As a family who travel regularly with 4 of our children, we often find that space is at a premium, so packing light is essential.
We have a seven seater car and with one of the seats up in the boot, you can imagine that squeezing in all the paraphernalia that comes with travelling with kids can be a challenge and we are often faced with a spot of car jenga.
In order to squeeze everyone and everything we need into the car we utilise every single bit of space we can find in the car.
Thankfully the kids are still in car seats, which although throws up some issues of their own, keeps their feet up off the floor so we tuck their Trunki and Jurni suitcases in the footwells and can even manage to squeeze in a Trunki toy box with some of their essentials if travelling in the UK.
Hubby and I share a large suitcase and Kian has his own smaller case which we add our towels to (if not provided) and Sebby’s pull-ups too.
Having their own suitcases gives the kids their own independence when we go away. The Trunki’s are brilliant as the kids can ride on them in the airport, they fit in the overhead lockers on a plane and I can comfortably fit a weeks worth of clothes in them. Coats are thrown in the back of the car so easily accessible if we stop off en-route.
Now, different ages have different needs. Travelling with a baby involves carting nappies, a buggy, travel cot and bedding. Sebby is newly potty trained so I always bung in an extra few pairs of pants and a couple of extra pairs of trousers just in case.
Eliza is notoriously messy so adding a small travel wash kit to your case is essential for getting out any stains so the item can be worn again, however, unless you’re going to a third world country or Outer-Mongolia it is important to remember that if you run into any problems, you can probably buy whatever you’re lacking on your trip. It is better to have to make an unexpected visit to the shops rather than to carry everything you own preparing for every situation.
I normally take one outfit per day for the kids, with one extra “just in case”, especially for the little ones. We get away with two jumpers, one worn on our travels and one in the case. Rolling clothes rather than folding saves lots of room and helps prevent creasing.
For us adults, a daily t-shirt / top and underwear, a couple of pairs of jeans each and a jumper is normally suffice although we often add something smart if we know we will be going out for dinner whilst we are away.
There are other essentials I always carry too:
- Well stocked first aid kit, containing extra’s including sachets of children’s paracetamol / ibruprofen, alka seltzer and paracetamol for the adults and insect spray.
- Wash Kit with shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and body wash suitable for the whole family
- Tech to keep the family amused on our travels (iPad for films and DS for gaming + Chargers)
Of course there are times when packing light doesn’t work quite so well……….we have to take two cars to Camp Bestival as there is no way we can fit our 8 man tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment etc as well as cases, 6 people and the trolleys in one car – this is with all the seats down!
Do you find packing light a challenge?