How to pack for a family holiday

© Macniak

© Macniak

From short trips upcountry to family holidays in Spain or the South of France, every other trip seems to run into one problem: too many clothes, electronics and items to pack and not enough suitcase space to fit everything in.

Packing for a family holiday can be a headache, especially if you’re going on holiday with young children. From swimsuits to toys, fitting enough items into your suitcase to keep the kids entertained for a week or more can be surprisingly difficult.

In this guide, we’ll share five simple but effective packing tips that you can use to fit more clothes, toys, shoes, technological gadgets and more into your suitcase before your next family holiday.

Write a packing list so that you don’t forget anything

From your toothbrush to your smartphone charger, it’s easy to leave small yet vital items behind when you travel. This is doubly true for children’s toys and electronic gadgets, which are easy for you to forget but seriously important for your kids.

Before you start packing, write a list of all the items you’ll be taking on holiday with you so that you don’t forget anything. As you pack, tick items off and write down the place you’ve packed them into to make them easier to find once you arrive.

Pack the biggest, bulkiest items into your suitcase first

Coats, shoes and other bulky items should go in the bottom of your suitcase. In this case, the ‘bottom’ means the back of your suitcase – the area that’s against the floor when you lay your suitcase down – not necessarily the lowest point of your bag.

Pack your shoes, coat, jeans and other bulky items flat against the rear of your bag, then use socks and other small, soft items to fill in any gaps. Once you’ve created a flat layer of bulky items, start packing your clothes and other items on top of it.

Roll cotton clothing to save space and avoid wrinkles

Are you travelling with plenty of t-shirts and other cotton clothes? Instead of folding them all, roll them into a cylindrical shape to save space and fit more shirts into each of your suitcases.

You can also roll items like jackets, trousers and undergarments to save space. If you need to pack sunglasses and other fragile items, pack them inside a rolled-up shirt to avoid having to pack a bulky carry case into your suitcase.

Vacuum pack shirts and other clothing to save space

From t-shirts to swimsuits, you’ll need plenty of casual clothing to enjoy a summer family holiday at the beach. One of the best ways to downsize your luggage is with vacuum bags, which can be used to store any time of clothing.

Pack shirts, swimsuits, undergarments and more into vacuum bags to reduce their profile to a third of what it would normally be. Vacuum packing children’s clothes gives them more space in their suitcases for toys, electronic gadgets and more.

Pack children’s toys into a day bag for easier access

If you’re travelling with young children, it’s best to pack their toys and electronic gadgets into your day bag instead of your suitcase. This means you won’t have to unpack during the trip and track down a gadget at the bottom of your suitcase.

Splitting your possessions into a suitcase and a day bag makes accessing important things – such as your passport, hotel reservations and personal accessories – a lot easier, simplifying your next family holiday.