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Packing for a family

Family holidays are definitely fun and unforgettable…once you get there. However, the preparation for these exciting trips can be time consuming and stressful. Here are eight tips to make packing for your kids and family easier, so you can all start the trip off in a good mood.

Roll not fold

A simple way to maximize your packing roomand travel without wrinkling your clothes is to roll them, not fold them. By rolling your clothes, you can fit more into your luggage, and as an extra incentive, clothing rarely wrinkles when packed this way. Rolling clothes is also simple for children to understand, so your kids can pack their own bags or help you do so with this process.

Pack per day

It is exciting when your kids get to the age where they want to dress themselves. However, they can spend a lot of time picking out the right outfit, and if you do not agree with their choice, your morning will likely start off with an unnecessary argument. To solve this, agree on each outfit before you leave, then pack each day’s worth of clothes into separate bags, including socks, underwear and anything else vital to their wardrobe. This way, your child can simply pick from the different plastic bags each morning, and they already have everything they need to get dressed without the added delay or fuss.

Another way to save time and effort is to pack by day rather than everyone packing individual bags if you are taking a family road trip and will be staying in different places each night. This way, everyone’s outfits for one day will be in one bag, and the next day or two in another and so forth. As a result, when you have reached your hotel or destination, all you have to bring is that one piece of baggage that contains everyone’s clothing for the next day or so, instead of everyone lugging in separate bags.

Make your luggage permanent

One of the biggest hassles when travelling by plane is making sure that all your toiletries are correct size and that you did not forget anything important. To save yourself the time, simply create a toiletry bag that you do not have to unpack. Buy trial sizes of shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion and so on, and your fully stocked toiletry bag can go right in your luggage for your next trip. This way, you will not forget your toothbrush the next time you are packing to leave.

This concept is also useful for small children who like to bring activities and games with them on the plane. Designate one of their bags or backpacks as their travel pack and leave crayons, colouring books, wipes, tissues, gum or candy inside the back. Everything else they bring can be unpacked, but the items they entertain themselves with will remain in their travel bag for the next trip. This way, your child can add anything else they want, allowing them to feel like they packed their own bag, and you will have the peace of mind knowing that they will always have games and activities to keep them occupied whilst travelling.

Keep a first aid kit

You never know when or how someone in your family can get hurt. Whether they trip in the airport or get stung by a bee outside, you will want to always be prepared with a first aid kit. Gather all the necessities like bandages, hand sanitizer, bug bite sting reliever, antibiotic ointment and individual packets of ibuprofen and leave them in a plastic bag or container. You can store this in your luggage if you are a frequent traveller, or even in your car if you find that you and your family prefer road trips. Either way, you will be able to get away knowing you have medical supplies just in case.

Another way to protect yourself in case of a medical emergency is with Cover-More travel health insurance. All policyholders have access to the 24 hour emergency assistance team if you ever need help during your holiday.

Pack then repack

This is an important tip for kids and adults alike. Children often over pack by bringing along too many games or stuffed animals, while adults typically pack more clothes than they will ever need. For adults, take out everything you want to bring, and then force yourself to return nearly half of it to your closet. You will rarely find yourself on holiday wishing you had that extra sweater in a different colour.

If your child is adamant about packing their own luggage, pass up on a fight and let them do it. However, once they have finished, simply go through what they packed and put away anything they won’t need or add anything they forget. Now, your kid thinks they did the work all on their own, and you know they have everything they need.

Bring plastic bags

Plastic bags should be an essential item for every trip you take, whether a week long overseas holiday or domestic day trip. Plastic bags take up no room in your suitcase, and you can use them for a variety of things. For instance, throw in all your dirty clothes so that way you know exactly what needs to be laundered when you return home. Plastic bags are also convenient for storing souvenirs. They can even be used as a drain stopper if you need to do laundry in the sink or if your kids like taking long baths—simply add a little bit of water to the bag until it sits onto of the drain on its own.

These tips will make sure packing is easy, but to make sure the entire trip goes smoothly, purchase travel insurance that covers lost luggage or flight cancellations so you can travel without any unnecessary stress.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Keith Williamson; cropped from original