In other words, bring only what you really need. If you've been on a similar trip with your kids in the past, think of what they needed, what you didn't use the last time and what you wished you had brought but didn't.
Don't forget to bring the essentials. Obviously, for each family this list might be a little different, but things like medicine, special clothes for each outing and any vacation-specific items should be well thought out. One thing some experts recommend every family bring along is baby wipes. They can be used to clean kids at any age, yourself and even the places you're staying if you happen to find (or make) a mess [source: Travelwithyourkids.com].
Tim and Jess Neiger, parents of five, recommend packing kids' clothes in a laundry basket instead of a suitcase if they're taking a driving vacation. That way, when they get to their destination, they can unload the clothes into the dresser and then throw them back into the laundry basket when they leave. Once they're home, they have all the dirty clothes ready to go straight into the laundry room.
Next, find out why leaving at the right time can make your family vacation more enjoyable for everyone.