Family Holiday Packing

The importance of family holidays

I fondly remember my childhood family holidays.  Recently, my Dad asked me, “Do you remember us taking you to ________?”

I couldn’t remember, and I could tell my Dad was a little disappointed.  Then I said, “Dad, it doesn’t matter that I can’t remember every single place we visited, what matters is you and Mum created memories of an overwhelmingly happy childhood.”

Holidays are about creating memories of an overwhelmingly happy childhood.

That’s what it’s about: memories and that sense of belonging.  Now I’m the parent and am in the midst of the memory making stage of parenting. We make it a priority to take a family holiday every year (and take mini long weekend holidays whenever we can).

Holiday Bag

On our official annual family holiday, I pack a special bag of goodies for each of my children. This doesn’t have to be expensive.  Typically I include these things:

* Colouring/activity book

* Small toy

* Lollies (a rare thing in our family)

* New Book

* Green Shopping Bag

Family Treat

I like to take a family-fun treat too, like a board game. I love how the The Book Chook puts it: “I can’t resist activities that give kids opportunities for learning and socializing, wrapped up in a package of fun.”

Other ideas: skipping rope, a variety of balls (for ball games), Frisbee, kite, 

The Holiday Box

I also have a dedicated holiday box, similar to our camping box.  The idea of the box is it’s already packed and ready to take with you on holidays.  From matches to paper towel and BBQ utensils to paper plates, it’s all there.

This are some of the things I keep in the box:

  • Aluminium foil
  • Glad bags
  • Bin liners
  • Pegs
  • Washing powder
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Medication (panadol/nurofen)
  • Tea towels
  • Hand towel
  • Bath mat
  • Disinfectant
  • Matches
  • BBQ Utensils
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towel
  • Kitchen cloths
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Washer
  • Baby wipes
  • Plastic plates/cups/cutlery (for picnics)
  • Colouring pencils
  • Batteries
  • White vinegar
  • Take-away container

Notes: When you come home from holidays, I replenish the box so it’s ready for next time.

Printable Packing Lists

Below are links to the printable packing lists I use (incase they are of use to anyone). These can be great for older kids too, so they can pack and tick the items off the list themselves.

The Holiday Box Packing List

Basic Food Packing List

Summer Packing List

Winter Packing List

The Car Box List

You can find a post about the car box here: The Car Box.

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More Holiday Posts

Budget Family Holiday Tips

Packing camping gear

Packing camping food

Memory Making

Travel Dice

Entertaining Kids on Long Car Trips

Aussie Road Trip

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

Latest posts by Kelly - Be A Fun Mum (see all)


  1. says

    I love the idea of the holiday bags! The only thing I might add is a gift for the whole family like a board game, pack of cards, or puzzle. I can’t resist activities that give kids opportunities for learning and socializing, wrapped up in a package of fun

  2. says

    i pack a holiday bag of goodies for my kids to…i also pack them their own food bags so there is no fighting..
    i agree with th memories i remember most of the holidays/places my parents took us..
    i hope my kids will remember the memories im creating with them too. x

    • says

      Hi Ali… thanks for visiting. I love the idea of food bags… great idea when you have a larger family. I’m sure your children will remember the memories… sounds like you are doing a beautiful job.

  3. says

    We have a dedicated ‘holiday box’ for camping. It took a little time to figure out what was needed in the initial setup, but it’s so worth it to just ‘grab and go’.

    As an only child, my trips to rural NSW (with no other playmates) were rather dull, so I remember them for the wrong reason! Thus I’m determined to create special, FUN holiday memories with my family!

  4. lisbeth says

    I love this link KELLY , I’m first mum from Colombia I have in Brisbane 4 years ,I don’t have any family here , so all this ideas are helping me so much tanks you all for sharing ,

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