Traveling with kids and packing.... What to take & what not to take

This is what I feel like our bags look like every time I have to pack us up to stay anywhere!!!! Kids come with SO MUCH STUFF!!!! It doesn't matter if I am packing them to stay the night at their NaNa & PaPa's house or we are going on a trip somewhere, they want to bring 8,000 things from home! And how do you decide what to bring? I can barely decide what to wear when I am standing staring in my closet every morning... let alone pick for a week or more of vacation!

We have gone on a family vacation every year for the last 3 years in a row... and I feel like I am getting better at packing. It helps that my kids are getting older, and don't NEED so many things. This is my packing list I try and follow to have the things we need, the comforts of home, and the things that keep them occupied during travel!

I have a giant carry on bag that I fill with the following things
For Travel:
~new coloring books with a Ziploc baggie for each filled with the SAME colored crayons to avoid fighting! First time one had a seafoam green, the other neon green... oh the battle! LOL!
~books! Princess MK is really into chapter books now like Junie B. Jones, so that will be great for the plane ride!
~i always pack Master B a few hot wheels cars too. He had so much fun last time driving them all over his tray table and our legs while we were on the plane.
~if they have tablets... iPads, Kindles, etc... AND DON'T FORGET THE CHARGERS!

Home necessities:
~Shampoo & Conditioner (i always buy some cheap $.98 big bottle of shampoo and conditioner and toss it when vacation is over. It is always better than the shampoo at our resort!)
~Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
~Hair brushes
~hairspray/gel/moose/ whatever products you use
~body spray/perfume/cologne
~toe nail clippers & tweezers
~TYLENOL (both adult & childrens!!)
~hair ties/ ponytail holders
~Neosporin (you never know!!)
~baby powder or anti-chaffing stick (this came in handy when doing a vacation that you do a lot of walking!!!)
~baby wipes
~female products
~safety pins
~hair straightner/ curling iron
~Glasses/ contacts/ stuff needed if you use contacts
~Phone Chargers

I always pack for an extra day or two, as you NEVER know what will happen. Kids get dirty... they will need extra things! I usually pack for an extra season too. If we are traveling somewhere warm i take something for if it gets cold... If we are going somewhere cold, i take something just in case it gets warm!
~Socks and undies (again- extra's won't hurt!)
~shoes (when doing a vacation where there is a lot of walking... make sure they are comfy... and bring more than one pair!)
~swim stuff

~i bring snacks... every where i go, SNACKS!
I always take things that wont get smashed in the suitcases... fruit snacks, granola bars, candy... breakfast stuff, rice krispy treats, etc. (my kids open their eyes and want to eat, so i always take something small they can munch on before we start our day)
~my littles finally just gave up their Blankies... but those had to go.
~They used to want to bring stuffed animals, but i quit that. though this year Princess MK can't go anywhere without one of her American Girl dolls, and has already has an outfit to go to Disney! YIKES!
~Ziploc Baggies
~Gift Cards or Money (when we go to Disney... I get the kids each giftcards. This is their spending money. They get X amount of dollars, and can spend it on whatever they want. When it is gone, it is gone!)

One of my tricks is after i use my list and pack... i leave my suitcase open on the floor, and as i get ready... i put whatever i use in the suitcase! that way i know i am not forgetting anything!!

What are your tips and tricks? What did I forget on my list that you take?


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