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Travelling light with a family

Those aren’t words that tend to go together are they?

I recall holidays where the sum total of bags and luggage could have represented emigrating not a week’s holiday in Spain

But if we are good at one thing in this family its travelling light, very light.

Part of the reason for that is experience, vast and lengthy painful experience, with 3 children now and an ever-growing amount of ‘stuff’ I have learnt to trim the fat when it comes to travelling, almost every weekend we decamp to the family home in North Wales – so that means packing for two/three nights away, complete with children & dog. It’s become a bit of a challenge nailing just how little we actually ‘need’ and that’s half the battle.

Goodness knows when our first child was born, holidays tended to look like we were moving an army, so much stuff that we couldn’t do without, sterilisers, blankets, travel cot’s, bottles, toys, clothes it was a huge amount, but with each subsequent child I have chilled out a bit more about what needs to come travelling with us.

I’m pretty old school, I grew up in an era where a ‘hold’ bag was included in the price of your airline ticket (imagine that) and that means, though I’m ashamed to admit it, I’m perpetually tight when it comes to buying baggage allowance, and so frankly I don’t, or I buy the absolute minimum I can do. So on this trip to our VillaParade villa in Majorca I will be checking in 1 hold bag and the rest of us will be sporting hand luggage. I would also say that I wouldn’t bother with any hold luggage but for my husband’s addiction to Massimo Dutti and the FACT he will buy his next year’s full wardrobe on this trip, I know him so well!

Now I can feel some people reeling in shock, and incredulous horror, but I have to say one of the best advantages of a villa holiday is that fact they have laundry facilities, now I don’t want to spend my holidays resembling Widow Twanky but I also don’t want to lug back bags full or unworn or unwashed clothes either, come on we have all done it, come to pack up the bags and realise how much hasn’t even seen the light of day on the holiday.

Now with three children, one of them a teenager who frankly couldn’t fit her make up in hand luggage, this can be a challenge but I find there is a knack to it, and the trick is to get the children to buy into it. They each get their own pull along, or in Emma’s (2) case a Trunki, and then its a competition to see who can take the least but still look great, with prizes for ingenuity, and asking them to think about what ‘they’ want to wear on holiday, not what I want to see them in – that’s key. If your children are anything like mine it’s as little as possible, 2 x swimwear, 1 x shorts, 2 x tshirt’s and 1 x dress, cardigan/hoodie, sandals for both day and evening and of course underwear and one toy.

As for me, I pack 2 day time dresses, one pair of shorts, one evening dress, three strappy tops and two pairs of shoes, underwear and swimwear, light jacket that I wear on the plane, make up and a hair brush and I’m done, if there is room I might put the straighteners in there too along with DVD’s for the children. My husband packs even lighter than that and I can all but guarantee that the bag we put in the hold on the way there will be nigh on empty, but for reasons I mentioned above I know it won’t come back like that

So there you have it, I see it as a challenge, have a fabulous minimal hassle holiday, and not get screwed over paying a fortune for luggage, more pennies to spend on holiday and less to lug about – everyone’s a winner well except for those pesky budget airlines.

Its surprisingly liberating and I would encourage you to give it a try, nail your capsule wardrobe and you won’t look back, on sneaky weekend trips without the children there is no feeling better than skipping off the plane, bag in hand, walking straight to the exit rather than joining the hoardes at the carousel of pain, getting straight in the first taxi and knowing that you a full hour ahead of all the others stood staring at luggage and battling to grapple it off the moving treadmill. 

This beautiful blog post was written by @Alysonsblog

On behalf of everyone at Villa Parade, thank you so much for taking the time to write this and, for allowing us to post it on our site.

We wish you and your family a wonderful villa holiday X

The BEST holidays

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