Going away on holiday is always exciting but planning what to pack and packing itself, often leads to a spike in anxiety, days if not weeks before you go. In actual fact, on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, going away on holiday is up there on increasing stress along with moving house.
Packing with kids
For those of you with children, you now not only have to pack for one, but for the whole family. Yikes!
My tips below are how to pack for your holiday, ensuring you leave home with all the necessities but making sure you don’t end up at the airport looking like a pack horse.
Write a list
I always suggest you write a list, broken up into different categories to help you plan what to bring. Once down on a piece of paper, your mind will hopefully de-clutter and this in turn should help to reduce any stress.
The list always includes:
- Technology (adapters, cords, camera, phones, laptops, ipads etc)
- Clothes – broken down further into:
- Day clothes
- Night clothes
- Going out clothes
- Special activities/occasions
- Travelling outfit
I also consider our itinerary, so to the list I add columns with the destinations we are travelling to and the number of days we have in each place. This is to ensure we pack sufficient outfits and to also cater for the weather and activities we are likely to encounter.
2. Create a travel space
Where possible I suggest you try and create a space in your home to put the items you have on your list. This way you can place the items in a safe place, tick off the items once aside and be reassured all the items are in the one spot for when you are ready to put them into your case or bag.
It also helps trigger any last minute purchases to ensure you have everything you need before you go rather than panic the night prior or day of your departure.
3. What bag to use?
There are so many bags and suitcases on the market. Your choice is often dictated by the type of holiday you are going on, your budget and the mode of travel you are using (and the age and needs of your children).
My favourite luggage pieces are below:
Samsonite Cosmolite. I love our Cosmolite suitcases and thanks to sales at David Jones and Victoria’s Station have been able to buy a full set. These cases have a 10 year warranty and are extremely light. With the rise in strict baggage allowances and most, if not all, low cost carriers charging you per kilogram of luggage, these cases have been an investment. The 360 degree swivel wheels make the case easy to manoeuvre and best of all they wipe clean (I have a thing about leaving airline stickers on my suitcase)!
It is a great thing when your children can carry their own bag to limit your load and save your back.
Australian owned, Apple & Mint have beautiful backpacks, in two sizes (little and big), enabling you choose one dependant on your child’s ability to lift and carry. I recommend the small back pack for children under 5 and large for older children. The backpacks are fun, colourful, durable and wipeable making them a perfect choice for travel.
My Louis Vuitton neverfull bag is true to its name. It is my go to carry on and accompanies me on every trip. I have written an article on this bag and its benefits. Click here for more of a read. It is a lifetime investment.
A Maclaren Quest stroller was one of the best investments I made as a mum. This stroller folds compactly, is lightweight, lasted our family 8 years (after which we sold it on Gumtree) and made many trips locally, interstate and overseas. We opted to buy a generic brand stroller bag from Babyland to protect the stroller for plane travel (the stroller goes underneath into the aircraft hold ) and due to it’s generous size was able to fit in some other baby bits and pieces such as our Bebe port a cot.
These mesh zip bags are a must to sort and organise your clothes /accessories and I believe allow you to pack more into the one case. They also save time throughout the holiday, packing and unpacking. I usually take the bag out of the case and put the whole unit into a draw or cupboard. Packing cells or packing cubes (as they are otherwise known) are available from stores such as Kathmandu and Mountain Designs.
Bum bags and money belts
After reading numerous pick pocket stories, the latest being on my brother in laws travel blog, This Travel Life, we always pack a money belt to wear under our clothing especially when travelling to high risk countries.
My husband usually dons the money belt where as I wear my Country Road pouch, holding my mobile phone and credit card (so I am hands free)!
Foldable shopping bags
These cute Kath Kidston foldable shoppers are always packed when we travel. They are the handiest bag which can be used for so many purposes.
Pull along’s and Ride On’s (Trunkis):
We were so excited when our youngest was old enough to ride on her Trunki suitcase and even more excited when she was able to walk and pull her own Bobble Art wheelie travel case. The storage capacity of these cases are better than you think. I am able to pack my little princesses’ clothes, books, games and toys for a week in Bali into both her Trunki and now she is older, into her pull along.
4. Weigh your luggage
Check the weight of your case or bag before you get to the airport. Invest in a portable travel scale and take it with you. There is nothing more stressful than unpacking your suitcase when you are at the check in counter and deciding whether to leave behind some of your things or pay the extra money to take it with you.