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Hopefully, this will save you some time and heartache the next time you pull out the suitcases and begin packing. Things can get a bit chaotic when you are getting the family ready as  there are dozens of things that you need.  I have found that having  this list of things handy speeds the process along.

These are in no particular order.

1.  A good digital camera.

You know there are going to be Kodak moments on your trip and a digital camera is the best way to capture them for posterity.  Don’t forget to bring your charger.

2.  Portable DVD player with car adapter.

If you have children this could save your life! Rent some DVDs from Netflix before you leave and then return them in the city where we are staying.  This way we’ll have fresh movies for the kiddos going and coming home!

3.  A good book or magazine.

Actually, I take both. If you have a Kindle or Nook you are set. I love reading.  It helps me relax which makes it a perfect activity on vacation.

4.  Effective sunscreen (not all of them work!)

This is especially important for children because bad sunburn will ruin everyone’s fun.  Sunscreens are not all created equal and some of the most popular brands like Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Neutrogena are some of the worst to use.

Be  sure to plan Summer at home and Read: 8 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Summer

5.  Your favorite sunglasses.

Whether you’re driving or lying by the pool, you are going to want some eye protection.  Some of us are old enough to remember a song about wearing cheap sun glasses and all the mayhem that follows. In that thought remember to get ones with UV protection.

6.  Extra swimsuit and flip-flops for the pool.

It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes for a swimsuit to dry when you are on vacation.  There is nothing worse than putting on a cold, wet swimsuit each morning.  By alternating, I usually avoid this issue.  It is also important to bring some good flip-flops to protect your feet from the scorching concrete and sharp rocks on the way to the pool. It also protects you from Athlete’s Foot.

7.  Hand sanitizer and wipes.

Especially with kids, hand sanitizer and wipes are indispensable travel items.  If you are a mom, then you probably already have these in your purse or diaper bag, but for us dads, this is worth a reminder.  As many of you know, wipes come in extremely handy for cleaning up after melting ice cream cones or the well enjoyed chocolate bar.  Hand sanitizer protects against various germs one can pick up in bathrooms along the way.

8.  An extra bag.

Isn’t it funny how what you took on vacation never seems to fit back into the same number of bags when you are ready to go home?  Of course, we usually acquire a few souvenirs along the way that adds to the heft.  I recommend packing a good size duffel bag in your suitcase to make packing up to come home all that much easier.  Duffels take up minimal in your suitcase and have ample space for new treasures.  They are the perfect extra bag to take along!

Now go plan that vacation!

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