Packing for a trip can feel intimidating and stressful. Especially when you’re doing it for the whole family. Luckily, common packing mistakes are easily avoided if you know what to watch out for.
Here are five common travel packing errors and how to avoid them.
1. Not Having a Plan B
When packing your carry-on bags, be sure to include a few basic necessities for each family member. That way, if the unthinkable happens, and some of your checked luggage gets delayed, your family won’t be in a bind. Which necessities should you bring?
Consider packing a change of clothes and a travel-size set of toiletry items in each family member’s carry-on. For adults, think a mini toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. For kids, depending on age, think wipes, diapers or pull-ups, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. The items will also come in handy for any in-flight spills that mess up you or your kiddos’ clothes.
2. Forgetting about TSA Guidelines
While you’re busy ensuring your carry-on luggage contains travel essentials, don’t forget about the TSA’s guidelines for liquids in carry-ons. That way, you’ll avoid the hassle of getting stopped in the TSA line. What’s more, you won’t have to throw away any of your favorite non-compliant stuff.
For liquids, bottles should be no bigger than 3.4 ounces (100ml). They should all be secured in one quart-sized zipper locking bag. Each passenger is permitted one bag of liquids. Prepare your bag of liquids ahead of time so that you can easily pull it out and place it in the x-ray bin during your security check.
3. Packing for Dream Weather
When preparing for a trip, we tend to fixate on the ideal weather conditions of our destination. If it’s the Mediterranean, we think bikinis and sandals. But we tend to forget about other items like a lightweight sweater.
Weather fluctuates. Even in paradise. So, as you’re packing, stay on top of weather updates for the area you’re visiting. What are the highs? Lows? Are afternoon thunderstorms likely? Is it the rainy season? Pack accordingly.
4. Stuffing Your Suitcases
Here’s the bottom line. When traveling, you and your family end up buying souvenirs and keepsakes. There’s no way around it. But where are you going to stash those little mementos if your suitcases are filled to the brim?
Instead, plan ahead for the shopping you’ll do by leaving some extra space in each bag. Also, consider bringing a foldable sack that you can keep in your checked bag. That way, if you bring back more than anticipated, you’ll have a carry-on ready to go.
5. Not Properly Organizing Luggage
If you don’t know about packing cubes and compression bags, then now’s the time to get familiar with them. They are invaluable when it comes to properly organizing your family’s luggage. What’s more, they can buy you that extra bit of room you’ll need for things you buy while traveling.
We’re huge fans of Eagle Creek Packing cubes (affiliate link). They make it so much easier to keep the kids clothes neat and organized, especially when you’re staying in different rooms.
They offer zipper compression versions too.
How do compression bags work? Place clothes inside each bag, then roll them as tightly as possible. Each bag contains a special valve which releases air as you roll the bag. The valve doesn’t let air back in. By expelling this excess air, your clothes take up substantially less room freeing up space for other things… like souvenirs.
Avoiding Packing Mistakes
Have you ever made any of these packing mistakes? Do you have travel packing tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check out our packing list here.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its people, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.