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Travel Tips

Smart Packing Tips for Family Groups

By March 29, 2017June 28th, 2018No Comments

Whether you are travelling with just the kids, or your extended family, getting the packing right is essential. There is nothing worse than realising you have forgotten someone’s medication or something else important. It also ensures that you will not have to waste hours, and money, trying to buy that item at your destination.

To help you to avoid this issue, here’s a simple family packing tips guide.

family photo on beach

Put Someone in Charge

If you are taking kids or someone who is infirm with you, it makes sense for someone to oversee, or actually do, their packing. That is the best way to make sure it is done properly.

Make Individual Packing Lists

Making a list sounds tiresome, but it makes a huge difference to how easy it is to pack. There are plenty of excellent packing list templates available. They just need to be edited. All you then need to do is to check it is still up to date before each trip, which will only take a few minutes, each time.

It is important to compile a list for each individual. This allows you to tailor what they take to their specific needs. An obvious example is listing medications, but it also means you can add specific items of clothing to the list. That way you can be sure your teenage daughter has the exact skirt that she likes to wear with her new tops in her case rather than one that does not match properly.

Clothing store

Shop Early

Whenever possible, shopping for holiday clothes should be done a few weeks before you are due to travel. This gives you the chance to shop around and find the nicest clothes rather than having to grab whatever is available, at the last minute. The same applies to any new luggage that you may be thinking of buying. Your choice of clothes will be based more on style and personal preference, but choosing a new travel bag should be based on practicalities such as whether you need a backpack or suitcase, with or without wheels, hard-sided or soft. So leave plenty of time to buy both bags and clothes.

Spread the Load

There are many advantages to travelling as a group. One that many people overlook is the fact that you can share items, like travel irons and chargers. It also opens up the opportunity for family members to carry items for others in the group who have to take specialist items like a sleep apnea machine with them. In that situation, there is the chance for others in the family to pack some of that person’s clothes in their luggage.

Kids playing in suitcase

Be Organised When Packing

The best approach to packing is to have everyone lay out what he or she needs on their bed next to the luggage they are going to be taking. This makes it easier for you to go through the checklist and make sure nothing is forgotten.

Large items should go in first to line the base of the case or bag. Next, lighter clothes should be rolled up and packed. Smaller softer items like swimwear and underwear can then be slotted into any remaining gaps.

Anything you know you will need for the journey needs to be on top, so you do not have to pull everything out at the airport. You also need to make sure plenty of excellent packing list templates available, packed in a zip lock bag and that they can easy to get out for the security check.

packing items via flickr

Once everything is in the case, it is worth weighing each item. This ensures you will not have to re-pack at the airport, or pay excess luggage fees.

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Instagram @Pure_Wander.

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