Travel Packing Tips – What you don’t need

As a family travelling, I am shocking for trying to cover all bases. I am also guilty of trying to fit everything in, including the kitchen sink at times. Keep in mind when you are packing that there is nothing you cannot buy if you need it. Don’t take it because you might need it. Take because you know you will need it. Remember you may need to carry your luggage upstairs, it may need to be put on a high rack on a train, and remember the less you take at the start the more you can bring home with you. We stayed on the fourth floor of an apartment in Lisbon with no elevator and very steep stairs. It was a big effort to carry 4 suitcases all weighing over 20 kilogrammes up 8 flights of stairs. You just don’t need everything from home. There is plenty of travel packing hacks out there for you. We hope our travel packing tips for families can help with your packing style.

Here are travel packing tips, leave the excess at home?

Toiletries: Travel Packing

On the first couple of trips, I took enough to last the whole time we were away. Now I take one bottle of a medicated shampoo for Willow and one normal one from home just to get us started. It is the same with deodorant, conditioner and soap…amazingly other countries sell these products too! With Willow, she has very sensitive skin which is thankfully easing as she is getting older. This normally ties her over until we find something that suits her as well.

Nappies: Travel Packing

When Willow was little I took a massive amount of nappies with me…seriously there are other babies in the world and I noticed that nappies were available everywhere. We did have the odd one leak but that is also a problem we had had at home on occasions so it was not a surprise.I tried to look up brands that were popular in other countries so we could use them but sometimes it was luck of the draw. Luckily the next time we went there was no need to take them but I am sure I filled that space up with another crazy thing I had thought of.

Toys: Travel Packing

Toys for the girls. On all the trips we have made we have made the mistake of taking toys from home for the girls to play with. We’ve included Barbies, Lego, Polly Pocket and a heap of books. While the books have been a great idea the toys are barely touched. After a massive day of site seeing and walking, they have both been too tired to even think about sitting and playing with some toys. And again if it is something they are going crazy about you can probably pick up something really cool at a shop!

Clothes: Travel Packing

Again the crazy comes out in me here. I pack my suitcase, then I try and take half out, pack again, then Mark checks it and then I pack again! Now that we use apartments as much as we can we try to get one with a washing machine. This can have what you take again as you can wash regularly. Other times we have tried to source a laundromat or laundry service (not ones from hotels as they are so expensive but a shop that does it all for you) to have them done. Mark is an extremely early riser so he has popped down to the local laundromat to do the washing more than once! Mark has his own packing theory…he tries to use it is his 3-3-5 system he calls it. 3 pants, 3 shorts, 3 shirts and 5 t-shirts, 5 socks and 5 boxer shorts. Stuff the clothes into packing cubes and that should get him through he tells me. Between me and you he never sticks to it, he always adds extra then regrets it!


Shoes: Travel packing

As we are sitting at the kitchen table Mark is insisting I write shoes. It is causing me some pain to do it in all honesty but he is right. You should be able to get away with 3 pairs of shoes…tops. I take my sneakers (last time I took my sketches and they were great) a pair of nice slip on’s and normally my thongs. These are in the summer months so I am thinking two pairs for the upcoming winter trip. I usually get myself a pair of slippers along the way too. I love the ones I buy in Poland or Germany. They are so soft and warm!

travel packing

A full car on the way to the Airport

General ‘Stuff’

This is broad I know BUT those things you are putting in your suitcase that you will possibly, just in case, maybe but most likely not use are things you should leave at home! To be sneaky I pop things in my suitcase (while Mark is not looking) just in case I might possibly need them. when we get home and think to myself, why did I pack that? I think it is easy to do, don’t get me wrong I am shocking for the what ifs. I love the familiarity of my things in my travel bag. After all, they are things I know that fit me well, fit my kids well, won’t cause blisters on my feet or a rash on my skin.

It’s preferable than going and buying another that I have never used before. The big thing I have learned (and this was even after we had a bag stolen) is that every country has something like what you have, everything can be replaced, it might not be mine or even something that I am familiar with but it can be replaced. Don’t let it affect your time in the places you chose and the holiday you would have been having because you are stressing over leaving you favourite hairbrush at home! Travelling is all about new experiences. Let us know your travel packing tips for families.