I don’t know about you but when it comes to sorting out a family holiday, I’m the one that does most things. This is a bit of me being a bit of a control freak and a bit of fear of us forgetting something important. On our last holiday to Center Parcs, I managed to forget clothes for myself because I was so stressed. The clothes I forgot to take were sat in a pile upstairs in our bedroom, ticked off the list but not in the case. I had to squeeze into a couple of my sister’s jumpers all week and that was not fun! We’re currently away on our holiday in Majorca so I thought I’d put together a post all about how to pack for a family holiday abroad.
Now, I’m starting with this one because of the obvious mistake I made last time around. The first thing to do is to check the weather forecast but not too early. The weather is always changing so checking a few days before you leave is the best idea.
If, like us, you’re travelling with a toddler then it’s best not to over pack. It’s all well and good to have lots of options but there is so much else you need to take with you there’s no point in adding extra weight where it’s not necessary. I remember going to Orlando in 2013 and I barely wore any of the clothes I took.
Children’s clothes are slightly different. Unless you are going somewhere with laundry facilities then it is a good idea to take a few extras. If your children are anything like Erin then they will get as dirty, or as wet as possible on every chance they get.
Pack for your location and the activities you know you’re going to do. We’re staying at an all inclusive resort with a beach only a short walk away so I imagine we’ll be spending most of our time in swimwear. We do all have 2 lots of swimwear each so this way we can leave some to dry out in the sun while we’re wearing the other.
Be sure to remember the following:
Although you get some toiletries in most hotel rooms I am quite particular about some I use, shampoo and conditioner especially. I like to pack full size items when we’re going away for a week or more even though they are quite heavy. I know everywhere has supermarkets or shops to buy these things but I don’t like to add to what I need to spend while I’m away if I can help it. It’s really easy to buy one thing a week or month on the run up to your holiday too so you can spread any extra costs. Here’s what we’ll be taking away with us:
Shampoo & Conditioner
Toothbrushes & toothpaste
Hairbrushes & bobbles
When travelling alone, or with John, I actually don’t tend to take much away with me in terms of first aid or medication. Normally I could do with some plasters and pain killers and that’s about it. However, travelling with Erin is a whole different thing and we need to take quite a bit away. I want to be as prepared as possible just in case anything does happen. Toddlers, especially Erin, are like tornadoes and you can never tell how they might hurt themselves!
Painkillers for both us and Erin
Antiseptic cream and wipes
Insect/ mosquito repellent & bite remedy
Child Specific Items
There are some things that sort of don’t fit into a category other than ‘children’s items’. Toddlers come with a really big list of things to pack but here are some thing we can’t do without:
Nappies (and lots of them)
Favourite cup/ beaker
Favourite toy or soft toy (it it’s small)
Snacks – even if you’re all inclusive it’s worth taking snacks that your child likes and is familiar with
Travelling anywhere with children means taking some kind of entertainment with you. Even before we arrived on holiday we had a train, 2 days in London and a flight to get through and this meant Erin needed things to do. Toys are an essential when you’re travelling with toddlers. Here are some ideas for young children:
Bucket and spade
I can’t go anywhere without quite a list of techy items. We now live in a time where we can’t go anywhere without our phones, tablets or camera. Some people will obviously have more than others, especially if more children are involved or there is more expensive items to take with you:
Most of the other items are replaceable or they can be purchased at the airport or your destination. However, there are certain things you cannot go without:
Foreign currency and/ or travel money card
Emergency phone numbers
Visas if required
Of course, what you put in your hand luggage is just as important as your checked luggage. Erin has her very own Trunki which will have a couple of changes of clothes for her, a mini stockpile of nappies and wipes just in case of delays, snacks and plenty of entertainment. John and I have one hand luggage between us to cut down on the amount of luggage we had to take with us. However, we take spare clothes for us both as well as the expensive items like camera, tablets etc. I never trust anything like this to be in checked luggage in case they go missing or get broken. To optimize space and convenience, one of the best options is a 56x45x25 cabin bag that can accommodate all your essentials. This size frequently complies with the carry-on requirements of different airlines, enabling you to avoid additional baggage costs and the inconvenience of standing in line at baggage claim.
Packing for a family holiday abroad is a really mammoth task. I can only imagine how long it takes if you have more than one child like we do! If there’s something you always take away with you, let me know in the comments!