I find that one of the most stressful things about travelling with the kids is packing, don't you? Making sure you you have enough clothes for every eventuality. Is there enough stuff to keep them entertained? The temptation is always to throw everything in so you’ve got everything covered – but that’s really not the best way to go! So after 6 years with my Little Bean, I have come up with some great tips to keep stress levels low when travelling with the family:
1. Don’t use a separate case for each member of the family
If one case goes missing, someone will end up without clothes. Although this might be funny if its the other halves case we always now pack a few sets of every family member’s clothes within each case instead. And don't forget to pop in a little contact sheet with your mobile number on it so that if a bag does go missing you are easily contactable.
2. Don't pack everything you think you will need
Lets face it, we never wear half the clothes we take on holiday. So work out what you want to pack, them remove half of it. Why carry along all the extra baggage you don't need?
3. Do let young children get involved with packing
Maybe not the main suitcase but little ones love to feel involved and helpful, so give them a little backpack and they can pack a few toys, colouring pencils and a colouring book to take on the journey.
4. Make sure you know your luggage weight allowances before you travel
All airlines openly state their maximum luggage sizes and weights for travel and they can be very different. If you turn up and find that your luggage has exceeded the limits even slightly you may find yourself having to pay extra charges. Double check your luggage before you set off to avoid having to hold up the queue trying to rearrange the contents of your case to avoid charges.
5. Do use packing cubes
My friend recommended these to me on our last ski trip. Keeping your clothes organised has become far easier thanks to these nifty packing cubes. Available in lots of different sizes helps you keep the contents of your case organised and when you arrive you don’t need to unpack either. Simply open suitcase and pop the cubes into a drawer, ensuring your neatly organised clothes remain so. No more hunting around for the swimwear corners of your suitcase! You will know exactly where it is! Here are the ones we have:
6. Pack a spare set of children’t clothes and swimwear in hand luggage
We often seem to arrive at our holiday hot and sweaty after a long transfer and the room at the hotel isn't ready till 3pm. Its 11 am and boiling hot and you have to sit and watch all the happy holiday makers cooling down in the pool. Always pack a set of swim wear for each of you and you won't mind waiting for the room to be ready for you while you lounge around the pool.
7. Do pack a basic first aid kit
When travelling with kids it always pays to be well prepared, so pack a basic first aid kit containing plasters, antiseptic cream, bug repellent as well as child ibuprofen and infant calpol. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
8. Scan and email important documents to yourself
That includes your passport, travel insurance documents and accommodation details. If you lose the hard copies you will still have access to the information needed to report or recover. Another top tip from my Ski friend!
9. Do pack something the children haven’t seen before
Keep a supply of new toys and games that you can pull out of your hand luggage when the children start getting bored or restless. card games, colouring in books, reading books and travel games are all great ideas. Pack an inflatable ball, the kids will love it, it’s entertaining and it doesn’t take up much space at all!
10. Don't forget the camera
I know we all have smartphones with fantastic cameras nowadays but there are some moments that you just need a better camera for. We have a little shockproof, waterproof camera which is great. We can take it in the pool, in the sea and not worry if it gets dropped in the sand or on the floor. These holidays are full of forever memories so make sure you capture them.
Happy Holidays Everyone!