How to pack for a family holiday

How to pack for a family trip.
How to pack for a family trip.  Photo: Getty Images

Packing for one can be as easy as throwing everything in a suitcase and zipping the lid shut, but packing for your whole family requires a bit more thought and whole lot of planning.

While these tips might vary depending on where you are going and what time of year, here's some points to remember when packing for a family holiday.


First things first, take a look at your suitcase. How old, heavy and functional is it? If it's more than eight years old, it's time for a new one. Look for something lightweight and easy to wheel around.

Capsule wardrobe

Create a capsule wardrobe for each family member. This involves creating a mini, versatile wardrobe made up a few pieces that they can mix and match. When choosing what to pack, think things that are easy to wash and don't need ironing. Of course, this depends on if you have access to a washing machine or not while on holidays.


There are a few ways you can approach packing.

This video suggests packing the heaviest items at the bottom, like shoes. Save space by putting you kids shoes inside adult shoes and socks inside those. Next, roll smaller items and fill in the cracks. From there you can layer different family member's clothes, using a towel to separate them.

On the other hand, some prefer packing cubes as a great way to pack efficiently and group items together.

Or, plain and simple, roll each item of clothing and pack accordingly. 

Cross pack

If flying, make sure each family member has a change of clothes in another bag in case some luggage doesn't turn up right away. Alternatively, try packing undies and clean shirt for everyone in your carry-on luggage.


What else…

  • Swimmers, if travelling to a beach or hotel with a pool keep these handy. If the room isn't ready when you arrive, you can head straight for a swim.
  • Photocopies of all passports and travel documents
  • One iPad, with apps that don't need the internet.
  • Chargers, organise them all in one place
  • First aid kit, insect, antiseptic wipes, paracetamol, baby wipes
  • Toys that don't require batteries, including colouring in book
  • Snacks
  • Day bag
  • Hot weather essentials, like hats and sunscreen
  • Cold weather clothing, think layers
  • Zip lock bags

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