Home ADHD Survival Guide FamilyADHD’s Travel Packing List for Kids & Tweens! – Printable & Customizable

FamilyADHD’s Travel Packing List for Kids & Tweens! – Printable & Customizable

written by familyadhd
Printable, customizable packing list for kids and tweens

Independence starts young!

Teaching Kids & Tweens How to Pack for Themselves

I was recently a guest on HappyPlayces’ podcast and during our chat about travel and life as an ADHD family we discussed the fact that we try to look for organic, teaching moments when we travel and when we prep for travel. As a family of ADHDers, executive functions is a problem for 75% of our family. That means prepping, planning, making lists, etc. are not knee-jerk responses. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite!

Cue impulsivity and disorganization!

But these are things that are crucial for ADHDers (and kids in general) to begin to learn at an early age.

Several years ago, when we first began to travel as a family, I created a kids packing list template for our family because I wanted our boys to learn not just how to pack for themselves (though we do think it’s a very important skill), but to create and follow a list independently–especially a complicated list that requires checking and double-checking.

The irony in all of this is that I’m the opposite of the guys in this family (I’m the only non-ADHDer for anyone new to our blog). I love lists, I love planning and I love prepping! What comes naturally to me, what I use to approach the majority of my problems, is something that these guys really struggle with, but something that can help them immensely in getting and staying organized. Patrick never learned what I call the power of the list when he was younger and it’s something he admittedly struggles with a great deal as an adult, but something that makes his life 100x easier when he chooses to go that route! We don’t want the boys to struggle with using such a helpful tool when they’re older, so we started them young.

Learning how to create a reasonable packing list (with weather-appropriate picks) and stick to it isn’t just for ADHDers, this is a great skill for any child (or adult) to master! How many times have you looked at your suitcase a day or two before a trip and thought–what the heck do I pack?! Panic sets in and the next thing you know you’re bringing clothes for every season with shoes to match.

I’ve updated our family’s personal packing list for kids and uploaded it to our site so that you guys can print and use it if you like! With our list style, you go over it with them, then they independently pack. We always double-check after they’re done to make sure they’ve stuck to their list, but once they get into the grove (or get a little older) that shouldn’t be necessary!

I’ve also revamped our packing list template to create a tween version now that our oldest is at that lovely stage. Any other parents out there beginning to deal with the tween ‘tude? I’m so glad that with another year of life my son has suddenly acquired 40+ years of knowledge … because he knows everything. 😉  Anyway, this list requires more involvement from them and far less involvement from you.

I’ll go over the steps meant to be followed with the specific layout of our lists below. It may seem complicated, but it’s pretty quick once your kiddos/tweens get the hang of it and it should result in packing enough of the right items!

 

FamilyADHD’s Printable Packing List for Kids Plus Instructions

This is what the first page of our kids packing list looks like.

Click here to download or click any of the images below.

Note: Only print page 1 of the PDF for kids if you don’t want a page to fill in items not already listed

FamilyADHD's Packing List for Kids

As you can see, there are multiple areas for you and/or your child to fill out. Here’s a visual on how our packing list works…

Instructions for the top section:

  1. Name
  2. Where you’re going
  3. Circle weather most accurate to what you expect on the trip

Instructions for the columns:

  1. Fill in how many you need of each item
  2. On this sheet “what” has already been filled in. If you’d like to fill in your own items, scroll to the next section that goes over the second page of this PDF, which allows you to fully customize what your child packs.
  3. Put a tally mark in the 3rd column as each individual item is added to the suitcase. This may seem like overkill, but if your child puts a tally mark for each item as it’s placed in the suitcase then the tally marks will be accurate to what’s inside the suitcase and you’re less likely to reach your destination only to find out he/she has 2 pairs of socks for a week! For example, 1 pair of socks is placed in the suitcase = 1 tally mark. Remind your child not to throwing 6 pairs in at once and then write 6 tally marks after.
  4. Once the tally marks equal the “how many” column, place a check mark in the correct column to show he/she double-checked that they have the right number of each and they’re officially done packing that item.

