As a rule, kids are not known for travelling light. Natasha Poliszczuk, editor of British blog Wear & Where, reveals how to come in under your luggage allowance (Yes, it is possible)

PACKING FOR A FAMILY VACATION

As a rule, kids are not known for travelling light. Natasha Poliszczuk, editor of British blog Wear & Where, reveals how to come in under your luggage allowance (Yes, it is possible)


Packing prep

  1. Make a separate packing list for everyone in your family. Highlight items you’ll need to add just before you leave (favourite toys, snacks, electronics and chargers). Make a copy of this list to use when you head home.

  2. Lay everything out on your bed – one pile for each member of the family. Seeing everything in one place helps you avoid over-packing. If in doubt, edit down by a third and take laundry tablets (not liquid).

  3. Divide and conquer. Try packing the kids’ outfits by day in separate ziplock bags – you can even label them. Or pack like-with-like (shirts, dresses, tops etc) in separate vacuum-pack bags or packing cubes. Always pack an extra day’s outfit.

  4. Pack strategically. For instance, if you’re travelling somewhere hot, put beach towels and swimsuits right at the top of your case so that you can jump straight in the pool when you arrive.

How to pack light

  1. Don’t take full-size shampoo and shower gel. Buy small plastic containers and decant all your daily essentials. Swap heavy beach towels for hammam-style towels, which are lightweight.

  2. Steal a tip from the fashion editors and pick a colour palette (eg monochrome) and stick to it. That way, everything you pack will work together. If this sounds too regimented, opt for tonal shades.

  3. Save space and buy what you can on arrival. Do an online shop for delivery to your vacation home or ask the vacation rep if they can organise for essentials to be delivered.

  4. If you’re taking your own car seat, invest in a car seat travel bag – you can then use the extra space to pack bulky items (like diapers).

Maximise your carry-on

  1. Make your carry-on luggage work harder: take a bag that can double up as a beach bag/changing bag once you reach your destination.

  2. Max your carry-on allowance and take a bag each. Kids love having their own travel bag (get one they can carry/pull themselves). Let them be involved in choosing what to pack.

  3. Wear layers to travel – and wear the heaviest items (shoes are a real culprit for weighing down your suitcase). Planes can be chilly, so you’ll be glad that snuggly sweater is to hand.

  4. Think of hand luggage as your survival kit. Don’t forget: healthy snacks, a light blanket or large muslin, wipes (even if you’re beyond the nappy stage), entertainment (a tablet loaded with favourite shows/games, books, colouring pad, crayons, stickers). Pack everything in separate ziplock bags and don’t forget a change of clothes – for you both.