3 Family Travel Hacks to Survive the Trip

3 Family Travel Hacks to Survive the Trip

Whenever we went on holiday, I used to try to picture how the outside world sees my family, and I’m pretty certain I wasn’t far off – we were the family with one kid screaming while the other runs off to who-knows-where, and the mom – sweaty and flustered – shouts at the dad (who is overloaded with luggage) to fetch the child as she peers at him through a frizzled fringe, while she tries to hold onto her own bouquet of bags slung over her shoulder like she were a packing horse.

It was a nightmare. And so, over the years, I’ve tried and tested various travel hacks that I came across. As a result, I’ve developed a little repertoire of tricks to lighten the load of luggage as well as the chaos of managing the family. Here are 3 of my favourites:

Use extendable suitcases

b2ap3_thumbnail_suitcase.pngSome bags and suitcase have compartments that make them bigger, often just by unzipping the section. I recommend investing in these. It so often happens that, regardless of how little we packed for our holiday, our stuff never fits into the suitcase quite as nicely when we come back. Plus, we always seem to accumulate stuff while we’re away.

When packing before your holiday, pack without using the extendable space in the bag. Then, when packing to come home, the retractable compartments will save you the frustration of carefully trying to fit it all back in, and also save your shoulders from carrying that load of extra bags with all the titbits that refused to fit.

Roll your clothes

This trick is a well-known one for good reason: it works. Don’t fold your clothes. Where possible, roll them into tight little sausages. Per item, your clothes will take up less space. Also, if you need to live out of your suitcase for a while, it's easier to find what you’re looking for – you don’t have to remove the gazillion layers on top of the thing you want.

Book bulkhead seats for the flight

If you have restless kids and you’ve had to fly to a destination, then you know how difficult it is to keep them occupied and calm for the duration of the flight. Aside from the usual saving grace (a backpack of colouring books and some toys) make sure that the seats you book are close to some sort of exit or are bulkhead seats. This will give you a bit of floor space where the kids can play.

An added benefit with bulkhead seats is that your kids won’t bump or bother the people in front of you because there won’t be anyone in front of you!

With fewer bags and fewer concerns, I’ve found that travelling with the family is not as terrifying as it used to be. And luckily for us, many pit stops on the road and airlines even cater to families.

Are there any tips, tricks or stories about travelling you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Feel free to make use of the comment section below.

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