A Vacation Packing List Template

by | Jul 27, 2018

a vacation packing list template for ADHD

It is the end of summer, and I am just now creating a vacation packing list template.

I know you are shocked at my lack of timeliness! <not>

You see, every single year we go on vacation. And every single year I forget something, or many things, that are actually important to having an enjoyable vacation.

Last year I forgot my contact case. So I had to go out and spend money on a stupid plastic case to soak my contacts in.

The year before I forgot my glasses, as well as my Effexor.

Anyone who has taken Effexor can tell you that missing a pill produces some nasty side effects including headache, brain zaps, and general bad mood.

And the glasses…lets just say that I had to wear my contacts for like 18 hours a day. If I don’t wear some kind of visual correction I cannot see my hand 6 inches from my face.

I am nearsighted, both of my eyes are -5. The whole world is a big blob.

This year I have to do 90% of the packing on my own because my husband will be traveling for business until the night before we leave.

So yeah, I need a vacation packing list template that works for me. One that doesn’t overwhelm me, but allows me to remember the important stuff.

A vacation packing list template

(for ADHDers)


Personal Necessities

I suggest you make a list for every member of your household. So put the name of each family member at the top the first page of the template.

First, list all of the essentials – medications, supplements, epi pens, glasses, contacts etc. for each person.

Next, list personal toiletries for each member of the family.

List things like toothbrushes, body wash/soap, hand soap, lotions, sunscreens, tampons, razors, sunscreens, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, bug spray—all of the things.


Determine how many pairs of undies each person needs. Follow that up with bottoms and tops.

Doing all of this on paper you really see how many pieces of clothing you need for each person. So it is easier to wrap your head around it and figure out how much laundry you need to do.

Think about little things like socks, and decide how many of those you will take. Same with bathing suits and shoes.

Try to limit the number of shoes. I have noticed that I rarely wear all the shoes I pack. Most of the time I wear the same two pairs all week.

Same goes for accessories – I almost never end up using jewelry or other accessories.

Practical Necessities

This is the category for all the crap we don’t want to think about when we go on vacation, but we have to.

First, list out cleaning supplies.

Whether you are staying in a hotel or an AirBnB, you will have to clean up after yourselves.

In a hotel I always bring: disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. ALWAYS. Here is a link to my Amazon Store, yes it is an affiliate link. See my full disclosure.

If I am staying in a rented beach house, I always bring:

  • disinfecting wipes
  • all-purpose spray cleaner
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • dish soap
  • dishwasher detergent
  • laundry detergent and softener
  • Towels- hand and body (washcloths if you need them.)
  • Sheets, pillow cases, pillows (I like my own pillows.)
  • Beach towels

Next, think about the paper products you might need on vacation.

As a rule, we use a startling amount of paper. Yes, it is wasteful and I feel bad about it, but toilet paper is important. Wouldn’t you agree?

Paper products include:

  • toilet paper
  • paper towels
  • napkins
  • Coffee filters

In a house or a hotel, paper plates are often useful as well.

Along with the paper plates I always take a sleeve of Solo cups to the beach. They double as snack cups in a pinch.


Will you be cooking on this vacation? (I guess that depends on how you define cooking.)

If you are anything like me you would LOVE to eat out every meal while on vacation. But eating out is not wallet-friendly, nor is it good for your health.

My solution: Pack some*** food ahead of time so my grocery list is smaller when I arrive.

Ideas for food you can pack ahead of time:

  • Breakfast cereal/oatmeal
  • Mixed nuts/dry snacks
  • Bags of apples/lemons/limes/veggies
  • Protein powders
  • Peanut and nut butters
  • Bottled water/drink mixes
  • Condiments

Packing for a family vacation is never easy. I often say that preparing for vacation is more stressful than skipping the vacation all together.

But if done in a simplified, step-bystep manner it is doable. Even if you are like me. (Which I think you might be.)

Looking around the interwebs actually increased my anxiety so I created my own template for packing.

The template was designed so that you print out one copy of the first page for each family member, and then just a single copy of page two.

Good luck! I hope it makes your life easier.

If you join my mailing list by downloading my vacation packing template you can expect to receive emails about once a week. Or when I get really motivated. I write about ADHD and women, and living this crazy life. I totally understand if you want to unsubscribe later.

vacation packing list template

p.s. Check out my friend Jaclyn’s article on vacationing with ADHD!