It’s that time of year again – children are off school for 6 weeks or so and many people are planning to get away from it all and jet off to a warmer place! So here are some handy tips to get you organised for your trip abroad, ensuring all the while that you take the minimum of clutter and unnecessary stuff with you;
Packing your Bags – always a pain to do, but done properly should be a breeze!
- Check your checked-in baggage allowance with your airline. Think carefully – is it worth stuffing an additional heavy item costing £10 into your suitcase, only to be charged an addiuitonal £20 at check-in for being overweight?
- Pack suitable clothing for the kind of activities you intend doing; if its lazing on a beach for 2 weeks, you don’t really need a plethora of outfits for daytime use, just swimwear & a few cover-ups, if it’s hillwalking in the Alps, you’ll need plenty of thick socks & hats.
- Toiletries don’t always need to be family-sized or complete new packs. If at home you only go through shampoo at the rate of 1 bottle every 6 weeks, you’re likely to need only 1/2 a bottle for holidays (even accounting for additional post-swim hairwashing).
- Check the laundry facilities at your accommodation or in the resort. If you are in a private villa with it’s own washing machine, you can most likely fdo without multiple outfits, making use of these facilities. If you don’t have access to this whilst away, try to pack outfits that can be worn in different combinations.
Paperwork & Electronics – some of us just can’t leave work behind!
- Travel with your important documentation in your hand-luggage to reduce the chances of it going astray.
- Make a point of scanning or saving a copy of your passport, links to your travel insurance documents, tickets, EHIC information and so on, into a shared web-accessible program so that you can access this at any time as you need it during your trip. Dropbox is an easy-to-use system that you can access over the internet – and best of all it’s FREE to use!
- Sync your electronic devices before you leave, so that your most up-to-date contact information is available to you when you need it.
- Back up your home-based PC/laptop devices – be it to a portable hard-drive or to a cloud-based server…just in case!
- If you are unable to reduce the number of electronic devices you want to take away with you, try opting for just 1 space-saving charger device that can be used for several things – iPod, iPhone, smartphone, MP3, camera, laptop, iPad, etc. Argos sell a handy one for under £50 with international socket adaptors and they certainly save on limited space!
Kids – the little poeple who attract an enormous amount of ‘essential’ stuff!
- Firstly limit children to fitting their toys, books, games, etc into their own piece of hand-luggage (or section of a case). The Trunki is great as it doubles up as a case AND a pull-along for tired feet and they are so cute!
- Let them identify their most precious items that they just can’t be without, then do a bit of editing down just before you travel. My motto to my own children is “if you can carry it, you can take it, but YOU have to carry it.” That tends to get the message across, and 12 books soon become 8!
- Keep a favourite teddy close at hand for the journey.
- Remember that often most of the stuff kids bring with them on holiday never sees the light of day! Hold back on dishing out all activity books, computer games, etc on Day 1, in order to avoid toy overload. Spread them over the duration of your break.
Whatever you end up doing during your holiday and wherever you end up going, I hope you have a great time, filled with many happy memories. And when you get back, be sure to edit, upload, share and back-up those photos so that you can enjoy them in years to come, and to print out a few of the best to proudly display in your home!