This year, we've decided not to holiday abroad but we're lucky enough to have the use of my sister in law's house in Donegal for a week so my mind has already turned to the packing dilemma that travelling with kids brings.
I'm a dab hand at capsule packing for myself but bringing the kids along adds another dimension to the holiday packing list. That and packing for every possible weather scenario.
But whether you're going away to the sunshine or staying closer to home, I want to share with you some great packing tips to make the whole process a bit easier.
If your kids are older than 4 or 5, teach them how to pack themselves. I've done this with my son since he was that age and now he's a dab hand at packing - making my life a lot easier! With my girls (who are 6), I give each of them a re-usable shopping bag and tell them how many days we're going for and they first pack all of their basics for each day..socks, underwear, PJ's etc.
After we've packed our basics, we make up each day's outfit and roll it up like a sausage before packing in the shopping bag. For a week, I pack about 5 outfits per child as that gives us enough mix and match to make a few more. Getting your kids to do this means they're happy with each day's outfit (if you have fussy dressers) but you also know that you've packed complete outfits for each day so won't end up with unworn items.
This is a rule our whole family packs by and it works SO well. Bring no more than two pairs of shoes. Shoes take up a ton of space and are heavy. Bring one open pair and one closed in pair. Sandals and Trainers - neutral colours. I promise you this works...and if it doesn't, sure you can always buy a pair to bring home #bonus
You'll obviously be packing a charger and adaptor for all your electronic items but I strongly recommend you bring an Anker charger in your carry-on luggage or in the car. They come in different sizes and powers - mine is roughly the size of a pack of cards and it's amazing as it fits in my handbag and gives 2.5 full charges to my phone (it's a 5,600 mAh). It obviously needs to be charged itself but I just make sure I do so the day before we travel and it's an utter godsend whenever you run out of juice. They work on iPads, tablets, laptops..as long as they have a charging wire with a USB connection.
There are some amazing travel games that you can get that are easy to carry with you while travelling. Current favourites in this house are Tenzi and Uno - you'll find them both in most toy stores or on Amazon....the best bit is that they don't require batteries and everyone can join in.
Finally, when we go away, we give each child a holiday allowance. This means that every time you hear 'can I get one of those/go on that ride' and so on, all you have to say is 'do you have enough money in your account?' It's amazing how frugal kids are when the money's coming out of their allowance!
Oh and although you'll probably be ok if you travel to warmer climes, you can't holiday in Ireland without a Target Dry lightweight jacket! Check out my post from last month where I show you the ones we are using this summer...they've served us well so far!