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Family Luggage Maximizing Tips and Travel Essentials to Pack That You’ll Actually Use

Gabby looks at the Cinderella castle at Disney World. This article covers family luggage maximizing tips.

What Travel Essentials to Pack?

When you travel often, you start to become an expert at packing. At least you become much more adept at maximizing space. As with almost everything, it’s a trial-and-error process.

While you don’t have to turn into a minimalist, having a great packing list can ensure that you will have everything that you will need for your vacation.

As a mom, I have to pack for myself and for two kids too. Before learning how to make things easier, it often left me scrambling last minute to finish or having to pack ahead extra early to ensure that I was good to go.

Neither option is desirable. While being packed ahead of time is a good thing, it isn’t optimal to be packed too early and be out of some of your essentials or favourite clothes for the sake of being ready.

If you find that you go from one extreme to the other by either packing way too much or not enough keep on reading. No one wants to be stuck with heavier luggage and carting around a lot more weight than you actually needed.

Worse, looking for an affordable store to pick up the essentials you didn’t pack for the sake of not overpacking.

I think we have all been that mom who forgot to pack enough sunscreen and had to pay an inflated price at the resort, right?

Over the years, I have learned a few tried and true tips that always help to pack wisely. Best of all, I’ve discovered which essentials to bring and what to leave behind.

Mimi, Gabby, and Darasak on the Disney Dream.

Plan Accordingly

We just got back from a 2½ week’s trip in the Bahamas and Florida. This was a trip where we definitely needed a lot of sunscreen and enough day-to-day essentials for the four of us.

This trip had us moving from resort to resort and even on a cruise ship. The bottom line, we had to be wise about what came with us and what stayed home.

One of my biggest tips is to pack one large and oversized luggage that you will check and pick up at your final destination. Of course, this is optional but, for extended trips, it is a must for us.

This ensures that you can pack plenty of things that you will need and not be limited to any restrictions that carry-on’s have.

When it comes to finding the perfect large lightweight suitcase, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, consider the size and weight of the suitcase.

You’ll want to ensure it’s large enough to pack everything you need but not so heavy that it’s difficult to carry. Second, think about the materials the suitcase is made from.

You’ll want something durable and easy to clean. Finally, take into account the features of the suitcase. Does it have multiple compartments for organizing your belongings? Is it easy to roll around?

With so many large lightweight suitcases on the market, it can be tough to choose the right one. But by keeping these factors in mind, you’ll surely find the perfect suitcase for your needs.

It also depends on what type of event you are going to or the activities you’ll be doing. I tend to bring a lot of shoes and this is what I use my checked bag space for. Don’t go too crazy because of weight limitations.

One of my favourite beauty tools and space savers is the Schick Intuition razor – it’s an all-in-one tool that has the shave gel right on the razor so I don’t have to pack an extra item.

TIP: Stick to two pairs of casuals (sandals and walking shoes) and a formal pair. Stuff socks into shoes to save space.

It also depends on what type of event you are going to or the activities you’ll be doing. I tend to bring a lot of shoes and this is what I use my checked bag space for.

Don’t go too crazy because of weight limitations, though. Check out the following travel essentials to pack below.

Things to Pack in Checked Bag:

  • Sunscreen (3-pack)
  • Full-size Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Bar of favourite soap
  • Aveeno Lotion
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair straightener or curler (if needed)
  • Shoes (If you need more for different types of occasions)
  • Heavier clothes (Blazers, dresses, suits, etc.)
  • Beach toys
  • Schick Intuition razor
  • Hairspray
  • Bug spray
  • Mini umbrellas or ponchos
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Diapers and wipes (if applicable)
  • Water diapers (if applicable)
Gabby laying in a hammock in the Bahamas.

Pack Light, Pack Smart

Once you’ve packed your checked luggage, it’s time to get the carry-on ready with travel essentials to pack. My general rule is to pack it with the things you’ll need for your stay.

If you are going on a business trip, having a change of clothes, shoes, and essentials you’ll need is important.

TIP: Roll your shirts, pants, dresses, and skirts to maximize carry-on space. Bring two fewer shirts and dresses than the total number of days on the trip. Wear the same outfit on the flight back as you did on the flight out if you weren’t in it long.

Some airlines allow a personal item like a large purse or tote in addition to your carry-on. For tropical vacations, it’s always good to be ready for the beach or pool because oftentimes, your room isn’t ready.

For personal carry-on items, I always make sure to pack a backpack for the kids with an outfit, water shoes, bathing suit (or wear it under clothes), sunglasses, journal or homework, pen, chargers, and headphones.

I add two Quattro YOU razors for Gabs and me so that we always have one at the ready. Smooth skin goes hand in hand with vacations, right?

The great thing about the new Quattro YOU razor is that as a disposable razor. You can pack it as part of your carry on and it won’t get confiscated!

I place the clear bag with liquids in here too. The goal is to have everything you will need and the beauty essentials too.

Gabby at Universal Studios resort.

What to Leave Behind?

