Ready for your summer family vacation? The budget is set, the itinerary scheduled, all that’s left to do is pack your bags. While it may seem like you can throw a few days’ worth of clothes in the suitcase and call it good, when you’re traveling with your family, you know you’re always one meltdown away from a forgotten item.
To avoid such mishap, make sure you have your family vacation packing list ready to go a few days in advance, so you don’t forget a thing in your rush to officially begin your vacation. While the below items may not represent the complete list, here are essentials to pack on your family vacation to Las Vegas, where the temps are skyrocketing and the pools are calling your name.
- Bathing Suit
Nothing’s worse than getting ready to cannonball into the pool or float lazily in the shallow end and realizing you’ve forgotten your bathing suit. Yes, Vegas has stores, but who wants to spend time shopping for a swimming suit when on vacation and settling on one that doesn’t quite fit right and is probably far more expensive than the one you have forgotten at home? Pack your suit; better yet, pack two.
- Hand Sanitizer
Keep a travel-size bottle in your carry-on bag for the flight. Sickness is easily passed via plane passengers since everyone is cooped up in one space. This makes hand sanitizer necessary for those tight spaces. If you’re road tripping to Las Vegas, it also comes in handy when you take a rest stop break and don’t trust the cleanliness of door handles or other surfaces that don’t seem up to your sanitary standards. Stash some in every bag you carry to ensure you have it when on the go.
Some travelers like to set aside a certain amount of cash per day as part of their vacation budget. For Vegas, it’s particularly smart to set aside any cash you plan to spend on gambling, tipping, and valet. That way you always have dollars readily available for those who don’t take debit or credit cards; plus, you don’t go overboard on your game playing budget when the cash runs dry. Money tip: Also, make sure to alert your bank of your travels, so they don’t put a hold on your card for what look like fraudulent charges to them. If this happens to you and you’re out of cash, it may be one uncomfortable vacation.
When packing, it’s common to shift wallets to other bags, meaning that certain things like IDs can be left behind without realizing it. It doesn’t hurt to double check your packed bags before you walk out the door to make sure you have the proper identification. Otherwise, your vacation may end before it can even begin.
IPads, headphones, books, toys – whatever your family needs to help make the time pass as you travel to Vegas will make it a lot easier on everyone. Being in a cramped space during travels can make everyone a little grouchy and bored. While you don’t want to go overboard with how much entertainment you pack, the essentials like movies downloaded on your mobile device, a good book, or a favorite toy will help make the travel part of your vacation go more smoothly.
- Sun Protection
You’re headed to Vegas in summer, which means you’ll be directly in the sun every day for several hours a day. Make sure you have what you need to keep your family properly covered when out and about. Travel-size sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and possibly light scarves should all make the packing list. While you can buy these items once you get to your destination, it’ll be cheaper to use what you already have, since these high-demand items most likely will be marked up for tourists who forgot theirs at home. Plus, they barely take up any space, so it won’t compromise the rest of your packing list.
- Sense of Adventure
Yes, this last one may seem corny, but it’s true. The great thing about Las Vegas is there is no shortage of family fun activities. Whether that’s attending an authentic, Tahitian-style luau, hitting up the nearest water park, or marveling at the natural wonders Vegas has to offer, your family should be ready to dive right in.
Of course, there are other essentials that should be on every family vacation packing list, but this will get you started when going over everything that needs to make it in the suitcase. Planning will help you feel like you have what you need to make your family’s Vegas vacation one they’re not soon to forget.