Keeping everything in its place as you travel is no mean feat. But with some nifty packing, the right tools and a little routine, you can be reduce the chances of something going wrong or being unprepared. We love to head off on family holidays as often as our budget allows us, so as our family has grown, we have had to adapt to new ways of staying organised on the road.
Packing for a family of 4 is a much bigger task than packing for 1 (or 2). Yet with a few simple steps, you can steamline the process quickly and easily.
Here are five packing tips to keep you organised while travelling.
5 PACKING TIPS FOR ORGANISED TRAVEL
The Right Suitcase
Selecting the correct suitcase or bag for your trip can go a long way in keeping your packed items in order. There are some great options available in a range of sizes, and when it comes to travelling, size does matter.
The humble suitcase is the preferred item for most travellers who want to stay organised. With its flip-top lid, you can see all your items at a glance and readily access what you need.
But it’s not just about the shape – selecting the right sized suitcase for your journey also helps keep you organised.
If it’s too big you’ll find yourself fishing around amidst clothes and items that have moved in transit, not to mention lumbering through airports with a bag that’s cumbersome.
Too small, and your items are crammed together and hard to find. So select the option that’s right for your trip and ensure it has all the required extras such as wheels and handles
We recently switched to hard cases and they make it so much easier. They seem to fit more and I love the fact they have a zip off section in the centre. My goal is always to try and pack everything into one half of the case so the other half is there for the stuff I buy haha But also if you are sharing a suitcase with your partner or children, it’s great knowing you can divide in half. This is one of our favourite suitcases.
Although if you are travelling by road, sometimes a better option is a soft bag that will fit more compactly into your vehicle instead of a hard, rigid suitcase. No one wants to play Tetris with their luggage!
This was my suitcase ready for my recent Nashville trip. One week to the other side of the world, and less than half a bag filled thanks to packing cubes!
For the organised traveller packing aids, such as packing cubes, are a must-have. These clever little space saving bags allow you to keep your smalls together, your shirts neatly pressed and your formal or business attire clean and separate from day-to-day items. Once filled with clothing, the cubes fit neatly together within your suitcase and keeps things organised and neat.
We started using packing cubes when we first started travelling as a family. When you have 4 people’s clothes in one or two suitcases, that was the only way we were going to find what we needed easily. Each family member has their own coloured cubes so I know who’s is who’s in our suitcase. Day clothes, underwear, swimwear, etc. They are a game changer!
It’s not just how you pack but what you take that also makes a difference. Select a wardrobe that can be mixed and matched to limit the number of items you carry, and cull your wardrobe relentlessly. If you have items that coordinate well that you can dress up or down to suit your different activities, this means less items needed to complete your looks.
Do this for every member of the family to reduce the amount of clothing and accessories you need to take. And don’t forget ladies, a statement necklace can go a long way for changing up your look!
As much of travelling revolves around airports, ticket counters and Customs halls, pay attention to how and where you pack your documents and other items that need to be declared.
Passports, boarding passes and visas should all be stored in secure document pouches or wallets that you store in the same place in your hand luggage every time you travel. This allows for easy access and prevents rifling through your bags for that all-important passport.
As you pack, it also pays to consider what items need to be declared and place them near the top of your luggage for quick access at Customs.
With heightened security, locks are a must have for any traveller. Don’t be caught out searching aimlessly for multiple sets of keys to open different locks, consider purchasing combination locks and allocating a single set of numbers for all so you can quickly get into your luggage.
You want to make your suitcases difficult for other people to get into, but not so difficult you can’t open them yourself.
Make a List
Maybe you’re a veteran traveller now and don’t need a list. I am a little this way myself, however there are always a few last minute add ins that I want to make sure I remember.
I find keeping a list even just for those last minute items can be a huge factor in making sure you don’t forget any of the essentials. And if you get stuck, there are so many great travel packing list freebies online too!
Personally I like to keep my carry on bag light, which is super easy when it’s just the two of us or when I’m travelling solo, but with the kids, light isn’t always an option!
Make sure you have all the essentials in your carry on to make your trip comfortable if you are flying or catching another form of public transport. Of course you don’t need to worry about this if you are just having a road trip.
Your carry on is the place you keep your most important items and documents. I like to keep my camera and tablet in there too if travelling with them. Snacks, and if we have the kids, we definitely have their activity packs with us too.
It’s also important to simply have a carry on that is actually the right size and style to suit you too. Hubby likes to take a backpack that fits lots. I prefer to take a small shoulder bag or handbag so it isn’t too bulky and I can easily sling it over my shoulder while carrying kids or lugging suitcases.
Embracing organisation when it comes to travel can take a whole lot of hassle out of any trip, allowing you to swiftly pack and go, access your items and get on with enjoying the real journey.
For more tips on organised travel, check out our family travel blog where you can learn how to make the best travel memories with your kids, or without them.
What is your favourite way to stay organised when you travel? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear it! And share this post to Pinterest via the image below! Be sure to follow me on Facebook or YouTube for more organisation ideas like these!