When you have 5 kids packing to go anywhere is quite an undertaking. It takes a lot to take 5 kids on any sort of trip especially if it’s going on a vacation where you’ll be gone for multiple days. It can become completely overwhelming and you may end up taking way more than you actually need.
How in the world do you pack for that many people without over packing, forgetting something, or having to take a separate vehicle just for the luggage?
Well, it can be done. And here’s how!
Put Some Thought Into Packing
It’s definitely important to think about where you are going on vacation and how long you will be gone when you’re packing for this many people. For a water park vacation (Oh yay.), you aren’t going to need a whole lot because if the water is open then you can pretty much bet all the kids are going to be in it.
A couple swimsuits is probably a good idea because you aren’t going to want to attempt to slide into that partially still wet, ice-cold suit on the second day. You’ll also want a cover-up shirt, beach towel, and flip-flops. And maybe water shoes for the little ones so they won’t stub their toes while they are running around.
*Tip-hang wet clothes on a sunny balcony or in a warm bathroom over the shower curtain rod to dry…you may not even need that second suit
As far as clothes, pack one outfit a day plus an extra for the little ones in case of an accident. You won’t need more than that because you probably won’t be having any fancy dinners and you most likely won’t even be leaving the resort the entire time.
Of course you’ll need the daily hygiene essentials, but you can purchase small travel sizes or small containers for very cheap that will save you space in your luggage.
Save Some Space
Another way to save space when packing, roll your socks and stuff them inside any shoes you are taking, if you aren’t packing shoes then roll them inside your pants/shorts. Roll all your clothes. This not only saves space and allows for you to pack more (if needed) but it also keeps your clothes from wrinkling horribly.
Pack one bag specifically to be left in the vehicle. This should be your bag of things to keep the kids busy and snacks for on the road. You can also use this bag to keep the spare outfits in that way your bags going into the room with you aren’t stuffed so full.
Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
Snacks are an absolute must to pack. There are sure to be some hangry people both on the ride there and back. Snacks (and drinks) are a must unless you want to hear “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty”, or “I am literally dying of starvation” (which will surely come from one of my teenagers) about a million and a half times. Not to mention spend a small fortune stopping for every meal. Take a buttload of cheap snacks and drinks and throw one at their head every time they make a noise. If they’re not hungry (or thirsty) at least the shock of being hit with something will keep them quiet for a minute.
Take some bribery tricks with you. If, or better yet WHEN, the kids start fighting bribe them like crazy. You don’t want to be the family with the loud, crazy, obnoxious kids, so at least while you’re on vacation just bribe the kids to be good. Then when you get home you can rip into them for being such jerks in front of all those strangers that you’ll never see again in your life. (Or maybe just let them get away with being jerks this one time because who cares, you were on vacation anyway.)
Make Some Noise
That trip in the car with 5 kids, the husband, and enough luggage to fill all the rest of the nooks and crannies is going to be long and loud. Pack some headphones or ear buds and make sure you have plenty of good, loud music to drown it all out. It’s a vacation anyway right? Why not take a break and make the hubby deal with the kids for once? While you’re at it pack a portable DVD player and plenty of movies to keep the little ones occupied because the older kids are just going to be on their tablets or cell phones the entire time anyway.
Don’t forget to take essential and emergency items. Things like insurance cards may already be in your wallet. Double check. You never know when a kid is going to get sick or hurt (especially if your kids are anything like mine who are super clumsy).
Money Money Money Money, Money
Money. Of course you’re going to need money. And with 5 kids you’ll probably need about a million and a half dollars. Ha! But in all honesty, things on vacation usually aren’t cheap. Food, activities, souvenirs. It all adds up really fast. Make sure you have enough cash with you and maybe a back-up credit card stored in your vehicle for emergencies.
Surviving Packing for Vacation
When you have 5 kids and you’re going on vacation it can get overwhelming. Not only thinking about how much money you’ll end up spending or how you’ll keep track of the kids or how you’ll keep them entertained (and not fighting or complaining) the entire time, but also how you’ll pack everything without just boxing the whole house up to take with you. But it doesn’t have to be if you just follow these simple tips.
Missed Part 1? Find it here, Vacationing with 5 Kids: Part 1-How to Keep Your Sanity.