Having a tote with your personal items allows you to check your bags at the hotel if your room isn’t quite ready yet. We often arrive early so we check our carry-ons and large luggage at the hotel concierge.

We take our totes with us and hit the pool or the beach until our room is ready. This allows us to maximize our time and the girls always want to hit the pool or beach when we arrive anyways.

TIP: Weigh your bag before getting to the airport–adjust accordingly.

I left behind all the extra facial moisturizers, masks, hair treatments, nail polish, dry shampoo, pore strips, perfume, excessive jewelry and yes, quite a few pairs of shoes.

It helps with the weight of the luggage. Don’t pack a hairdryer since virtually almost every resort or hotel has one. Leave valuables at home and resist packing books! Load e-books into a phone app and you’re rockin’!

I kept my make-up minimal and only brought along the staples to look fresh and left behind the primer, setting powder, eyeshadows etc. Of course, you can play around with what you bring depending on what you’ll be doing.

For me on a family vacation–looking fresh and not spending too much time on make-up helps me to go, go, and go! But, for a more formal trip, I do pack more. Just make decisions on what works for you best! Here are some travel essentials to pack!

Things to Pack in Carry-On:

  • Medications
  • Schick Quattro YOU razor (disposables are allowed to fly as part of your carry on!)
  • Cleanser
  • SPF Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen (Travel size)
  • Make-up remover or wipes
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Lip balm/gloss/stick
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow gel or pencil
  • Eyeliner
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Bobby pins & hair essentials
  • Comb
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • Deodorant
Schick Intuition razors and replacements. Travel essentials to pack.

Smooth It Out

Let’s face it, even though you are on vacation, that doesn’t mean that your hair stops growing. As a spokesperson and #SchickAmbassador, I try to maintain my routine wherever I go.

My favourite razors to use and that do the trick perfectly are Schick razors. While I am a Schick Intuition girl most of the time, depending on my lifestyle at the moment or if I am on the go, it tends to change.

I find that the less I have to do the better. So the Schick Intuition works just right for me because of the skin conditioning strips that have a touch of aloe.

That means I don’t have to bring shaving gel with me.

If you prefer using shaving cream, another great option is the Schick Hydro Silk. Its Hydra-Boost serum is clinically proven to provide lasting hydration.

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That means that even two hours later, your skin will still feel incredibly soft and moisturized. Their new and sturdy purple handle and the 5 curve-sensing blades give you a close shave too.

So, you got options! Plus, they have Schick Hydro Silk “Hang-in” shower refills, when you’re done with one–just grab another.

Now that you have a list of the basics that you will need, you’re good to go. Not only will you be prepared, but you’ll also look fabulous and you wouldn’t have packed things you aren’t going to use.

One of the most important things to remember is to learn to be flexible. Adjust your packing list in accordance with the 4 W’s: Where you’re going, when you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and who you’re going with

Do you have any other travel essentials to pack?

Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!

The name Nancy is shown with a dandelion fluff on the end of the y.

Note: As a spokesperson and #SchickAmbassador, I have been compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

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  1. These are all great tips! I do travel quite a bit and for us the lighter we can make the luggage the better. Especially nowadays when airlines charge so much for bags. There’s a lot of tips here that I have not tried and I will definitely be doing that on my next vacation.

  2. I always over pack! We are going out of town for a few days for spring break, so these tips could not have come at a better time! I have learned over the years, especially traveling with my husband and 3 kids to roll shirts and shorts. That is a huge space saver! Thanks for all the great info!

  3. You never realize how much stuff you need until you get there and start noticing what you forgot! This is a great list and very helpful for traveling with families!

  4. How fun! I was just telling my husband that I’m so ready for a vacation! And totally agree, you can never have too much sunscreen!

  5. A great list and perfect timing as we are heading out for Spring Break soon. Looks like you had great weather and perfect packing means less stress.

  6. I need to try these tips for my next trip. I always pack way to much stuff. I will bookmark this post.

  7. I always over pack. I guess it’s just my nature. I would rather have too much than not enough. But, that winds up biting me when I have to pay for an extra bag on the plane. I need to learn to learn to adhere to your tips.

  8. Great packing tips! I always try and pack as light as possible. It isn’t always easy with 4 kids. Probably why we do so much camping.

  9. These are some great tips. I have a hard time narrowing stuff down! I pack my kids outfits by day in gallon ziplocks. That way I know I have enough underwear etc.

  10. Some great tips. Sometimes figuring out what to take and what to leave is the hardest part of the trip. Love Schick!

  11. I never thought of placing my deodorant or my toothbrush and toothpaste in my carry on. Next time we travel I will be using your list to refer to.

  12. These are all great tips for packing and i just shared with my daughter who will be packing to come home with her first born,i’m so excited just 2 more weeks!

  13. I tend to over pack and I bring my pillow and I need room to bring back souvenir. Thank you these tip will help me lots!

  14. I make sure now to put one change of clothes for each person in each bag. So the biggest will be all my husband’s stuff with one change of clothes for me and the 6 year old. He gets a little space in mine etc. That way if a bag gets lost we at least have clean underwear!

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