How Many of These Holiday Packing Mistakes Are You Guilty of? C’mon! Fess Up!
The ONLY thing that I ever dread about going on holiday with my family is having to pack, largely because apart from my husband who packs his own, by default I end up having to pack for everyone else as well as myself. Of course, if anything of importance gets forgotten then, it’s all my fault!
So, I by no means suggest that I am anything close to resembling an expert when it comes to packing for a family holiday…but perhaps you can learn something from some of the rookie mistakes I have made.
Do Not Over Pack
It’s the most obvious mistake of course, but the one that so many of us seem to fall victim to. Let’s face it when you have kids a trip to the local park often requires you to pack snacks and drinks, spare clothes, sunscreen, wet wipes and a whole host of other ‘just incase’ things. No wonder when we are faced with the prospect of spending a weekend or a week or two away from home we spiral into needing to pack EVERYTHING ‘just in case.’
Even when I’ve flown inter-state with the kids to visit their grandparents I’ve arrived with the best part of everyone’s wardrobe, only to be reminded by my mum that she does actually possess a working washing machine and lives in a part of the country where laundry is dry literally 5 minutes after being hung out…so I really didn’t need to pack 21 pairs of underwear each for a 7 day visit.
Likewise, when searching your wardrobe for things to pack, don’t even think about taking that top that you forgot you had. I’m a shocker for this mistake. Really. The likelihood is that it will stay at the bottom of the suitcase (just like it has stayed in the back of your wardrobe) untouched…because there is a reason you’ve forgotten about it! In fact, just take it to the nearest op shop stat…to save you from the temptation of making the same mistake and taking it with you AGAIN when you go away next time.
DO NOT Buy ANYONE New Shoes Just Before You Go Away
Seriously – this is by far the most painful mistake you can make because if those suckers start to pinch or give you (or God forbid, one of the kids) blisters and you haven’t got a spare pair packed, well…let’s just say, it ain’t pretty. Either stick to your old faithfuls, or buy new shoes a few weeks prior so that they can be worn in before you go.
Do Not Throw Away Your Packing List
You know that super helpful list you make when you are all excited about going away that includes all the essential items you need like medications, toiletries, electronics, chargers etc…do not throw it away! Pack it so that you can use it to re-pack all those items to come home and avoid leaving anything important behind.
Never Trust Your Toiletries Not to Leak
Have you ever arrived somewhere only to find that your perfume bottle is almost empty and EVERYTHING (including your toothbrush) can be smelled from a 3k radius? Or that the toothpaste tube has emptied its entire contents into your toiletry bag so that EVERYTHING is covered in a minty white mess? Yeah nor me *cough* but I hear that it sucks…big time! If anything looks a bit suspect, zip lock bag it baby!
Do NOT (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES) Fail to Plan Enough Entertainment for the Kids
Whether you are traveling by plane, train, automobile, boat – whatever – you MUST have some quiet activities planned for the kids or else you are dooming yourself to having to endure them asking you every 3-5 minutes ‘are we nearly there yet?’ And there are few things more annoying in this world than that. Even with adequate entertainment no parent EVER escapes without hearing it at least once or twice during the journey…but trust me when I say that even the most patient parent will start rocking gently in their seat with a wild look in their eye after hearing it for the 10th time or more.
I always pack some paper and textas. This can be used for drawing or playing games together like naughts and crosses or dots and boxes.
Electronic devices are always fully charged (and I carry the chargers in my handbag so that they are easily accessible should we need to recharge en route.
Of course Wifi isn’t always available (and there is no way I’m letting three bored kids chew through my phone data – that’s my job!) so I ALWAYS download our favourite Netflix shows and movies onto our devices before we leave home so they can watch them offline. These also come in handy when they wake up early while you are on holiday – so you can send them back to bed to watch their device quietly while you get another 30 minutes sleep! Best invention EVER! Oh, and don’t forget the headphones so they can plug in and watch without you and everyone else having to hear.
Download and print out more Netflix Parenting Travel Hacks here
Don’t Fold Your Clothes – Roll Them!
I’m pretty sure that my mother’s blood pressure sky-rockets when she sees my opened case on the bed with everything rolled inside (as opposed to neatly folded) – but since my husband converted me to this technique way back when, I’m a huge fan of the roll-method. You can fit so much more in your case…really! If you’ve ever wanted to own a bag like Mary Poppins where an impossible number of items are taken out – rolling your clothes in your suitcase is probably the closest your ever going to get!
What other packing mistakes are you guilty of?