Deciding what to pack when taking the whole family on vacation can be a bit tricky, especially when you have children of different ages to accommodate. There are, however, some essential items that need to be packed other than the obvious selection of appropriate clothing and accessories. Some essential items are easier to remember than others, but all will be missed if you forget them.

I.D and official paperwork Double check you have all the passports needed for your trip. Even if you aren’t traveling abroad, photo I.D. is a must, as hotels and other accommodations usually require it when checking in. If you are hiring a car, ensure your driver’s license is in your bag, or pocket before you set off on your journey. It is advisable to thoroughly research in advance the official paperwork and I.D. required for the destination you are traveling to, and the airports and airlines you will be using during your trip.

Tickets Again, double check you have all tickets for all parts of your journey before you leave the house. Like I.D, tickets may seem like an obvious item to remind you about, but it is sometimes obvious that gets forgotten until it is too late.

Sunscreen Don’t wait to purchase your sunscreen at the airport or at your destination as not only can it be more expensive, but you may have less choice. Already got sunscreen? Check the date on sunscreen you currently have and replace it if is out of date. Going somewhere during the colder months so think you won’t need it? You may still need sunscreen even in colder climates as UV rays can cause damage to skin, even when the weather appears mild. If you aren’t sure which sunscreen is best for you and younger skin, take a look at the Indreviews website which has a great guide to the best sunscreens available for sensitive skin.

First aid kit A well-stocked first aid kit is essential you will be glad you packed if an emergency arises. A sensible first aid should include, a first aid manual, sharp scissors, sterile saline liquid for washing wounds, burn gel or burn dressings, band aids in assorted sizes, sterile medical wipes, gloves, and bandages. Remember to keep the kit somewhere accessible such as the glove box if you are embarking on a road trip, and to inform everyone where it is. When traveling by plane, you will, of course, need to pack it into your checked in luggage as sharp objects and certain other items and liquids cannot be brought onboard.

Mobile devices Tablets and electronic games can be a life-saver when the kids are getting antsy, especially if you have long waits between flights or a lengthy transfer to your hotel. A little time watching a family-friendly film or playing a game can be the ideal way for your children to pass the time, and can also help to avoid melt-downs when you are in a rush and just need to keep the little ones entertained. In addition to tablets, and your mobile ‘phones, and any other mobile devices you choose to take, don’t forget to pack the chargers.

This guide should serve as a helpful reference and can even be incorporated into your own personalised list of family vacation must-haves.

Mitch Carvalho

A full-time home-based Marketing Manager by day, 24/7 Mom, and a Blogger at any time. I’m 43 and proud. Mom of Derelle & Erchelle, sharing my adventures as I walk through motherhood and having to do most things on my own while my Indian national husband works miles away from home.