Packing light with children | What not to bring

I always look back to our first holiday with Daisy. We went to Portugal and packed pretty much everything we possibly could fit in our cases. In fact, we took three hand luggage bags and two very large suitcases – all for a simple week away to a beach resort. Looking back, it was incredibly unnecessary. Fast forward three years and we’re all about packing light and keeping it minimal. Each child is different and if you have more than one child you may find you need to pack a little more. But if you always find yourselves overpacking for a trip then here’s a few ways you can cut down on what you pack and in retrospect, spend less time ”faffing” about at the airport. The less queues with a toddler in tow, the better. Right?!

Don’t pack the ‘just in case’ 

Try to step away from the mentality of packing things ‘just in case’. The likelihood of a little rain if you’re visiting a beach resort is quite unlikely. But if it does rain, it doesn’t really matter does it? That raincoat or umbrella could stay home, if need be you can purchase an umbrella there. If you’re heading away in the winter months to a city break, and you know it’s going to be cold, then obviously don’t pack shorts ‘just in case’. We used to immerse ourselves in the joy of overpacking because it left us feeling prepared, when really it just left us with achey arms from pushing around so much luggage at the airport!

Buy things there

You don’t need to pack nappies for every single day. Pack some to get you through the first few days and buy the rest there! Not only does it leave you with less luggage but it usually works out cheaper too. It’s a good mentality to limit yourselves on packing anything that you’re able to buy whilst away.  Pack less baby wipes, nappies, swimming nappies, sun cream, etc. Also consider things that could be multipurpose – for example – baby wipes can double up as make up wipes.

Fewer toys

When we travel with Daisy we don’t tend to pack that many toys. It might sound mean, but here me out! Whilst in a completely new place, everything becomes that little bit more interesting. She’ll amuse herself at a restaurant by talking to the staff members, wandering around the table and pretending to read the menu. We’ll also teach her the local language and just generally chat! We obviously pack toys, just not too many. We’ll let her pick a few of her favourites to bring (she usually brings lots of barbies and barbie clothes). We’ll also download lots of apps and games that she can play on the iPad and bring some colouring books and pens too.

Pack a colour palette

I’ve made the mistake a couple of time, in which I overpack Daisy’s clothes. I end up packing two outfits for each day and it all ends up being a bit stressful when one thing gets dirty and I’m stuck with half an outfit. Instead I try to pack a multipurpose colour palette! Items that go with anything so we can mix and match. Whites, greys, blacks and dusky pastel colours. These all go well together and even if it ends up that you’re outfits are a bit mix and match – who really cares?!

Just wing it

At the end of the day, wing it and just don’t worry. Easier said than done, but as long as you have your passport and money then the likelihood is you’re going to be fine. There’s a way to fix pretty much anything. I remember the countless times we’ve almost had to throw a suitcase of clothes and items away because we overpacked and din’t want to pay the extra charge (haha!). Nowadays we take a hand luggage bag each and that’ll last us for a week. We’ll also obviously take a buggy – one that’s easy to fold down. But overall it’s really made traveling with a child a lot easier – less time to hang about at the airport and less of a mess in the hotel room. Try it!

1 Comment

  • Jade + says:

    All great tips, Jodie.

    When we travel we pack very few amusement items & toys also. You want them to have favourites and something to occupy them, but the reality is they are already going to be experiencing new things that the toys just end up forgotten anyway!

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