So, we made it to our destination but it wasn’t without a little trouble with our luggage at check-in. We knew we were going to be over, it was inevitable in our eyes. I mean, we have 2 children, 1 being a baby and we were coming away for 2 weeks. We had only been allocated 15 kg per person and I know what I’m like for overpreparing and packing for every possible scenario. I just can’t help myself, being too organised is my downfall! What with nappies, clothes, swim nappies, toys, toiletries and medicines, one of our suitcases came in at 25kg… oops. We weren’t too worried and just paid the extra charge for it but I came away wondering how other people do it. I glanced around the airport and could see families of similar sizes with just one large bag for all of them, I saw kiddies with slightly larger hand luggage which was clearly their clothes for their whole holiday and I started to feel a little embarrassed by our 3 pretty large suitcases.
Well, there’s not much I can do about it all for this holiday but if we were to fly abroad again next year I feel that I need to do things differently and here is how I can achieve that:
Pack, then halve it!
One tip I have been given is to pack what you need and then to halve it. This actually makes me feel extremely anxious because I love to buy holiday clothes and I love to have plenty of options, especially for the evenings out but I can see how this makes complete sense. With weight restrictions being in place and more items now being needed for our children, I need to think more sensibly when I travel in the future. As a friend said to me, you have kids now, you aren’t going anywhere fancy anyway!!
Plan your outfits
Set some time aside to really plan how each outfit could come together and be changed up. It’s great that you’ve been out and bought new clothes for your holiday but do you have a combination of ways to make that skirt work for several wears in the evening? Lay all of your clothes out of the floor (and get somebody to have the kids!) and work your way through which items go well together. Using your time well before you pack will help to keep your luggage weight down.
Buy a Trunki
I always forget that hand-luggage can be quite big and for kids, this is probably enough to get most of their clothes in and if you can’t, at least that means it is less in the main suitcase. Trunki’s are hard cases, which come in a variety of styles and have wheels for easy use- the child or adult can pull it or the child can ride on it!
Use re-useable toiletry bottles
One thing I did do this year was to purchase re-usable toiletry bottles and filled them with my shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion and toner in order to keep the weight down and to also prevent large spillages inside the suitcase.
Think about your travelling outfit
It can pay off if you wear your heaviest items there and back on the day of travelling. It is also a good idea to wear the exact same thing for both trips. I tend to take a lighter change of clothes in my hand-luggage for when I arrive so I don’t get too hot on the transfer journey.
Buy when you are there
This will vary depending on where you are staying but if you do your research on what shops are in or near your hotel/villa you should be able to find out what is available to buy once you are there. I’ve been to places where the choice is very limited before which is why I over prepared this time around with the children. However, I should have looked into what the hotel offers as their shop has a great range of baby products and toiletries which I could have just purchased on arrival.
Order with Boots online
I cannot believe I didn’t know this and I am kicking myself that I didn’t find out a few days earlier, but did you know that you can order your nappies and formula with Boots and collect it in the Duty-Free shop?! Yep, no extra weight inside your luggage and everything you need is waiting for you when you turn up. How easy is that?!
What can the hotel offer?
When travelling with a baby, it can be easy to want to bring everything you use for them on a daily basis. You need to think about what you can’t do without but also check what the hotel can offer you. Most will provide a cot/travel cot, they may be able to provide you with a steriliser and I would most definitely check out how else they can accommodate your needs before you arrive.
Use washing facilities
Before you book your holiday, check to see if they provide washing facilities. Most hotels will do but there will probably be a charge for this so do your research prior to arrival. Take full advantage of this to ensure that you have enough clothes to see you through your stay.
Buy re-usable swim nappies
This is perfect if there are washing facilities at your accommodation. Not only will you be being much more eco-friendly, you will also save on space, weight and money. There are a lot of choices with re-usable nappies so it will pay to do your research and find out which work best for you before you go away.
Choose to cruise!
If you want to go abroad and would much prefer to do it in style and not have to worry about weight restrictions, you could always choose to go on a cruise instead. Ships are very child-friendly these days and can offer kids clubs, soft play areas, games, swimming pools etc to keep your little ones entertained.
Do you have any other tips?
Thanks to my blogging friends for their tips:
Fran- Whinge Whinge Wine
Sara- Ballsy Mama
Suzanne- and another ten things
Patricia- White Camellias
Nikki- Yorkshire Wonders
Kayleigh- Candyfloss and Dreams
Jenni- Chilling with Lucas