When preparing for a getaway although it’s supposed to be ‘stress-free’ ultimately you begin stressing from the minute you start packing! Some of my tips below are targeted at getaways/vacations which don’t involve flights – however most of the tips can also be applied for international travel too!
Below I will show you an example of how I would prepare, organise & pack for a 5 day Summer family vacation with my 2 year old son. Do keep in mind, I usually only need to take items for my son & I (& Of course hubby) if we are visiting our family holiday home in Port Stephens as we keep all other necessities there already.
However I have still mentioned all other items to the best of my ability as though I were staying in another beach accommodation (like when we visited Kiama for a few nights) to help those of you who literally need to pack everything!
Let’s get started…
Preparation & Organisation
Begin by creating a list of things you NEED to pack, you don’t want to overcrowd your list with extra unnecessary items. Categorise your items to make it easier to pack – For this blogpost they have been categorised in 6 groups:
- For Me
- For The Little One
- Beach Extras
- Comfort Extras
*If you will also be packing a bag for hubby, more kids, a baby etc you’ll need to create a list for each*
When writing the lists ask yourself the following question… How many days are you going for? (This will determine how many outfits to take for yourself (hubby & the kids too) & will also determine how much food you’ll need to pack. You could use an app to create your list or a good old paper & pen!
Here are some example lists you may prepare when packing for vacation! Keep in mind these lists are created based on a 5 Day Summer Vacation:
1. FOR ME
2. For the Little one
Kids tend to always need an extra set of clothing or two especially younger kids. Babies on the other hand will need much more items possibly including bibs, nappies, pull-ups, portable cot, bottles, dummies and so on. These items will need to be considered depending on the age of your child.) Keep in mind kids are kids they don’t want to be wearing lace & pearls on a vacation – trust me! so you will need to consider their comfort above all!
The following example list is catered for my two year old son on a 5 day Summer vacation:
For a 5 day trip you’ll need to organise how many days you’ll be making food & how many days you’ll be eating out. This will determine how much food you’ll need to take. Consider breakfast, lunch & dinner.
• SNACKS! Don’t forget to pack lots of snacks for both the adults & kids! These snacks will come in handy for the car ride back & forth as well as the beach days!
• water & drinks
• milk (long life is always best when traveling)
• necessities (some places you stay at may provide plenty of necessities but if not you’ll need to consider bringing your own!) eg: oil, salt, sugar, tea, coffee
If you’re accomodation doesn’t facilitate much kitchenware you’ll need to consider bringing your own, here is an example list:
• disposable plates, cutlery, cups, napkins, foil trays
• rubbish bags
• foil & plastic wrap
• bbq tongs, serving spoons, wooden spoons, fry pan etc
• bamboo skewers for bbq
5. Beach Extras:
• beach chairs
• beach toys/inflatables/floaties
• life jackets if taking a JetSki or boat
• picnic blankets
• foldable/portable table
• coal bbq including coal bags or you may be taking a small portable gas bbq
• beach umbrellas, shelter or tents
• esky (this will be holding all of your food upon arrival to your destination & once emptied in the fridge you can use it to take food to the beach)
• cooler bags (these will be holding all your extra foods and snacks upon arrival & once emptied at your staying place you can use them to take snacks to the beach)
6. Comfort extras:
• Most people hate the thought of sleeping on pillows & sheets that aren’t theirs so you may want to pack pillows or just some pillow covers & extra blankets.
• you may also have access to laundry services and may want to bring your own washing detergent
• if your accommodation place doesn’t provide enough you may also need to bring some extra toilet paper & tissue boxes
• don’t forget all of your tech chargers! Also having a small portable charger in your bag is convenient when out and about taking photos all day
When packing all of your items begin by tackling each checklist within each category one by one. Tick off each item as you pack it & ensure you use the following tips to save space & make your items easy to use/access:
• lay items flat in suitcases/bags rather than folding in piles! Trust me this saves a tonne of space
• place shoes in drawstring ‘shoe’ bags these can be found at any dollar store & are extremely important to use to avoid the shoes getting in contact with the clothing
• use hangable toiletry bags with multiple compartments to store your toiletries and accessories – once you unpack you can simply hang it behind the door of the bathroom & have it ready to use instead of rummaging through bags trying to find what you want
• ensure you try to only take 1 Bag per person to avoid overcrowding the car
I truly hope this blogpost has helped in easing some of your stresses when It comes time to pack for your getaway/vacation! There could possibly be many more items which have not been mentioned above however the idea is to use it as a guide rather than a compulsory checklist. Use the tips and tricks above to create your checklists and enjoy packing in a calm & organised manner.
Happy Packing & Travels…