When packing and travelling for a break or holiday away with the kids I always start by writing a list. Well actually I write a few. I write a list for the things I need in my hand luggage, another list for ALL items and essential the kids need books, toys, blankets, calpol etc and then a list of important things myself and my husband need – medical supplies, chargers, camera etc.
After that I get out all required luggage. Depending on a week away and if it is a staycation or a holiday abroad – we bring minimum 2 large 20kg suitcase and biggest tip of all you blend all the clothes in together. Gone are the days of this is my suitcase and that is yours. I always panic I am going to loose a suitcase and have been fortunate that this has never happened to me. So I make sure I pack in layers. My clothes, then my husbands and then the kid’s clothes always go on the top.
I always put the kids clothes on top as their items I always needed urgently – PJs, socks, shoes, nappies, wellies. Realistically when you have kids – your needs always come last.
So here we go…
- Always place an adult sized towel at the bottom of each suitcase. This is so if you need a towel you have your own (most places now provide towels but they are always so small so we always bring our own). Also if you are going away they can be used as your beach towels. Second reason is because if you have any accidents or spillages on your travels the towels will help to soak everything up and hopefully stop other luggage getting ruined.
2. A biggie but when I pack for my kids I pre-plan their outfits right down to the pants, socks and shoes they are wearing. As the majority of the time I match them with daddy – I pack all the clothes by days. Including my husbands. Therefore I decide what they are wearing Monday. Tuesday etc and pack them all together so when I unpack it is easy peasy. I do match the kids with the same outfits but I don’t like doing it often, as they have such different tastes and interests. But I love matching colour, styles or prints.
3. Pack all the pouches and small travel bags you can find. I keep them in my wardrobe so every time we go away I can easily find them and start putting different items into them. For example, we use a big bag for kids toiletries, medicines etc. Thats the most important. I also hold in there a small nail kit that I got from Primark last year – nail cutters, tweezers, small scissors etc (that’s the pink seashell you can see). Myself and Mark also have a small pouch for our own First Aid Kit – paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters.
Another pouch we have is the yellow one. This holds all the chargers – kindles, iphone and we also have a multi-charging cube (just in case) as well as adapters too. But we have our own chargers which we keep in our hand luggage in a easy to find place. There are so many pouches but we know what is in each one and when we unpack I can easily find things and place them in the necessary rooms.
4. You are not a mum if you do not go into Primark, or even the Poundshop to by travel size empty bottles that you can fill and place in your suitcase. This was for the kids lotion as my bottle was far too big. £1 for a set of 6. Always go small…even for yourself.
I get mine and Mark’s minis from Superdrug – lots of options and great prices but I get it just for the essentials – small things we barely use so we finish the bottles there and then throw away.
5. Something I learnt from Laura Fantacci from Wardrobe Icons is always pack your swimming gear, towel. goggles, arm bands etc in your swimming bag and then plop that into the case. I never used to do this but when I started last year it made so much more sense, especially when you have kids as you just take your beach bag out and everything is in there. Simple and effective too.
6. What happens when you land and you are hungry, thirsty or maybe just trying to survive and want a coffee? Well I remembered I had this great contraption when Khillian was having formula. Throw nothing away mammas! One section was sugar, the other was coffee and the other was hot chocolate. Safe to say we used it the minute we arrived in Ireland.
7. The kids toys! How much to bring? What to put in…the kids have a small kids suitcase each. All labelled so they know which suitcase belongs to which cheeky monkey and inside I fill it with magazines, toys only from Poundland as well as their favourite books, stickers, colouring pencils, important toys from home like Transformers and Lorenzo’s rainbow cups that he even goes to bed with, snacks, kindles with headphone and big blanket. Yet it all fits in there. The only thing I carry in my hand luggage for the boys is their drinks, passports and toys cars for emergencies. They love the responsibility of looking after their own suitcase, they get to open the suitcases only when we are at the airport and they know they can only get the toys that are in the suitcases. No new toys.
Yes, we also make them carry their own suitcases. Here is what was inside for Ireland…
8. In regards to the kids toy suitcases we slip them under their seats the minute we get on the plane and get out one toy each. They tend to have their kindles out as it distracts the pain of their ears when flying. I also give them a lollipop to suck and always place a book on top of their suitcases just in case of emergencies.
9. Whether you go all inclusive or self catering always bring tubberwear. We always do so if the kids dont want their dinner, or one of you wants a lie in and you bring back breakfast you have somewhere to put your food.
10. What about coats, jackets etc. I always pack the boys light jackets so we can fold them and place them in the front zips of the suitcases or even our bags if we have space. The boys always bring their own blankets from home so they have something familiar with when they are away.
11. Lollipops and snacks save lives. I pack for the kids and my husband. They are small and can be placed in pockets and small compartment and just what you need on a plane or when waiting to board an aeroplane. I put the kids snacks in a small lunch box that I brought from Wilkos a few years ago.
12. Buy a battery pack that has lots of different ports. It has saved me many times but we have one each – the battery pack can charge 2 iphones as well as a kindle too. You never know when you are going to run out of battery. I also pack 2 wires in my case as well as 2 sets of headphones.
There are so many more travel tips I can give you and I really hope the above is useful. If you have any great travel tips I would love to hear about them. Please leave a comment in the box below.
Much Love and Happy Travelling.