Packing for a family holiday might be a task that you dread every year, but with a few simple tips and tricks in your arsenal, you’ll find that it becomes infinitely simpler, and even enjoyable.
The main things to remember are that packing smarter and lighter will yield the best results, but if you’re not sure how to translate this into practical terms, read on and see which of these recommended hacks could solve an existing issue for you and your family.
Stash wet wipes in your hand luggage
I’m not trying to teach you how to suck eggs here, but when travelling with children, or anyone for that matter, having easy access to some hygienic wipes is never a bad thing. Anything that will let you have a quick freshen up is a valuable addition to your packing list.
Use the KonMari method of folding
If you’re still using the rolled clothing method of packing, whereby you also stuff your shoes with valuables, you’re on the right track, but the KonMari folding technique is the latest and greatest way to free up valuable space in your case, while being able to see everything at a glance. It’s not difficult to learn, but it is useful.
Put your heaviest items over the wheels
Forget about trying to navigate a busy airport with kids in tow and the added challenge of a wobbly suitcase, by ensuring that your heaviest items are packed directly above the wheels of the case. The weight will stabilise your bag and leave the softer items on top, protecting everything underneath.
Keep technology accessible
Half the battle of successful family travel is keeping the noisiest and most disruptive members of the family happy, quiet and distracted. That usually means the youngsters, so when you pack your hand luggage, make sure to keep favourite technology items within easy reach. iPads have been known to prevent arguments!
Invest in lightweight luggage
Don’t waste more of your baggage allowance than you need to by using heavy suitcases. There are plenty of sturdy yet exceptionally lightweight cases available to buy now and they will free up weight for all those items that make a family holiday more enjoyable, such as pool inflatables and maybe an extra evening outfit or two.
Remember that less is more
It’s incredibly tempting to pack everything you need for your family, plus the rest of the house to boot, but taking less will make for a happier break. Remind children that they don’t need to take every item of clothing they own and maybe sweeten the idea with the promise of some overseas shopping. The less you pack, the quicker the process will be, too.
Give everyone their own colour luggage
Luggage carousel arguments can crush the holiday spirit, so minimise the risk by letting everyone choose their own, individually-coloured bags. A little autonomy goes a long way in a family setting, so it’s worth having a technicolour luggage display to eliminate any bickering.
Pack multifunctional clothing
If you’re keen to give the ‘less is more’ approach a try, multifunctional clothing will be your new holiday best friend. A great example is the humble sarong, which everybody can wear either as a beach cover, a skirt or a head scarf. It can even be used to create a simple beach shade, meaning that you can pack fewer items and not worry about paying for parasol hire either.
Keep the kids’ bags simple
Hand luggage for kids usually takes the form of a rucksack filled with books and distractions for the journey – but just double-check that there’s nothing that needs to be declared in them, such as liquids. The faster your kids can be waved through security, the less chance of frustrations and tantrums.
Put all liquids in one place
Speaking of liquids, place them all in the same bag. Emptying numerous pockets, bags and containers will take time, slow the security line and probably cause some frayed nerves. Thinking ahead and streamlining your process will pay off immensely.
Getting down to brass tacks, packing for a family holiday needs to be centred around the ideas of saving time, space and weight, while also reducing the risk of arguments starting. Getting to departure gates at the right time, making sure that you have all the relevant check-in paperwork and looking forward to some time away should be your main priorities. By using these handy hacks, you should be able to wave goodbye to hassle and say hello to the holiday you deserve. You can find other tips and tricks across the web, but these are a good starting point for getting ahead on your family holiday.