Give everyone his or her own bag
Individual suitcases (preferably in different colors — red for one, blue for another) help you locate items in a hurry. This will make life easy at the airport, as even little kids are not only capable of toting around a mini-Pullman — they often enjoy it.
Make packing lists
List each item as it’s packed, and stow the complete itemization in the suitcase. The arrangement will help you repack at the end of the trip and give you the peace of mind of knowing everything that came is going back home.
Consider creative carry-ons
Soft coolers make great carry-on luggage. Roomy and crushable, they’re perfect for nonbreakable items (such as those extra outfits) and help you cut your food bill by becoming picnic baskets for takeout meals.
Plastic bags protect delicate items from spills inside your suitcase. They’ll also be invaluable at trip’s end for dirty laundry and any wet clothes coming home.
Pack a family carry-on
One bag of essentials saves heartache if a bag is temporarily lost.
Include one outfit for everyone, as well as prescriptions and other
must-haves. A communal bag also simplifies car travel, giving quick
access to overnight necessities for midway stops instead of unpacking
the whole car.