A few simple tips to help you and your family avoid that "uh, oh" feeling when unpacking at your destination.
A family vacation isn't a fashion show. So--even for a big-city sojourn--jeans or khakis can work for several days in a row.
In addition to one sweater or jacket and comfy shoes, your children need only a daily fresh shirt, underwear, and socks.
Focus on versatility: Can a T-shirt double as pajamas?
Gather and lay out everything you think you'll need to bring before you start packing, and then force yourself to remove a few items. Does your daughter really need two dresses, even on a cruise-ship vacation?
Pack the Right Way
Because they're smaller, kids' clothes are great for filling in small spaces and corners.
Fill hollows of shoes with underwear and socks.
Roll T-shirts and sweaters to fill other spaces.
Don't be tempted to add bulky or heavy items to you bags, like hair dryers, irons, and alarm clocks, which are routinely provided by hotels. Just call-ahead to verify and leave those items at home.
You'll always find soaps, shampoos, conditioner, and sewing kits at your hotel so, unless you and your kids require a special shampoo or soap, rely on the hotel brand.
Pour large shampoos into smaller travel-sized bottles and consider investing in smaller travel-size versions of other toiletries (like deodorant) that can be exclusively for use when travelling.
To prevent toppling, place heavy items in the bag's bottom.
Remember, anything you forget to bring (short of your family members, money, credit cards, I.D., important phone numbers, prepaid tickets, and medicine) can be purchased at your destination if necessary.