With sunnier days here and many families set to jet off on their travels over the next few months, packing light is never easy, let alone when you have kids.
With the hashtag #packinghacks reaching a staggering 250 million views on TikTok, getting the balance right between too many clothes and not being equipped, is a struggle many parents experience.
To help you stay organised and to maximise suitcase space, the experts at M&S Kidswear have revealed 6 fool-proof packing tips to help the whole family travel like a pro.
1. Pack your kids items last
Packing your children’s belongings last can have its benefits and saves parents the pesky task of having to pull everything out of the suitcase at once.
“When packing, it’s good to be strategic, a key tip is to put your children’s beach towels and swimsuits right at the top of your case so the kids can dive straight into the pool after fractious journeys.
This avoids mess and chaos, saving parents from having to dig back through the suitcase not knowing where each item is.”
2. Invest in storage bags or packing cubes
Although this may be one of the more common tips to help maximise your luggage space, investing in luggage accessories is one that is worth following.
“Using vacuum sealed bags is one the easiest ways to maximise space and is great for family holidays where you all share one big suitcase. They also keep everyone’s clothes separated, so help to organise items whilst concealing those bulkier items.
The same goes for packing cubes, which can help to keep bulging suitcases organised and keep your clothing wrinkle-free, regardless of whether you prefer to roll or fold them.”
If you decide to bring your dog along, you don’t have to worry about bringing too many accessories with you, or at least those bulky ones. For instance, if you’re headed to California, you can book one of the Los Angeles dog friendly hotels. There, they offer various amenities such as food bowls, poop bags, dog treats and dishes, feeding mats, and in-room dog beds similar to this luxury dog bed sales so you don’t have to pack your own.
3. Follow the 3 shoes rule
Shoes can be a tricker item to pack, as many people want multiple footwear options but are limited with luggage space.
“The 3 shoes rule is great for families having to share luggage space, and follows one very simple step – simply put, only pack three pairs of shoes.
For a summer holiday, this typically means to pack a pair of trainers and two pairs of sandals – one smart and one practical. It’s an easy but effective hack to prevent chunky shoes taking up the majority of your suitcase”.
4. Roll and fold
Whether to roll or fold clothes is a classic debate amongst travellers, as both have their own advantages.
“Rolling has replaced folding as the space-saving method du jour. However, it might not be wise to roll all your clothes.
“As a rule of thumb, it’s advised to fold clothes that are made from natural materials like cotton dresses and tops. Cotton and linen crease and wrinkle very easily so they benefit from being folded, and knitwear items tend to be chunky, meaning that they will take up more space in your suitcase if you try to roll them.”
5. Wear your bulkier items on the plane
A key tip which is used for many holidays, can also be applied to those more tropical destinations.
“Regardless of what kind of climate you’re travelling to, it’s best to travel in your bigger items such as lightweight coats and joggers – which are perfect for travelling in comfort too.”
6. Include your children in the packing process
Many parents avoid this last tip, but it can save headaches and tantrums in the long run.
“It’s best to involve your children in the packing process of their items, as it will help to alleviate any dramas of forgetting to pack their favourite t-shirt.
Start with a list and ask your kids which items of clothing they’d like to bring, then you can prep and make sure these clothes aren’t lying about in the washing basket and are ready to be packed away”.