Whether you’re heading abroad or ‘staycationing’ this year, it’s vital that you pack carefully, particularly if it’s your first family holiday. Here are some key items you won’t want to be without.
1. ID and documents. Pack passports and driving licences and travel insurance documents just in case. Don’t forget booking information for hire cars, hotels and trips.
2. Cash and cards. It’s good to have some local currency as well as your debit or credit card. Let your bank know if you’re going abroad so you can use your cards.
3. Handy gadgets. If you’re taking mobile phones, cameras, tablets, satnavs and other techy gadgets, don’t forget to take chargers and travel adaptors. It’s worth preloading music, films, audiobooks and games to keep the whole family entertained during long journeys.
4. Entertainment. You may also want to pack books, magazines, a Bible, writing/drawing supplies, playing cards, balls and other games to entertain the traditional way!
5. Clothes and shoes. Your location will dictate what type of clothing you’ll need, but you’ll definitely want clean underwear, so start there. Pack layers so you can dress up or down depending on the weather. Remember that temperatures can drop even in hot countries, so take a warm jumper. If you’re staying in the UK, you’ll probably need waterproofs and umbrellas! You’ll each need several pairs of shoes or boots, and don’t forget pyjamas, glasses and sunglasses.
6. Backpacks. Backpacks allow you to carry items hands-free, and children love having the independence of carrying their own drink, snack and map.
7. Medication. Make sure you pack enough to last your stay (order in advance to keep stocks up), as well as a copy of any prescriptions. It’s worth taking a first aid kit, Calpol and plasters in case of minor ailments.
8. Cosmetics. You’ll want to take shampoo and soap or shower gel, along with other items such as face wash, moisturiser, make-up and suncream. Don’t forget your toothbrushes and paste!
9. Baby items. If you’re travelling with a baby, you’ll need nappies, baby wipes, bibs, plenty of clean clothes, dummies, bottles and a baby carrier or buggy. You may also need to take formula, a baby monitor and a thermometer.
Specialist gear. If you’re camping, you’ll need a tent, sleeping bag and mat, pillows, foldable chairs, cooking and cleaning gear, torches and matches, insect repellent, hiking boots and flip-flops. If you’re heading to the beach, take swimming costumes, sunhats, goggles and snorkels. If you’re off to the pistes, pack appropriate clothing, ski boots, goggles, thick socks, helmets and gloves.