What to pack when travelling with the kids

Knowing what to pack when travelling with the family can be a challenge, especially if you are visiting somewhere with a temperate climate like ours.

We prefer to travel out of season as the destinations we head to are often cheaper and quieter, however, it can also mean that the weather can be unpredictable, so knowing what to pack can give you a headache.

This February half term, we headed to Northern Ireland by car, which although gave us a little more space for extra’s than if we travelled by air, still meant we had to pack fairly lightly as we needed to squeeze winter coats and walking boots into the car.

Sadly the kids have now grown out of their Trunki suitcases, which we could squeeze into the footwells of the car, but they all still insist on having their own case, so they have a small cabin style case each, with their own clothes inside.

Mickey Case Samonite

What I pack in the kids cases

I normally take one outfit per day for the kids, with one extra “just in case”, and extra underwear, 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.

What we pack in our case

For us adults, a daily t-shirt / top and underwear, a spare pair 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.

This half term I thought I was being sensible packing our heavy winter coats, but it was something I regretted as the weather was so mild that we only needed lighter waterproof jackets and we were all either sweltering in them or I was having to carry them around.

Next time I think I will pack lighter coats but add a couple of long-sleeved tops to the case in case we need to layer up if it is chilly.

The Extra’s

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 Switch for gaming + Chargers)

We also tend to stay in cottages or apartments rather than hotels, who often washing / drying facilities which can be a real saviour if there are any incidents………and with kids, there often are!

Do you pack light when travelling with kids, or do you take everything but the kitchen sink?

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