Packing is NOT a but it’s something most people who travel have to face. Here is our guide to long-term travel: packing tips for families.
In this last 4 months, we did practice a lot and we got ourselves some nice techniques to make things go smoother, and I’m sharing with you today.
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The best packing tips for families
First of all, DON’T overpack. It’s messy, it’s useless and it’s anti-ecologic. So, you know, make a list of what you will need and pack that – and only that. Or even pack a third of that if you’re planning on traveling carry-on only.
I know it’s hard to choose what pretty outfits for each kid you’re taking, but do it. And choose comfort over looks. Really. Every clothing item needs to be comfortable and practical. And if it packs very small, bonus point!
Don’t worry, there’s everything everywhere – it just may be more expensive.
Roll instead of folding!
Second of all, roll your tees, undies, and stretchy pants. And put everything in a packing cell – or cube, however, you call it. Here’s a video of me, doing it very nicely.
Use every space wisely
Lastly, just really use every empty space in your bag. I mean it. Every tiny space. Just to give an example, my backpack is an Osprey Fairpoint 55. It’s got a nice curvy shape.
The packing cells, even though they’re soft, they’re cubes. So I can fit a sweater at the bottom of the bag and the PJs on the top.
Sometimes, depending on how the packing turned out, I can even fit something in between the cells, or over and around them – useful for those clothes that took longer to dry, or the stuff you were wearing until now.
And let’s not forget the souvenirs, right? If it’s something very small, I can just shove it in any corner of the bag.
Other organization items
- Our packing cells aren’t anything special, we bought them because they were on sale.
- We use the travel towel bag to carry cables and cords – they’re tiny, weight very little, and they work well.
- By the way, travel towels pack really small and they dry a lot faster than the regular towels. Check the prices of the travel towels here!
- We don’t use any toiletry organizer because they’re too big and bulky and expensive and they aren’t clear and zippered, as carry-on regulatiosn require. We use the regular ziplock bags – around 4 of them for the whole family.
- Trade, wherever possible, a regular to a travel version: board games, books t0 e-books, notepads and pens to drawing tablets, etc.
Don’t take a full bag
I’m pretty sure you will want/need to buy something somewhere, so do take your bag with a little bit of space left in it. It’s better than having to buy another bag just to carry souvenir home, seriously.
The ‘how to roll your clothes perfectly’ tutorial!
How to roll your clothes in photos, for those who don’t really like videos (I must warn you that videos are a bit better, you know, to understand it):
- Your tee, nicely open
- Fold out the bottom of your tee, 1/4 of it seems to work unless it’s a sweater or something with thick fabric (in that case, you might need around 1/2)
- Turn it fold down, fold to the side.
4. Fold the other side of the tee
5. Roll from the top to the bottom
6. Take the bottom fold (the first one you made, on step 2), open it and insert the roll into it. Ta-da!
- Lay your pants flat
- Fold the top of it (1/4 of works for most pants)
- Turn it fold down and fold the sides
- Roll from the bottom to the top
- Insert the roll into the first fold – this step might take some tries, it might undo, so do carefully.