Remember all those holidays you took before the children came along? The hours spent wondering what to pack, the careful selection of the perfect capsule wardrobe, the painstaking wrapping of each item in delicate tissue paper… Now, you’re lucky if you get any space in the suitcase at all, what with the children’s clothes, shoes, accessories, toys and associated paraphernalia, not to mention the fact that under two’s don’t even have a baggage allowance! It’s a miracle you have room for anything more than a kaftan and one flip flop! And that’s just you, how many times have you arrived at your destination only to discover that you’ve packed child no 1’s swimming costumes only to find child no 2’s cosies are still nestling in their drawer at home, or forgotten to pack a favourite toy without which sleep is impossible? It doesn’t have to be that way however, with a little careful planning and organisation, you can return to those halcyon days of streamlined packing and relaxing holidays (well almost).
First and foremost remember, it’s not how much you pack, rather the quality of the packing! By that we mean no child really needs 10 pairs of shoes and sandals on holiday, most of the time they’ll be running around bare foot anyway. Pack what will actually be worn, kids suitcases are not the place for “maybe” clothes, if you’re not sure your little one will wear it then don’t pack it. If you have the patience, try and plan what your child will wear each day, it makes life so much easier when you’re at your destination if you can just grab a pre planned outfit from a hanger.
Swimming costumes and shorts; these are probably the only items you can never have too many of. Be prepared for accidents, food spillages, stains, rips, discomfort. You name it, your child’s swimming togs will endure it, so be prepared, pack more than you think you’ll need.
Don’t be afraid to double up, mix and match, create that capsule wardrobe for the kids, it’s amazing how much space you’ll save. Also, a small tube of travel wash is a must; it’s incredible how many ice creams, ergo t-shirts a toddler can get though on hols.
Toys. Most children would happily attempt to cram their entire bedroom into their suitcase claiming each toy really really will be played with every minute of every day. Tip, it won’t. Travelling to a new country or exploring a brand new environment will occupy even the most curious of children. Let your little one take their own carry on bag; Skoots and Trunkis are great for this sort of thing. Let them choose the items they want to pack, as carry on bags can’t be too big, by default, kids are prevented from brining too much “stuff” with them.
When travelling with children, a little organisation can go a long way; planning in advance is the key. You never know, pack carefully enough and you may have room for two kaftans and that other flip flop!