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07 March 2024

Packing Tips For Family Holidays

Part of the excitement of going on holiday is the lead up to it, and all of the preparation that goes with it. There’s nothing quite like that build up to a holiday, but if you’ve got children, the build up can often be doubled, or even trebled! Preparing for a family holiday is a lot of work, but with these essential packing tips for family holidays, you’ll be able to pack pronto!

Packing tips for family holidays
Be prepared for emergencies with these family packing trips

Make a list

There are two ways to make a list and which you choose will probably depend on your personality.  Many people like to make a list of everything they want to take and then work through it as they are packing, ticking everything off. Another approach is to write the list as you pack. That way you can instantly see who has enough underwear packed, who is missing their favourite baseball jersey, and who has too many holiday outfits, without having to overturn everything you’ve put in your case so far to double check!

The other benefit of making a list is that you can see if you’ve packed too much. Going for a seven night holiday but have 10 evening outfits packed? Take 3 of them out! I can guarantee that although it’s nice to have choices on the night, and you may wish to have a spare in case of any incidents, you will more than likely come home with the unworn items. And that extra space could be used for packing any souvenirs on the way home!

Use packing cubes or zip lock bags

Packing cubes can be revolutionary for family holidays, especially holidays where you’re sleeping in different rooms. This is because you can pack everyone’s clothes in different coloured cubes, then lift those cubes out and give them to their owners when you arrive at your destination. This also means that as soon as you get to the hotel, you can hit the pool by finding everything quickly; no more having to sift through suitcase after suitcase to find everyone’s bits and pieces!

For babies and very young children, you may also be able to get whole outfits inside a zip lock bag, which means that outfits are all together when you need to get to them. Admittedly, it’s harder to pack this way when mixing items across suitcases, but with a bit of organisation it can be achieved.

Travelling by aeroplane? Mix it up

Although many people think it’s easier to pack one family member’s items per case - and if you’re travelling by car maybe it is - it’s actually a good precaution to mix family members’ clothes up across suitcases when travelling by air. This is because if one of your suitcases goes missing during transit, you’ll still have other items that you can use in your other suitcases. 

It’s a good idea therefore to mix up the type of item across suitcases, too. Ensure that for a summer holiday or one in warm climes everyone has a set of swimming gear, day and night outfits etc per suitcase if at all possible, and for holidays in colder climates everyone has a full set of warm clothing per suitcase.

Pack a spare pair of young children’s clothes in your hand luggage

If you can, it’s always wise to pack spare clothes for very young children in your hand luggage. This way, if clothes get spoiled by toilet accidents, travel sickness, food spillages or all of the above, you’ll have a set that your child can change into so that they remain comfortable for the rest of the journey. This doesn't just apply to flying, even on car journeys you can be grateful for an easy to grab bag with emergency clothes in. 


No parent travels anywhere without snacks, but just in case you need a reminder, pack snacks! Avoid liquids, dairy or meat if you are flying.

Keep digital AND printed copies of your paperwork with you

It can be useful to have 3 copies of essential paperwork, including your passport, travel details and insurance. Ideally you want a physical copy, a digital version saved on your phone and another useful back up is a digital copy emailed to yourself. This means that even if your phone dies, or get lost, you can still get access to everything you need. 

Pack some small surprises

Holidays are about FUN! So I always pack some fun little items: maybe a new activity book or magazine for the kids while travelling, and items like an inflatable ball or pool ‘sinkies’ for use once you’re there. The kids will love these surprises and it always makes the holiday much smoother when they are occupied.

Do you have any other packing tips for when you go on holiday? I’d love to hear any tips that make holiday prep easier for everyone!

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