My top tips for packing for a family holiday are:
- Make sure you buy the essentials before you go - If you need things like nappies and wipes you are better off packing them to take with you rather than relying on a shop at your destination. They might not be a shop nearby, they might not stock a brand you know and trust and if they do they might be more expensive than from home - remember to leave nappies in their wrappings as they take up less space this way in your case - don't forget to pack a couple of loose nappies and a packet of wipes from home in your hand luggage though in case of emergencies.
- Take a back pack or changing bag with you - If you're planning a few excursions whilst on your holiday it's always a good idea to take an extra bag with you so that you can carry anything you might need for the day, nappies, wipes, towels, suncream, a kindle or toys to keep the kids entertained.
- Take things out of packaging - If you are buying new toys / clothes / gadgets for your holidays (let's face it we all do it) take them out of any packaging that's big and bulky to save space ion your case.
- Buy travel size toiletries - There's no point taking huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner with you, if you shop around especially in discount stores and / or pound shops you can buy almost everything you use on a daily basis in travel sized bottles.
- Roll clothes up when packing them - You will save a lot of space in your case by doing this once your clothes are all washed, ironed and ready to be packed. When individually folded clothes take up a lot more space.
- Pack light clothes - If you know that where you are going is going to be lovely and warm there's no need to take lots of jeans, jumpers and what not with you. If you really must take these with you wear them to the airport. The same goes with trainers and shoes. You don't need 10 pairs of shoes in your case. Take one pair of shoes in your case that are versatile and can be used for a number of occasions.
- Don't pack too much - most tourist destinations have washing facilities, if not it takes a couple of minutes to give things a really quick wash by hand and hang them somewhere to dry (I've done it over a balcony before). As most things people take away on holiday are lightweight they won't take too long to dry.
- Take a small first aid kit with you - include plasters, Imodium (or similar), Calpol (and a medicine spoon), paracetamol and ibuprofen. There's nothing worse than feeling poorly on holiday and not being able to do anything about it.
- Remember to take a travel adapter - There's no point taking your kindle to read or iPad to keep the kids entertained on a night time if you can't recharge them. I never go anywhere without at least one travel plug.