Packing for four people is mayhem.

Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 04:42 pm

We have all done it!

You pack all day for your upcoming holiday, think you have everything and arrive at your destination, only to realize that you have forgotten a few dozen things. Well, if you haven’t, I want your memory and if you have, this might help.

It never ceases to amaze me, how I forget the little things, now that I have kids. I blame the so-called ‘baby brain’. I have travelled a lot in my life but it wasn’t until I had to pack for more than myself, that I started leaving necessary items behind. Nothing I can’t go buy, but who wants to waste money. With that being said, I have come up with a helpful list/chart to keep me organized. No more, leaving Mr. P.’s toothbrush, or Buba’s favorite cup, or Missy Moo’s sleeping bag behind. My list tracks all our necessary items until they are safely in the suitcase.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and I do it a few days before I pack that way there’s no rush and I can have a few days to add to the list, if needed. I usually settle the kids into bed, make myself a nice cup of coffee, and pull out my colorful markers. Why not have fun with it too?

Family Packing Checklist:


First, I make a list of categories: Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedtime, Playtime, Documents, Medicines, Swimming, etc. Anything that you might do on your vacation whether it’s outdoor hiking, or like us, swimming. The purpose of the categories is to make you think what will be needed for that category. Then I write each person’s name underneath each category, side by side. (see above) That way I know who all needs what, for this category. Seems a bit redundant but it’s efficient.  Now I list everything each person needs under their name in a column starting with Mr. P. if I also need it I draw a line across to my name too. If we all need it, I draw a line all the way across everyone’s columns.

Don’t forget the most important category: Travelling. Whether you are on a plane, train, or in the car, you definitely need to be prepared. This category usally takes more room than anything else. They need entertained: books, toys, videos, chew toys, music; they need food: snacks and drinks; they need clothes: extra sets in case of accidents. Being prepared to travel makes the journey a lot less painful, especially on long haul journeys.

On pack day, I pull my colorful list out and start packing. I do one person at a time but you can do it anyway you see fit, as long as you draw a line through what you have already packed, so it’s accounted for, that way nothing is forgotten.

I started doing this on our last trip to Ireland because there was so much to remember for the four of us. It is extremely helpful if you have to be at the airport really early on departure day and need to know what is left to throw in before zipping and loading those pesky suitcases. Things that were still in use up until leaving time but its too early for your brain to process what, like makeup, sleeping bags, favorite blankies, toothbrushes, etc. 

Have plans for a family vacation in 2014, why not try my Family Packing Checklist. Packing for four people, really is mayhem.


3 thoughts on “Packing for four people is mayhem.”

  1. I so need to do this…anytime we go anywhere I run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make sure we don’t forget anything…it’s always so stressful for me!


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