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  • 7 Practical Solutions to Pack Light(er) for Your Family Vacation

    Make sure you don't haul tons of luggage with you on your next adventure with these tips.
    by Michelle Katigbak-Alejandro .
7 Practical Solutions to Pack Light(er) for Your Family Vacation
PHOTO BY Pixabay
  • So you and your hubby have finally decided that this year (perhaps starting this Mother's Day?), you all deserve a family vacation as a gift. Good for you! Traveling with the family is worth the investment, and it's something your kids will forever remember.  

    Traveling light is a snap when you’re on your own or with the hubby. But traveling light with children in tow? That seems next to impossible. It takes intense planning; after all, you want to make sure you have everything you need to keep the kids happy (and preserve your sanity) on long-haul flights. And that usually includes bags and bags of snacks, pencils, dolls, cars, clothes, shoes, and more!

    The struggle is real! But it is still possible to pare down when it comes to packing those suitcases. Here are seven tips to keep in mind when packing for your next fun-filled family vacation.

    1. Choose and limit your bags.

    Limit your packing to only what will fit in your luggage. Don’t allow yourself to add an extra bag if they become too full -- edit the contents instead. This way you are forced to think long and hard about what you bring along. Duffle bags with wheels like Kipling’s Lightweight Travel Suitcase (available at Kipling Stores) are always a good choice for what type of luggage to bring because they are flexible, and can carry a surprising amount of your stuff. Also, invest in a good brand. If it offers a warranty, even better.   

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    2. Basics are best. 

    Opt for pieces that you can easily mix and match. It applies to every member of the family. Go for lightweight fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily. Cotton, jersey, and light wool are good choices. When traveling to cold places invest in pieces with heat technology. Heat Tech from Uniqlo is a great choice because not only are they in neutral colors, but they are also warm enough to wear alone and thin enough to put under a sweater for added layering. 

    3. Anything with multiple uses is perfect.  

    If you do constant traveling with your kids, car seats that are strollers, too, are lifesavers. Chicco Cortina Keyfit 30, for example, are ideal for babies and children up to 2 years old. It meets international safety regulations and is exceptionally easy to use (available at SM Baby Department Store).

    If you are visiting a family, see if you can borrow items that you were thinking of bringing like a stroller. Additionally, several rent-a-car places will also rent child car seats while malls and amusement parks often have stroller rentals.

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    4. Share as many items as possible.
    Speaking of multiple uses, the family that travels together shares as many things possible. It means the same toothpaste for all of you (instead of Barbie toothpaste for daughter and Batman toothpaste for your son). The more items you can share – toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. – the more space you can save in your luggage. 

    5. Go easy on the shoes and handbags.  
    Women often find it tough to limit the number of shoes for a trip, but it will be worth it! A good (and stylish) pair of sneakers is a great start and then a pair of nice shoes (kitten heels or boots) for a night out. Apply the same rule for the kids, too. 

    A nice neutral-hued sling bag is a good travel choice. Check out Longchamp Le Pliage Neo (available at Rustan's), a sling and hand bag in one. It is sleek enough for nice nights out but sturdy enough for sightseeing. Plus, the size can fit all the kiddie essentials!


    If you need a diaper bag, try the classic Charlie Bag, which can be a sling bag or backpack.  

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    6. Get everything in travel-sized versions. 
    It does not only applies to toiletries like shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, but also to items like brushes, makeup, sunblock, medicine, and perfume, too. Some travel sized multi-purpose products we love are: 

    • St. Ives Apricot Scrub facial wash and exfoliator (available at beauty stores) 
    • Crest mouthwash for those times you can’t brush your teeth -- it happens!
    • Lycee eyedrops, even celebrities like Victoria Beckham swear by this! (available at Lazada
    • Canmake cream blush and lip tint (available at select Watsons stores and PCX Beauty). 

    You can also never be too safe! Be sure to bring a first aid kit. A nice pre-packed travel-friendly first aid kits is the “Charlie” kit (available at Asklepios). It contains bandages, gauze, tourniquet, and more -- you just need to add a few of your family’s important medicine. 

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    7. You pack it -- you carry it! 

    And, finally, a great way to ensure your kids don’t force you to over pack their bags with toys is to make a deal with them that whatever they pack in their hand-carry luggage, they need carry themselves. If they know, they will have to lug their bags through large airports they might be more enticed to pack light. A fun way to get them to carry their bags is to let them choose the bags themselves. There are tons of fun designs available!  A good way to entice your kids to bring their bags is to give them cute designs they love like Skip Hop’s adorable backpacks (available at Mothercare).


    As a last reminder, even though it’s hard (our schedules are all crazy!), try to pack early. It will give you time to make edits and adjustments as you see fit. Giving yourself time to consider what you need to bring. It is the best way to prevent over packing, which is usually the result of last minute panic.

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