How Many Suitcases For A Family Of 4?

Traveling as a family can be hard and you might've wondered how many suitcases you should bring when traveling. We've researched this issue and in this post, we'll be sharing with you tips on how to pack for your family and the number of suitcases you will probably need without overpacking.

The number of suitcases for a family of four can definitely change, depending on the people involved and the time you'll be spending traveling. On average, a family of four will need about 4 to 5 suitcases, but you can definitely pack items using less luggage.

We know that packing for a family can be a little complicated, especially if you want to have everything you need inside your suitcase. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best tips and tricks on packing, as well as how you can effectively organize packed items so keep reading this post to learn more!

Colorful suitcases for family trip, Luggage and different accessories, How Many Suitcases For A Family Of 4?

How Many Suitcases For A Family Of 4?

Traveling with family is a great way to make memories and have fun together. Unfortunately, as much fun as it is to travel, there is also the struggle of packing for the trip. Of course, we all want to have everything we need on hand, but it can be a lot of items which equates to a lot of luggage.

When traveling with family, the number of suitcases that you need to change varies. The people who are traveling affect the amount of luggage you will need. Adults have bigger items to carry while children have smaller clothes and you can generally fit more items in their suitcase.

If you are a family of 4 adults, you would most likely need about 4 to 5 suitcases to fit all your items. With a suitcase for each person and an extra for bulkier items, you should be able to pack for a whole week's trip in these suitcases. This would work as long as you're not traveling during the winter.

For vacations and trips during the colder months, it is important to consider the weight and space that winter jackets and outfits take in the suitcase. It's definitely bulkier and heavier, so you might want to add an extra suitcase for each person traveling. A winter trip with 8 suitcases is fairly reasonable.

For families of 4 with children, you can get away with packing in fewer suitcases. Children's clothes are smaller and they can be conveniently packed in one suitcase. Parents can share a suitcase and with good organization and packing skills, you can travel with just 2 suitcases for the family.

Suitcases in airport departure lounge, airplane in background, summer vacation concept, traveler suitcases in airport terminal waiting

What Size Suitcase Is Good For A Family?

suitcase lay on floor with mess inside and around it, Clothes in pile on top of bag

When shopping for a suitcase, there are typically 4 sizes to choose from. Standard suitcases are available for both carry-on and checked luggage. To get the best value for these suitcases, luggage sets are available and you'll generally get 3 or 4 suitcases of different sizes in a set.

Get this 3-piece travel set on Amazon.

Most luggage sizes available on the market follow these dimensions:

  • Carry-on luggage: 17-22 inches
  • Small checked luggage: 23-24 inches
  • Medium checked luggage: 25-27 inches
  • Large checked luggage: 28-32 inches

For a week's worth of travel, a family of 4 can do well with a medium-sized suitcase per person that they can check-in. This wouldn't be a problem during travel because every member of the family can pull their own luggage during transit.

For a family with children, they can save more space by bringing 2 large-sized suitcases for the entire family. It will be easier for them to move around, especially if we consider all the other items they have to carry like strollers, car seats, etc.

How Do I Organize A Suitcase For A Family?

woman packing a luggage for a new journey

When packing for a family of 4, organizing the contents of the suitcase is the key to getting everything packed properly. Keeping things separate and listed is one way to keep track of the items you'll be bringing with you. Here are a few tips on how you can organize your family's suitcase:

Pre-plan your wardrobe

Before packing everything inside your suitcase, consider pre-planning your wardrobe by laying out the clothes. You don't really need as many clothes as you think you would, so creating a pre-planned "Outfit of the Day" list will help you pack only the necessary stuff.

For a week-long trip, you will most likely need a pair or two of jeans and about two pairs of shorts if you're traveling during the summer. For tops, 4 or 5 shirts will do, and probably 2 to 3 dresses if you feel like dressing up on a special night. One jacket (or a windbreaker) should be enough too.

Smaller items like socks, underwear, and sleepwear can be packed all together. Two sets of pajamas or sleepwear are enough. A few pairs of socks and underwear sets should also cover your entire trip. As for shoes, you can pack two in the suitcase (sandals, formal shoes) and wear sneakers during your flight.

Use packing cubes

One of the biggest problems when it comes to packing is that we tend to put everything inside the suitcase because there's just so much space. We keep filling the suitcase full to the brim, and this often leads to overpacking.

If you want to utilize the space in your suitcase, use packing cubes. These little organizers can fit so much stuff that if done right, you can even fit the contents of two suitcases in one. Packing cubes also come in different colors, so you can keep things separate by getting a set for each family member.

Get these packing cubes on Amazon.

Do the laundry

During most travel, people tend to forget this service—laundry. Most hotels do have a laundry service available and they'll happily wash, dry, and press your clothes for you. If you're in an Airbnb or hostel, you'll most likely find a laundromat service nearby or in the home.

Prevent overpacking by doing laundry if you're going to be traveling for more than a week. Laundry facilities are also great if you're traveling with kids. Do a big load of laundry in the middle of your trip and you'll have fresh clothes for them, plus you won't have to bring home a suitcase full of dirty clothes.

You can also handwash smaller items in the hotel sink and hang them in the bathroom racks easily. Clothing items like pajamas, underwear, socks, and maybe even a shirt or two can be hand washed in the sink. Pack some small packets of laundry detergent and save space by washing your clothes.

Check out these travel sink packets on Amazon.

Pack an extra bag

During trips, it's inevitable that you'll shop for little things like souvenirs and knickknacks. If your suitcase was already full before the trip, where are you going to put all this new stuff in? Fortunately, a quick solution to this problem is to pack a foldable bag in your suitcase.

A good choice of extra bag to carry around during trips are duffle bags. They are easy to carry, plus you can put them on top of your suitcase for hands-free carrying. Duffle bags are also great because they are pretty spacious and you can stuff a good amount before it bursts at the seams.

Check out this foldable duffle on Amazon.

Compress your clothes

Another great tip for traveling is to compress your clothes inside a compression bag. Although these bags are typically used for storing big bulky items like winter jackets, you can also use them for travel.

Pack bulky items like sweaters, jackets, and jeans in these compression bags. These bags are also great to carry around in your suitcase, in case you find yourselves with more clothes after a trip because of shopping. You can bring everything home without the luggage looking too full.

Get these compression bags on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Colorful suitcases for family trip, Luggage and different accessories

Traveling with family can be a little hard, especially if you have different activities you need to pack for. Keep things simple by organizing and making a list of the important things to prevent overpacking. With this simple tip, you'll surely be able to pack everything you need in your suitcase easily and effectively.