We took a long(ish) beach trip with two kids that involved a 26 hour combined drive in a Honda Fit, here are our packing tips!
Here are our "go-to" tips to pack on the lighter side for a long family trip!
1.) Only the essentials: There is likely a grocery store and laundry where you're going, so you don't need to pack the house. One of my must-haves in any place we go on a family trip is a washer and dryer. We've been lucky enough to find condos where we've had laundry. Hotels do provide dry cleaning services, so you can check ahead or book somewhere that does if this is a concern for you. We are not super fancy, and we like to stay in places where we can cook (and save more money). Most of the time those places also come with a washer and dryer. I know it can be a bummer to have to go a laundry mat on vacation, so if you don't want to do that - work focus on packing the essentials. Pick out clothes for each day and stick with the plan.
2.) Think Ahead: Part of this issue is planning, BUT check the weather forecast ahead of time. Lucky for me, I married a meteorologist, but I still check ;). Plan accordingly, but only bring what you need. For the beach, I pack everyone one pair of pants and a sweatshirt. I wore my sweatshirt (yes, the same one) most evenings and mornings because I like to be cozy.
We also don't want to rush to the grocery store right when we arrive after a 13 hour drive, so we always pack breakfast (usually bagels and coffee) and we plan our last stop in the car strategically to pick up milk.
3.) Don't worry!: I used to freak out about packing, because I was so afraid I would forget something essential. Now, I just tell myself that we are not going to Mars, so I can pick up what we need along the way or when we get there. I also am working towards not being so attached to my stuff, so I don't feel as compelled to bring everything and focus on relaxing. For me, relaxation happens when there's not a ton of clutter, too. Keep your focus on the memories you'll be making, not all the stuff.
Also, I'm not a pro, but Travel Fashion Girl is! She even has an e-book about packing and has mastered packing for every kind of trip. Check out her blog here: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/travel-packing-lists/