By Stephanie Choo
Packing for a trip is hard enough, let alone packing a whole family. Growing up my mom used to write out a whole list for my sister and I to pack and we’d spend hours putting it together. Now we make our own. So, without further ado, here is what I think are absolutely essential to bring on a family trip:
Clothes: This one's obvious, but make sure you pack sensibly. A seven day trip only requires three pairs of shorts, three bathing suits, etc. Plan outfits out ahead of time so you can pack light and still look photo-ready at any moment. Also comfort is key - nothing is worse than touring a city in uncomfortable clothes/shoes!
Toiletries: Along with packing clothes, packing the necessary toiletries is huge, especially if your travelling out of the country. You never know what you’ll have access to for convenience stores, so bringing what you want is a must. Also Pro tip: I always pack my suitcase so that I can bring it as a carry on, then check it at the gate - avoids the hassle and fees of checking it at check in, but also you don’t have to worry about it on the plane!
Camera: Phones work too for this one, but my sister has a professional camera and let me tell you the difference is huge! This is based off taste, but make sure you have a way to photo-document all your memories!
Snacks: If you travel non-stop, pack 50 different activities into one day like my family does, then you will want to bring snacks. Or if you or a family member are traveling with some sort of dietary restriction, then this is also a good idea, because most foreign countries do not have or understand certain dietary restrictions like food allergies. Also good for when you get a little hungry between lunch and dinner!
Self Entertainment: Every trip comes with a little bit of travel, whether it's on the plane, in a car, or on a train, moving from one place to another. These trips can be long and boring but always worth it in the end. Download some games to your phone, buy a book or magazine or buy a movie on your laptop! These will make the time move faster so you can finally reach your destination!
Sunscreen: No matter where in the world you go, it's almost inevitable that you will spend at least some time outside. From skiing in Canada, to walking around cities in Europe, to hiking in Asia, to just hanging on the beach in the Caribbean, you will be exposed to the sun. I recommend always sunscreening your face but depending on the UV index, you may need more.
A Plan: There is nothing worse that getting to your destination without knowing what to do. Plan ahead of time and make a list of all the things you want to see/do and where they are in relation to each other.
A Good Attitude: Coming from a family that often travels with three teenagers, absolutely NOTHING is worse than trying to travel and one of us being in a bad mood. It makes the rest of us upset, makes the time move slow, and causes fights. Stay open to other ideas, even if they’re not in the itinerary, and be excited, even if the particular activity is not something you’re into. Remember: this could be your only chance to experience this so take full advantage of it!