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Every time your large family takes a long trip packing can be a logistical nightmare unless you have a system for doing it efficiently. Using this system can involve even preschool age children so that you take everything you will need and dont go crazy trying to get the luggage organized. Each person will be allowed one back pack or overnight case that can fit beneath their feet or under the seat on an airplane. The family will share one or two larger suitcases that can fit inside the trunk of the car or be checked through on the airplane. Read on to learn how to pack for a long trip with a large family.
Make a chart that will function as your packing list. Label each column for the category of clothing or item that needs to be packed. Columns can include name, underpants, undershirts, socks, stockings, bras, pajamas, pants, shorts, shirts, ties, belts, skirts, jackets, sweaters, swim suits, shoes, toothbrush, hair stuff, make up, deodorant, diapers and other. The other column can include diapers and medications. Put each family members name in the first column on the far left so that each person starts a new row. Then, based on how many days you will be away and whether or not you will have access to laundry facilities, put a number in each column that tells how many of each thing you must pack for each person.
Enlist the aid of all the children in the family who are old enough to help. Make each child the runner for his own clothes. Designate older children to also help to get the babys clothes ready to pack. You sit at a large table where you can make neat piles of the things the children bring. If you are at the dining room table, each child can place their pile at the place where they usually sit to eat. Start with all of your helpers in the same room. Tell everyone to go and get however many pairs of underpants as you will have days away. Dont forget to bring extra underwear for newly potty trained children. When each child returns, check the item off the list and tell him the next item.
Give each child a plastic bag which is labeled with their name. Demonstrate how to roll the undergarments small enough so that all of them will fit in the bag. Do the same thing using another plastic bag for each childs socks. Another bag will be needed for accessories. This allows you to quickly locate what you need for one person without messing up or mistaking clothing that belongs to someone else.
Pack the stacks into the large shared suitcases leaving room for the adults clothing. If there are quite a few children in the family, one large suitcase can be used for the childrens clothes and another for the parents clothes. It is equally convenient to put the clothes for all the girls (including the mother) in one suitcase and use a second suitcase for the boys and the fathers clothes.
Tell everyone to pick out two other outfits. One will be the clothes that they will wear while traveling and the other will be placed in their back pack in case your big suitcases get lost. The rest of the space in each persons back packs will be for books, toys, personal music devices, hand-held video games, cell phones and stuffed animals.
Use the checklist to pack your own and your partners clothes. Use plastic bags for toiletries and medicines. If you have a baby, make sure you have a diaper bag packed that includes any special foods, blankets, pacifiers and other essentials.
Direct everyone to wear or carry their coats and wear their boots if it is winter. This saves room in the suitcases.
Take the packing list with you on your vacation and use it to make sure that you bring everything back home.