The school holidays are soon coming to an end, but if you're planning on squeezing a late summer break in with the family before the kids go back to school then here are a few of my tips (along with some from fellow bloggers) to help your packing run smoothly.
If you're anything like me, you might get a little stressed packing for a holiday. To help relieve some of the stress it's a good idea to make a list of everything you need to pack. Have a list on your phone too, so if you're out and about and think of something, you can make a note of it to ensure you don't forget anything. If you go on holiday regularly it's a good idea to save your list on a spreadsheet, to make packing for the next holiday so much easier.
Prepare your case
A week or two in advance, lay your suitcase out on a spare bed, or a spot in the corner of your bedroom, and toss items in as and when you remember them (this works well in conjunction with your list).
Get all the clothes washed & ironed a few days before travel & have a practice run with the packing, especially if your luggage allowance is tight - then make sure that the kids don't go sneaking into the case for clothes (always happens here) - don't you remember the shame of having to wear your 'old clothes' right before a holiday when you were a child?
Think ahead & plan
If you're arriving in resort before your accommodation is going to be ready, pack a bag with all the beach towels, swimwear, sun cream & flip flops you'll need, this way you can be on the beach without having to rummage through your suitcases for everything. This also goes for arriving late at night when it's good to have the kids pyjamas, teddy etc packed at the top of the case, so they can go straight to bed (tip from Liz) - this cabin sized bag can hold two sets of swimwear, flip flops and towels for our family of 5 , thanks to the compact Hammamas towels.
Prepare for early mornings
If you're leaving early in the morning make sure the suitcases are all ready & zipped up, & all gadgets are fully charged - who wants tears from the kids when the iPad runs out of charge before you even get to the airport. Also, lay everyone's travelling clothes out ready for the morning, and agree on what the kids will be wearing, to avoid any last minute early morning arguments over clothes.
Always have at least one set of clothing (including socks and underwear) in your hand luggage in case your suitcase gets lost (tip from Carolin).
Locate luggage labels & padlocks, making sure you don't leave it until the last minute to find the keys or remember the combinations.
If you have a soft suitcase then make sure you pack soft items, like clothing and beach towels at the top and bottom of the case, with more fragile items and items with hard edges, like a hairdryer, straighteners and plugs, packed comfortably between.
Pack all toiletries & liquids in plastic bags to avoid any spillage onto your clothes in the event of leaks - these Hammamas wet bags that the towels come in are great for that (then see above point).
Pack a small bottle of water in your suitcase. Foreign airports can be hot & busy places so it's always nice to have a cold bottle of water to enjoy when your suitcase comes off the carousel. If you have kids that always seem to be hungry, then pack some of their favourite biscuits alongside the water - this is guaranteed to cheer tired and grumpy children up, even for just a short time.