Have you ever got everything ready for a family holiday, felt pretty proud of yourself and then arrived at your destination to find that the children have 3 million outfit options whilst you have 3 pairs of tatty shorts, no knickers and T Shirts that don’t match? I have! I am often so busy making sure that the littles have everything they need that I totally forget about the mummy holiday packing. Packing for a family holiday is difficult and our instinct is always to put those littles in front of us, but…..
This is daft people! We should really pack for ourselves first as honestly the children don’t care. If my kids only had a swim suit with them they would be happy. As soon as the weather heats up those exhibitionists keep stripping off anyway and its all I can do to stop them from being nudy rudey (as they call it) all day long!
Anyway after a couple of disastrous packing efforts; one where my husband literally had NO shorts with him I have come up with some simple mummy holiday packing hacks. My ideas should help you to have what you need without having to think about it too much – after all it is supposed to be a holiday. Now I try to think about it in advance and actively prepare for a holiday.
My tips are really aimed at your typical family holiday so if you are going somewhere super fancy you may need to up the ante on the evening outfits.
- Capsule wardrobes are your friend – I start my holiday packing from my flips flops up. So I choose two pairs of flip flops (usually just a black and a navy) and go from there
- Think about how long you are going for. We typically do a 3 week holiday and so I pack for 10 days and accept that I will need to do a wash. I think trying to pack something for every day is too much. Since I usually do at least two washes per day I still feel like I am getting a break just doing one wash in 3 weeks!
- Think realistically about what you will be doing. For us it is mostly about beach and pool with maybe the odd lunch or dinner out, a bike ride, some workouts and possibly a day trip or two and so I pack shorts, swimsuits, tshirts and a couple of versatile items that I can wear out for a lunch or to the beach
- Get organised – you might think I am mad, but I do a spreadsheet that is based on the activities I think we will be doing and then I use that to go through my wardrobe and pick outfits that go with the colour palette
- Think about ways to bring less, but still look good; jumpsuits, playsuits or dresses are the answer – 1 item and outfit done!
- Limit shoes; I know its tough believe I love a shoe, but they take up so much space and if we are honest with ourselves we probably don’t wear them all. So for me it is two pairs of flip flops, trainers, one nude block heel sandal – job done!
- Build in flexibility i.e. maxi dresses can be day or night
- One handbag – yes I said one handbag. I know it is madness, but on a family holiday unless you are somewhere very fancy then you really don’t need a bag for each outfit. Pick something neutral or really bright and it will go with everything. I do also take a beach bag I must admit and I tend to go for something mesh so that sand and water can escape easily.
- Beach cover ups are also a must have as they take up no room in a bag and if you are doing a beach holiday then you are likely to find you spend most of the time wearing these. Again I stick to similar colours so that they go over each bikini or swimsuit
- Keep makeup to a minimum. I get a sun cream with a foundation tint so that I can get a bit of coverage for my slightly temperamental skin, but it is practical too. I then just go for a lip gloss, mascara, a neutral eye palette and a cream blush with a bit of a glow – I hasten to add I don’t wear all that to the beach!!
I think with these points in mind you can easily take just one bag on holiday even for 3 weeks. Now I am not going to say that you could just do carry on if you are flying, but with smart mummy holiday packing you can make sure you have great items with you so you can feel confident without having to spend weeks packing or bringing the world’s biggest bag.
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