Page 2 of FamilyADHD’s Packing List for Kids: Customizable Packing List

If you don’t want a packing list pre-filled with clothing items or you need to add extra items aside from what’s already on our list, then choose to only print page 2 or to print both pages of the PDF. Page 2 does not have clothing items pre-filled in and looks like this…

FamilyADHD's Packing List for Kids with Blank Columns

A more customizable version of our packing list for kids!

Instructions for filling this out are nearly identical to those for the first page, with the exception of the fact you can choose your own “whats”!

Pretty simple, right? Now you and your child can fill in your own items!

FamilyADHD’s Printable Packing List for Tweens Plus Instructions

If your child is a tween then they may be ready to take the reins a bit more! Our Tween version of our packing list has slightly narrower rows, allows the tween the fill in what he/she needs to pack and incorporates things like researching the average temperatures for the trip to determine what is and isn’t weather-appropriate.

Click here to download or click any of the images below.

Our tween version is a more mature version of our kids packing list.

The instructions for using this packing list are nearly identical to our kids packing list with the exception of slightly more mature language at the top, a prompt to research the average temperature for the destination and a blank “what?” column.

FamilyADHD's Packing List for Tweens

Instructions for the top section:

  1. Name
  2. Where you’re going
  3. The average temperature of your destination during your visit (prompts research!)

Instructions for the columns:

  1. Fill in how many you need of each item
  2. Fill in items that need to be packed from clothing to toiletries
  3. Put a tally mark in the 3rd column as each individual item is added to the suitcase. This may seem like overkill, but if your child puts a tally mark for each item as it’s placed in the suitcase then the tally marks will be accurate to what’s inside the suitcase and you’re less likely to reach your destination only to find out he/she has 2 pairs of socks for a week! For example, 1 pair of socks is placed in the suitcase = 1 tally mark. Remind your child not to throwing 6 pairs in at once and then write 6 tally marks after.
  4. Once the tally marks equal the “how many” column, place a check mark in the correct column to show he/she double-checked that they have the right number of each and they’re officially done packing that item.

Final Packing Tips for Kids & Tweens

Practice makes perfect! Some kids will catch on really quickly and others may need a little extra help, but with some time your kiddos should get the swing of it (hopefully) and be able to pack for themselves–freeing you up to worry about your own packing. 😉

Don’t get discouraged if it takes your kiddos a few tries to get the hang of using a printed packing list if they haven’t before. Our kids have been using them for years and sometimes we still catch someone tallying without actually counting to skip over the extra “work” or adding random items in instead of what’s on the list!

Do what works for you! If you find that using our packing list a different way works more effectively for your family that’s awesome! We’re simply trying to give you a foundation to find a packing routine that works well for your family. Every kid is different and we’re no strangers to modifying things to better suit our guys, we expect no less of our readers!

Don’t stress. I know it can seem overwhelming when you have multiple people packing and traveling as a family, but what’s the worst case scenario if something getting left behind? You have to do a little extra laundry on the go? You buy an extra souvenir t-shirt? Your kiddo borrows something from another sibling? Trust me, we’ve done all of the above! It happens and sometimes you can’t avoid it, so breathe deep and don’t stress more than you have to.

Good luck with your family packing and don’t hesitate to comment below or through Instagram with any questions!

You may also like...

33 comments

Carol Speake January 26, 2017 at 9:15 am

What a great idea to get kids to join in. These printables make the task of packing seem more fun.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Thank you! Hopefully it makes the entire task a bit easier on everyone 🙂

Reply
Jeanette January 26, 2017 at 11:06 am

This is such a cute idea! My son always wants to pack his own suitcase but he usually puts in 2 pairs of underwear, one sock and then 1 shirt and that’s all he has. The checklist like this might actually get them going further.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Hahaha I love when our boys try to tell us they have NOTHING to pack. Funny, because I just bought you ten packages of socks because you lost the last zillion 😉

Reply
candy January 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm

What a wonderful lists for helping children pack. They are excited anyway and this would be a great help.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Thank you!

