Make lists together.
Teach your children that before you go throwing things into a suitcase you need to figure out what you need. Making a list is the best way to get organized before you pack for a family vacation. How many days you'll be gone and what the weather will be like will dictate what clothes you'll need to bring. What comfort items (special blankets and toys) are must-haves for your children? Who's in charge of getting the toiletries? Making lists of these items and who'll pack what will help when you disperse to start packing.
Separate clothing and entertainment items.
Clothes belong in large suitcases (one for adults, one for kids), while entertainment items (books, handheld devices, arts and crafts, etc) belong in individual bags. While dad and I are responsible for toting the heavy luggage, children take responsibility for packing, unpacking, and carrying their entertainment items. This gives children some responsibility for their items, and minimizes the chance of "forgetting" underpants in lieu of another video game.
Will you use it?
When my children start to pack for a trip, I usually make sure I'm nearby to field any questions and to speak up if I see something that doesn't look necessary. Do we really need to bring every doll we own? Probably not. We could probably get by with two coloring books instead of six. If we're going to the beach and bringing sundresses and flip-flops, there's probably not going to be an opportunity to wear that winter coat. I make my children answer the question, "Will you really use it?" before they can pack something in their bags.
Check it twice.
Even though I've involved my children in the packing process, I'm still the one who makes sure that everything has made it into a bag before a family trip. There's nothing worse than arriving at a destination without any shirts or shoes. So consider yourself Santa Claus and once the kids have gone to bed, check their bags to make sure they're packed just right.
- Hobbies & Personal Activities