Packing Tips

I’m natrually a very bad packer and it’s only been recently that I managed to achieve some sort of sensible streamlining. Here are a few places that I found really useful:

Style At Any Age

Garance Dore

9to5Chic and here

Stina Auer – Weekend Packing

Habitually Chic – What Should I Pack for Paris?

Une Femme d’un Certain Age – Travel Series: The Stylish Traveler

My own area of experience is traveling with 3 children on long haul, here and here. Here’s a summary:

Months Ahead

  1. research your destination meticulously whenever kids are involved especially if they have medical and/or dietary needs
  2. make sure to get the right and adequate travel insurance
  3. make sure to order enough medication ahead of your trip plus spares
  4. double check passports, visas and any other documents required
  5. give yourself plenty of time to make a packing list and adjustments as well as for the actual packing itself
  6. double check timetables for public transport if you need them and make arrangements accordingly such as marking in your diary to book taxi/coach/train tickets
  7. check the foreign exchanges for the best no commission rates

Final Month

  1. assemble as many of the items from the packing list as possible and decide if you need to edit
  2. try out mixing and matching outfits and accessories to make sure they work
  3. if anything needs repairing/altering, do it asap so you have time to get alternatives if they don’t work out
  4. assemble all the toiletries and medication you need and make sure you have enough of everything but if you know you can buy everything you need at your destination then by all means wait and save yourself the extra weight
  5. decide which suitcases you need and makes sure they are not damaged and have the right locks and keys, right lock combinations

Luggage Allocation

  1. all airlines seem to be a lot stricter about luggage size and weight since 9/11 plus with kids, you need to travel as lightly as possible in any event – you do not want to be that person having to repack your cases on the floor at the Check In desk!
  2. each of my kids carry a small rucksack with literally 2 toys (a book and a teddy or doll), a snack, small disposable water bottle, wipes, tissues which leaves room for a jacket or cardigan when they don’t need to wear it
  3. carry on luggage is 7kg each but no way will each of my kids be able to carry their allocation so what I had to do was just have one carry on which happened to total 11kg – I was told to simply take out 1kg and distribute it among the children at passport/security checks and then repack everything

Travel Outfits

  1. don’t be tempted to include too many zips and buckles in your travel outfit! I never fail to trigger the metal detector door and get a pat down search – last trip a second pat down with the handheld metal detector – obviously I’m working my way to a full strip search
  2. I like to be as comfortable as the next person but can’t go down the sweatpant/leggings route yet so it’s a simple shift dress for me with flats, pashmina, cross body bag and tote
  3. my kids will always wear long trousers even in the Summer as it can get cold on the plane and it’s not always easy to get a blanket over them properly, short sleeve tee, cardigan or jumper with closed shoes

Essential Clothes & Accessories

  1. for a beach holiday, sundresses/shorts/bermudas are good but include long trousers and skirts for the evenings when mosquitoes can lurk, the same with long sleeve tops and tees
  2. hats and good quality sunglasses for all – be prepared to make space in your own bag to carry them too
  3. 50 SPF and total sunblock if you prefer plus insect repellents and sting soothers
  4. comfortable sandals for everyone plus flip flops for poolside/sand
  5. beach/city tote – I find those reusable nylon bags in bright colours and prints more than good enough, they are washable and very light so typically take 2 -3 as they very handy for a bit of shopping too
  6. gloves – yes really – if you’ll be driving on holiday – you’d be surprised how much sun the back of your hands catch

Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments below – thank you!

3 thoughts on “Packing Tips

  1. silky1way

    It seems to be a I am a profi traveler….:-) before I go somewhere I read everything about the destination. Allways.
    I do have permanet travel insurance, I have my packing list for different destinations, so I need 2 – 3 hours to pack all only by choosing the right list, I do have a travel scale (very helpful in the end of your trip, you don’t have to think about where this and that was before or run to the hotel gym with your luggage to check the weight), I do also have a list for medicare travel bag….
    as less as possible. It weights too much. Shampoo etc. purchase in final destination
    take everything you need. More important than toiletries. I Know what i am talking about. Was sort of ill many times on my trips. To look for pharmacy and doc takes too much time. only if you really need a doctor, then you have to visit one.
    travel outfit:
    I am with you, comfy but no jogging pants. It’s a big no, no. jeans with stretch, sweater or cardigan and under t-shirt plus big scarf or shawl and comfy flat shoes, no belts, zips etc. It does slow you down.
    Carry on luggage 7kg is a joke sometimes…’s nothing when carrying cameras, lenses, photo equipmnet etc. I can recomend BA – 23kg per carry on luggage! only the size has to fit!

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      🙂 I’m more practiced since writing this and of course my kids have grown plus we’re doing shorter breaks now. My husband has traveled so much in his life, he could pack for anywhere in the world in 5mins flat – including the ironing. I had that to live up to! Will update next year.


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