Wednesday 24 August 2022

Packing Tips For Family Adventures

 Guest Post

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, from visiting foreign shores to exploring a new region in your own backyard. If you're doing something or going somewhere that's new to you then it can be classes as an adventure. 

Given that even day trips involve some form of packing, we've rounded up some top tips for what to put in your bag and how to arrange them - so you can just get on and enjoy the experience.

bear in suitcase

Make Lists 

The humble list is a great way to free your mind, especially when you're adventuring with children. The younger they are, the longer the list of needs is likely to be whether you're going for a day or a month. 

  • Types Of Clothing
 Pack for the expected climate and planned activities. This list can help you narrow down exactly what you need, cutting out items you might be tempted to pack 'just in case'. 

  • Equipment List
This can run from baby changing mats to camera batteries and charging cables or power packs. Include stuff from pastimes or hobbies if you're packing for longer breaks.

  • Travel Lists

 Plan for how you'll get to your destination. Include taxis, trains, car parking or hire, ferry or airport times and costs. You can include snacks and drinks too for along the way. 

  • Last Minute Lists

This is for the final things to check before you leave the house. Include things like checking lights and computers are off, windows are shut, back door is locked ..... anything that might niggle at the back of your mind while you're away.

  • Security List

Things like letting neighbours know you're away and giving them contact or emergency numbers or a spare key. Putting lamps on timers to come on at dusk might give peace of mind too. If your adventure is a longer one, you could take the added precaution of moving valuables out of sight of the window or moving your most treasured or costly items into  self storage while you're away. You can rent a locker if you don't need a room. 

Get Others To Help With Planning

All too often planning and packing falls to one person while the rest of the family sits back and enjoys the anticipation. 

It's perfectly ok to delegate some of the tasks that need doing, even if you feel as though you need to double check. At least the initial work will be done, cutting down your time and effort. 

Children can make a role in planning a trip too, even if it's just organising their own packing. Get them to make a lost of all the things they'd ideally like to take, then help them weed it down to a sensible amount. Alternatively, you might need to get them to expand their thinking if they're being a bit too minimal. Either way, it's a good exercise in thinking ahead for them. 

Other adults can certainly help. Don't be scared to 'volunteer' people if planning help isn't offered. 

Practical Case and Bag Packing Tips

Earlier packing lists you made will help with getting everything into cases or bags. Start packing as soon as you can, and even have a rehearsal so you can gauge how things fit in and what the bag weighs. Just because everything you need will go into one backpack doesn't mean it'll be comfortable to lug around all day. Maybe you need to share the load a little. 

Until the bag is packed, it's hard to judge how heavy it will be. When you're out for the day give kids their own backpacks so they can carry their personal needs, such as drinks, snacks, money or cameras and phones. 

For family suitcases on longer adventures, these tips might help get you organised. 

  • Put smaller items inside bigger ones to save space, such as socks or toiletries inside shoes. 
  • Put cables, hobby items, travel docs or keys in zip lock bags to keep them all together and accessible. 
  • Roll clothes up instead of folding them. You can even roll some items, like t-shirts together. 
  • Put items you'll need straight away, such as night clothes on top so they're easy to reach without doing a complete unpack.
  • Take items that wash easily and need no ironing. When suitcase weight or size if limited, having items you can easily rinse and dry overnight is handy. 

It's a good idea to pack many multi-function clothing items as you can when going on longer trips. Lots of casual outfits can be dressed up with small accessories to take them from day through to evening and jewellery, belts or light scarves take less space then complete fresh outfits. 

Spontaneous adventures can be fun, but often the best fun is had when a bit of pre-planning is done beforehand. Whether you're investigating the cost of self storage for longer adventures or just going on a quick trip, hopefully these tips help a bit. 


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