Top four packing tips

If you’re keen to ensure your next holiday is stress-free and full of fun, read on for the dos and don’ts of packing wisely.

1. Don’t Pack in a Rush
It’s common to be running around trying to tie up a myriad of loose ends before you go on holiday. From making sure pets will be taken care of while you’re away, and your mail picked up, to finishing up last minute work tasks, there are plenty of things to distract you from packing. However, it’s important that you take your time to put all your belongings together and ensure no essential items are accidently left at home. Help yourself stay calm and collected by writing up a detailed list of all the things you need to pack before you leave for your trip. As you pack them, tick each one off so that you don’t miss anything. After all, there’s nothing worse than settling on the plane or driving for five hours, only to remember that you forgot to pack important medication, your child’s favourite toy, or the much-needed passport. Allocate plenty of time to packing and you’ll start the holiday off on a much better note.

2. Choose Your Luggage Wisely
It also pays to choose suitcases that are as light, durable, and easy to use as possible. If purchasing new bags, test them out not just on a flat surface but also up and down stairs, and make sure they’re easy to lift. These days most suitcases come with four wheels, making them easier to navigate, so it can pay to upgrade to a more recent design. Ordering some distinctive name labels online is also a good idea. Bags can easily go missing at airports or at hotels, so make sure you have attached clear, easy-to-read tags to each piece of luggage you take away with you. In addition, it helps to utilise at least two suitcases for the family, rather than packing the whole lot into one large bag. A bulky, heavy, family-sized suitcase is hard to lug around and might end up breaking from having too much weight in it. Opt instead for separate bags and you’ll also be able to divide each family member’s belongings amongst the suitcases. This way, if one bag gets lost, one person doesn’t get stuck with zero clothes to wear. Children also often like to have their own backpack or small bag with them that they can keep their cherished items in (like toys and books).

3. Pack as Lightly as Possible
It might be difficult to do, but packing lightly is a key tip to keep in mind when it comes to going on vacation with the family. Only pack what each person will truly need while away. Remember that you’re more than likely to make some purchases while on holidays, so factor in new clothing when packing. Select items of clothing that can mix and match well so that you can create several outfits from just a few pieces, and also pack shoes that will go with as many of these ensembles as possible. As well, don’t take up valuable space with full-sized toiletries — instead opt for travel-sized bottles or even take advantage of the items you can pick up in hotel rooms when away. It also pays to hire bulky items such as prams, strollers and cots, rather than trying to carry your own with you.

4. Have Your Paperwork in Order
Another element that’s crucial when it comes to packing is paperwork. Ensure you have multiple copies of all the essential items such as itineraries, passports, medical scripts and the like stowed in separate places, so that if you happen to lose a bag, wallet or handbag, you won’t be stuck. Give a copy of each important piece of paperwork to a close family member or friend at home as well, so that if anything happens you have a way of getting copies emailed to you.

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