapsible backpack or duffel bag so that you can add an extra piece of luggage on your flight home.
Special Packing Considerations when Traveling with Kids
Vacationing with little ones in tow means extra bags and planning for the unknown. Here are a few tried and tested strategies to keep your trip from derailing when the going gets tough.
- Keep a change of clothes for each child handy in the event of an accident.
- When traveling with an infant, always bring your own washcloths and towels from home to avoid an allergic reaction to hotel detergent. Keep your baby bag separate from the other luggage so that you can do a final rundown before heading out the door.
- Low blood sugar makes for grumpy kiddos. Pack more snacks than you think you’ll need.
- Organize kids’ clothes into days and pack each day into its own Zip-Loc bag.
- Get children involved in the packing process and let each kid carry their own bag.
- Entertainment is key. Always have a backup plan to keep kids busy during the boring parts of travel.
Think about things you can pick up when you get there. Check Google maps to see how far it is from your hotel to a supermarket or large pharmacy. It may be more convenient to set aside 2 hours for a quick shopping trip when you arrive rather than trying to haul everything with you from home.
Find a New Place to Vacation From
Our new home communities are built near major transportation corridors and international airports to help you get away when it’s time for a holiday. Many communities include vacation-inspired amenities to take mini breaks right there in your own neighborhood. If golf’s your game, look into Fiddlers Creek in Naples, Florida.
If you love to travel and explore, you’re going to love living in a Taylor Morrison community.