Tips for packing
Whether your holiday is a car journey to grandmas or a flight around the world, packing can be a real pain. Once you've figured out what to take you then have to work out how to fit it all in your luggage (and who's going to carry it!). Read our top tips for packing and ensure a smooth start to your holiday
While it's tempting to pack every item of clothing you have “just in case”, it doesn't make for a very enjoyable trip lugging all that baggage around! Only pack what you definitely will use, keeping in mind the climate you are heading to (its good and bad sides). And remember that layered clothing is more versatile. If you are away for more than a week, consider doing some washing on your travels rather than take your whole wardrobe!
If you roll your clothes rather than folding them then you'll find you will fit a lot more into your bags. Anything that's susceptible to creasing will fare better if you roll it with tissue paper.
Split it up
Separating valuables like credit cards, cash and travellers cheques into different pockets, your handbag or wallet will mean that if you are unfortunate enough to be robbed you may not lose everything. If you're concerned about the airline losing your luggage you can also split your clothes between members of your family so that if a bag does go astray you will have a few items to use while waiting for them to track it down.
Wrapping no no
If you are taking gifts for loved ones with you do not wrap them before putting them in your luggage as if your bags are opened for inspection you may need to undo all your good work. Just take a few sheets of wrap with you and you're all prepared for when you arrive.
A great time saver is to pack all your clothing in clear plastic bags (the resealable kind) separated into items, ie one bag for underwear, one for tops, one for pants, etc. It will save you having to rummage through the entire bag to find that elusive pair of tiny kids' socks. Also, put your toiletries in plastic bags to save any leakages. A few spare bags are also great for dirty laundry and other uses.
Before you leave for your trip scan your passport and tickets and attach them to an email in your web based email account (send it to yourself and make sure your sent items don't delete automatically). You can also keep any other information you may need in an emergency, like the telephone number for lost credit cards. Even if you happen to lose everything you will still have access to the information and copies for reference.
Rather than taking full size bottles of say, shampoo, conditioner or lotion, put what you will need in a small bottle – a great space saver. Use see-through bottles and label them for security purposes.
Your carry on luggage is your lifesaver should your other bags be lost in transit. Ensure that you include in it any medication, important papers, essential toiletries and a change of clothes.
If you're packing a torch or other product that uses batteries turn the batteries around so that if it is accidentally switched on whilst in your baggage the batteries won't be flattened. Just remember to turn them around again when you want to use it.
Give each child their own bag to carry with their special belongings inside including some quiet activities for the trip and some favourite toys. Small kids’ carry-on bags with wheels and an extendable handle are the easiest for kids to manage.