Here we are 5 weeks away from Christmas, it’s freezing outside and as the rain beat on our windows last night I felt grateful of the recent injection of winter-sun I have just enjoyed.
It’s incredible what sunshine can do for the spirits isn’t it? And autumn, winter is a very cost-effective time to travel, especially if school holiday dates aren’t an issue for you. Or alternatively, you are able to snatch a few family weekends in the sun. (Because lets face it, you can fly to Spain far quicker than you can drive from Manchester to London!)
It pays to always be travel ready. My good friend Mandy once told me that she always kept an overnight bag packed ready, full of miniature toiletries, toothpaste and a toothbrush, just in case the opportunity for adventure arose. I have never forgot that great tip.
So instead of packing my swimsuit and summer clothes away in the depths of my loft, I pack them in a suitcase with my swimwear, flip-flops, beach dresses and beach bag. And hey, last week that paid off when the perfect travel opportunity arose and I was able to pack and be ready in no time.
I want to share my top tips of how I stay travel ready with a family, because it is possible. And half the battle of family travel is the packing. If you can master this and have a few tricks up your sleeve it most certainly motivates you to book that last-minute trip, especially at this time of year.
Here are my top packing tips for family travel
Have a travel bag ready
With a supply of travel plugs, passports, insurance documents and a purse with any change from previous trips. Getting in the habit of keeping essentials all in one place ensures you are always good to go. There is nothing worse than having to hunt round trying to locate travel essentials for an imminent trip.
Check out the sales
I often buy summer clothes in the sales and put them straight into a suitcase. It’s a great way to be trip ready with growing children and can save a fortune. Likewise always have a selection of summer dresses ready to go and add to these when you see bargains in the sales.
Buy ankle socks in advance and keep in a suitcase
I purchase inexpensive socks in both the boys’ sizes and leave them in a case ready. It’s a great idea to buy these in bulk and just pull a packet out when we travel. And because they are inexpensive, I don’t feel bad throwing them away after a trip should they get ruined.
Such as shower gels, deodorant, toothpaste and dry shampoo. Purchase travel size refillable bottles for shampoo and conditioner (or is it only me that is so fussy about what hair products I use?) And also buy in extra sun cream when it’s on offer.
Have a selection of swimwear ready
I always choose a bandeau style swimsuit to prevent tan lines, however this is not a practical option for hitting a water park! I feel I need something a little more secure for such occasions. Because trust me, the boys would never get over the shame of me losing my top on a water slide. They would consider it grounds for parental divorce.
Get a yearly worldwide travel insurance policy
If you like to travel frequently it is cost effective and ensures you are always ready to go. (It’s worth checking your policy covers your trip if you are doing extra activities such as skiing, but a quick phone call will clarify this)
Keep a packet of zip lock bags in you suitcase
These are so handy for packing toiletries thus protecting your clothes should there be a spillage.
Do you have any great packing tips? It would be great to hear them. Because lets face it, anything that can help you to be ready for that next adventure has to be worth sharing.