How to pack for a family backpacking trip
Whenever we go on a family vacation whether it’s a long or short trip, I am the one who packs for my kids clothes. Packing for a long trip can be overwhelming at first but when you do it every so often, it becomes easy and less stressful.
Here are some tips on how to pack for a long family backpacking trip:
- Plan ahead
Make a packing list. It is easier if you have a packing list for each member of the family. Check the itinerary to know the activities in each destination. Check the weather too to make sure that you will bring the right kind of clothing.
When packing, cross out the items that you have packed and highlight the items that you will pack last minute like snacks, toys, and extra clothes.
- Lay every stuff in your bed
Take out all the things in your list and lay them all in your bed. This can help you identify which items are missing, which items you need to buy, and which items you can travel without.
- Let each family member have their own packing cube, instead of sharing.
Using a packing cube for each family member can help you find things easily. You can put a name on the cube or use a different color per family member to easily identify which cube belongs to. Aside from making your backpack or luggage organized, it is easier to unpack the backpack when you arrive at the hotel.
- Limit the number of backpacks to bring
In a backpacking trip, you will go from one place to another usually thru public transportations. Try to bring only one backpack per person. It is nice to encourage the kids to bring their own backpack but make sure that they are willing to carry it during the whole trip. If they tend to ask you to bring it for them, then do not let them bring any bag.
Make sure to limit the bags that you will bring for easy transfer. Try to fit in all your stuff in a backpack so as to avoid forgetting any of your hand carry stuff.
- Always bring a light Jacket
Even though it is summer and no chance of rain, always bring a light jacket. It can be useful in a cold bus ride or cold plane ride. You also won’t know if the weather suddenly changes. It is better to be prepared.
- Pack for one week worth of clothes only
Even if your trip is 20 days or 30 days, bring clothes that is good for one week only. Since you’re going on a backpacking trip, you have to pack light and limit the clothes to bring. Always remember that you can send the clothes for laundry anywhere you go. If there is no laundry shop in your destination, get ready to wash your clothes by hand.
- Bring light and easy to dry clothes
There are a lot of different clothes good for travel like dri-fit shirts, light pants, foldable jackets, easy to dry underwears, etc. If you always travel, it is good to invest on those kinds of clothes. Aside from being lightweight and easy to dry, you don’t have to worry of wrinkle in your clothes.
- Bring your kid’s favourite toy
Ask your kid to bring one or two of his favourite toys. Make sure that the toy is small and easy to pack and can make him or her busy during idle time like bus ride, plane ride, or long car rides.
- Bring first aid essentials, repair supplies and medicines
Before going on a long backpacking trip, ask your doctor to prescribe medicine for you and your kids in case any of you get allergies, cough, cold, diarrhea, flu, etc. Bring a few of those medicines just in case any of the family catches any sickness and you are in a place where a pharmacy is not accessible.
Also, always bring first aid essentials because you will never know when you will need them. It is better to be prepared.
The repair supplies like tapes, sewing kit, or safety pins are good to bring in case you would need them.
- Always bring snacks and drinks for the kids
Kids tend to be always hungry during trips because they are always moving and active. Make sure to bring their favourite snacks just enough for a few days. Remember that you can always buy from stores in your destination in case it runs out.
- Bring a small backpack to contain all items you will always need
The small backpack should be easy access in case you need to change your kid’s diaper or when your kid asks for snacks or water, or when your kid is bored and wants to play with his toy.
The small backpack should contain the following: snacks, water, extra clothes, wet ones, tissue, small towel, jackets, toy, camera, and other valuables.
- Don’t forget sun hats, sun glasses, sun screens
Most of the skin disease comes from the heat of the sun so always bring those sun protection for the family.
- Take a linen blanket
A large, thin, linen blanket works as towel for wet kids, picnic blanket, can be a sarong for church visits, or can be used to pack breakable items on the way home.
- Bring no more than 3 pairs of shoes
Pack one pair for sightseeing, one or two pairs for special activities you have planned. Choose the shoes that you are most comfortable with.
- Use small bottles or containers when packing toiletry kit
Do not bring those big shampoo bottles, big soap, and other big toiletry stuff.
- Use compression cubes and other packing organizers
I love using compression cubes especially for bulky items. Not only can it help in organizing your stuff but it also maximizes the space in your backpack.
Other packing organizers like toiletry kit, gadget organizer, shoe bag, cable pouches, laundry bag, and first aid kits are also nice to use in making all your stuff organized and easy to access.