Packing for a solo trip is easy enough to manage – You only have to pack clothes and other things you might need for yourself. Chances are you’ve taken short trips before, either locally or abroad, so you likely have a pretty good idea of what to pack. You may even be able to get all your things together on the very same day that you leave.
Packing starts to become more complicated when there are kids involved though. If you forget any essential items, it can turn what was supposed to be an enjoyable trip into a stressful mess. Luckily, you can avoid such situations when travelling with your kids with these helpful packing tips.
Research the Destination
It pays to research the destination first when packing. If you are travelling during the summer months to a warmer region then your kids can likely leave any heavy attire at home. Consider the kinds of activities you plan to do too. For example, if you expect to do a lot of hiking, make sure to pack essentials like hiking boots and other outdoor gear.
A good system to adapt for any trip is packing layers for you and your kids as you can never be absolutely sure what weather conditions will be like. Be sure to bring along t-shirts, long sleeve tops, and a down or waterproof jacket. That way you can layer as much or as little as needed.
Getting the right travel vaccines is important for you and your kids to protect against certain diseases. Start by making sure that everyone is up to date with their routine vaccinations. Other vaccines will depend on where you are travelling to. While the flu vaccine is recommended for all overseas travel, diseases like hepatitis A are more common in some countries, including tropical areas of Africa and South America, while infections such as typhoid fever are more rampant in South Asia. Make preparations in advance to give the vaccines enough time to take effect.
There may be other items you’ll need to pack when it comes to health issues you or your kids might encounter overseas – insect repellent, hand sanitiser and oral rehydration sachets are among them. Best to get advice from a travel doctor on their recommendations for your itinerary.
Make a Packing List
The last thing you want is to arrive at the airport with your kids in tow and suddenly realising you forgot something valuable. You can prevent that from happening by making a list of things you’ll need whether it’s for a trip in New South Wales or another destination. Start with absolute essentials like passports, IDs, medications, phones, and chargers. Next, make a list for other items like clothes, shoes, toiletries, and baby supplies.
As there will likely be lots of downtime from travelling to your destination and back, it’s also a good idea to pack things to keep your kids entertained. These can include paperback books, card games, toys, or even an iPad filled with some of their favourite shows. Better yet, let your kids choose what they want to bring but be sure to limit it to only a few items.
Bring Packing Cubes and a Collapsible Daypack
It’s happened to all of us – You’re looking for a specific outfit to wear but you left a mess rummaging through your luggage to find it. Then you have to spend time re-organising everything again. Packing cubes are essential travel items as these make it easier to keep your clothes compressed and folded neatly. You can take this one step further by labelling your packing cubes so you and your kids can instantly find what they’re looking for.
Another useful item to pack is a collapsible daypack which are exactly what they sound like. They can compress into a small pouch and come in a variety of sizes. Whether you are taking a short hike or exploring the city, simply take out the bag and fill it with what you need for the day. These are also small enough that you can easily bring one for each of your kids.
Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for TravelVax.