Someone asked today for advise on holiday packing so I thought I would write some. We are off to sunny Menorca soon so this also serves the purpose of making me feel like I should take my own advise and pack lighter! I am a chronic over packer.
Packing for little ones is much easier if you can organise yourself, however you do that best. I personally like lists. I have been known to make lists of things I need to make lists for….. I am that ridiculous. My holiday list will often be rewritten a few times as I narrow down what I actually need to take.
Now everyone and every family is different with what they consider to be ‘must have’ items within their luggage so before I start my packing list here are some pointers to make your list individual:
- Consider where you are going and adapt your list accordingly
What you take for an all inclusive holiday you may not need to take for a self catering. Some resorts require a dress code in the evenings so you will need to pack extra clothes for yourselves and little ones. Also many resorts have well stocked shops for all the essentials but often at a vast cost. I prefer to bring as many nappies with me so I don’t have to buy them there. However for a two week self catering holiday I am less fussed about the brand of nappy and am more than happy to buy some from a local supermarket as I run out.
- It is ok to have some ‘could not possibly live without, don’t even ask!’ items
Mine is my shampoo and conditioner. My hair goes so dry in the sun and uncontrollably frizzy in the heat. There’s just so damn much of it. So on holiday I wash my hair more often than at home, I need my brand of product plus some anti-frizz heat protect serum. These come in relatively large bottles but I just won’t budge on this. Also I have contemplated not taking my hair straighteners on this next holiday but I seriously don’t know who I am kidding…. They will blatantly sneak their way into the suitcase.
- If you want to take something ‘Just in case’ you can be 99.9% sure you wont need it
Trust me on this one. I do it every bloody holiday! ‘Oh, I’ll just take these shoes in case there might be occasion to wear them.’ ‘I’ll just pack these toys in case the girls get bored.’ Literally nothing I have packed on a ‘Just In Case’ basis have ever been used or worn.
- If you can do without it, then do without it
I probably could live without my straighteners for 2 weeks. The girls can definitely do without their favourite cutlery.
- Even in hot countries it can get chilly
If there is cold to be felt I will feel it. I am the last one to remove my sweatshirt and the first one to put the heating on. Of course I don’t usually anticipate my summer holiday getting too cold whether it is in the Mediterranean or Mexico but sometimes it does rain and sometimes the nights do get cold. I don’t actually pack for this eventuality I wear it travelling. I might look odd wearing my huge great but hoodie when we land in the sunny shores but I made sense back at Gatwick at 6am and I will more than likely look dressed for the weather when we return. This also means I haven’t lost space in the suitcase with the bulky clothing and footwear and it can all be removed when you get too hot.
- Utilise the hand luggage allowance
If a passenger gets it, use it. You don’t have to fill the bags but it is useful to have the extra space (mostly for the jumpers we no longer need to be wearing).
- Get a Buggy
Something cheap and cheerful is fine if it is only for the holiday and not planned for general use but a whole travel system is a large thing to take abroad and many buggies are suitable from birth. Although if you need to cater for a child under 6 months I would probably invest in a decent option as it is highly likely to be used at home more than you think it will.
Super major holiday hack…. You can preorder stuff from Boots online to pick up at the airport. This means instead of using up any luggage allowance on nappies, formula, baby food, toiletries…. anything really. You can pick them up from boots after you have been through check in and security and none of it counts against your personal allowance. You do of course have to carry it all but whilst traveling with little ones that require a pushchair of some description then that can carry it all…. most of the way anyway. This is also where making sure you have as much ‘hand luggage’ space as possible comes in handy…. some of it can go in there.
I will do a post soon with what is actually in our suitcases and hand luggage. Hopefully I don’t over pack for once.