Reply
Chrishelle January 26, 2017 at 12:53 pm

What a great printable to help kids pack everything they will need for a trip. I remember how difficult it was for my independent children to take help in packing, but it never failed someone ended up forgetting their underwear.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Hahahaha I hear you! Our oldest once managed to pack, then completely forget, an entire carry-on full of all of his clothes :/ Kids!

Reply
Tammy January 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Such a great idea for a family. i use to love to fly, but its such a hassle anymore at the airport. I must get over that. Thanks for sharing

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Thank you! Some airports are definitely much more pleasant than others. I try to remind myself that in the end it’s all for security reasons … it can be a lot though!

Reply
lisa January 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

These are great lists! I will definitely be printing these up! I usually let my kids pack their own things and I double check before it all goes into the suitcase!

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Yay! That’s awesome!

Reply
Jenn January 26, 2017 at 1:11 pm

This is such a great idea. We took our girls to Florida when they were young, and just staying organized was a challenge.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Organization with kids can be … tricky in even the best of circumstances 😉

Reply
Pam Wattenbarger January 26, 2017 at 1:43 pm

This is great. Packing can be hard for kids and this helps them remember what to pack. I love it!

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Thank you! So glad you like it 🙂

Reply
Emily January 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm

This is such a great idea! I was just thinking that I would like to include my kids in helping me pack when we go on vacation. This list would help them (and me) out a lot. Thanks!

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:32 pm

You’re so welcome! I hope it helps 🙂

Reply
Terri Beavers January 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm

What a great idea. I’d of loved to have had a helpful printable when my kids were small. I’ve now got grandkids though, lol.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Thank you! 😉

Reply
Katie Kinsley January 26, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Good list for helping family. I am trying to pack a small carry-on right now and it’s hard for me even to decide what can fit!

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm

I struggle sometimes, too! I can think of too many “what ifs” and have to stop myself from going nuts 😉

Reply
Claudia Krusch January 26, 2017 at 10:13 pm

This packing list is going to be a great help when we go away next. I started teaching the kids how to pack when we went away over the Holidays.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm

That’s fabulous! Teach them young <3

Reply
Amanda Simkin January 26, 2017 at 11:50 pm

What a great and comprehensive list to ensure that at least one part of the trip goes well–packing! I always pack too little or too much but your list looks just right.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Aw thank you! Yes, traveling (especially with kiddos) can be unpredictable! At least you’ll all be clothed? lol

Reply
Annemarie LeBlanc January 26, 2017 at 11:53 pm

This is a great way to get the kids involved in planning a trip. It will make them feel that they have an important role in decision making and that alone takes away some of the stress. A packing list would also ensure that we’ve packed everything we need.

Reply
Anosa January 27, 2017 at 2:30 am

This is such a lovely and helpful post and loving the lists. I always have a list of things I want to pack and take with me on holiday and what I don’t

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm

That’s fabulous! Thank you 😉

Reply
Rebecca Swenor January 27, 2017 at 9:17 am

This is awesome information about packing and lists for parents of children with ADHD. I am a parent of two boys with ADHD and have it myself. Writing things down and having lists are things that I have had to do forever. Lists like this really do help the children. Thanks for sharing the information.

Reply
familyadhd January 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm

You know exactly how it goes then! I’m the only non-ADHDer in the house and my husband still struggles with actually creating lists for himself, but he’s working on it and the kids are learning young so my fingers are crossed it’ll be easier for them as adults 😉

Reply
Bonnie @wemake7 January 27, 2017 at 7:40 pm

These are really cute packing list for kiddos. I have 3 children with ADHD so this is really helpful.

Reply
ricci January 29, 2017 at 3:20 pm

I love a good list and I think packing lists are especially important because you definitely don’t want to leave home without something important! I don’t remember what age my parents started trusting us kids to pack ourselves but I will be sure and let my future kiddos try early on.

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons