So you have booked a wonderful holiday in the sun, or snow, you didn’t upgrade to have the heavier luggage (which always seems to be an extra upgrade these days) and you are packing for a family holiday on limited baggage space: what do you need? That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? I was recently inspired by a fantastic video made by Florida 4 Less which guides you to pack your suitcase like a pro. I will definitely need this advice when packing for our cruise next year, EEK! 


It got me thinking about how would I cope with packing for a family, if I had limited space available. What things could I live without on holiday? What do you really need? I mean really, the essentials, not just the “I wants”. Here is the list I came up with: 

  1. A basic travel first aid kit. It would have plasters, wipes, fly repellant and bug bite sprays etc. 
  2. Clean underwear for everyone, for every day. I would never scrimp on this. 
  3. Swimwear (if going somewhere warm and sunny). But I wouldn’t need a swimming costume for every day of my holiday, I am sure I could make do with one. You can clean them after each use! Which brings me onto my next tip: 
  4. A bag of washing powder, tip some out into a sandwich bag or a tupperware dish and take it with you, so that you can hand wash items of clothes during your break. This will mean you can take less clothes and re-wear it. 
  5. I would suggest taking staple items that you can re-wear throughout the week and just style it up differently. For example, one pair of jeans can be worn four or five times (if you are careful) with different tops etc, or a skirt can be worn with a few different tops. 
  6. Try and choose clothes that will roll up easily, so that you can squeeze more into a suitcase. Jeans are hard to roll up small but a cotton dress would not be. 
  7. Wear the tough to roll, and heavier items whilst you travel, it means you can take it with you but you do not need to waste that space in your suitcase. 
  8. Wear the biggest pair of shoes and pack flip flops, smaller shoes. A big pair of shoes might be trainers, or heeled wedges. 
  9. Do the same for the kiddies, dress them in their tougher clothes that will fill up the bags and pack lighter clothes. 
  10. If you are uhming and arghing about whether to take something or not, don’t! 9 times out of 10 you will not wear it, you will not even consider it. 

I hope this list is useful. I look forward to hearing how you got on packing holiday clothes in small suitcases. 


When asking the children what they would take with them, the responses I got was chocolate cake, wellies, Isla said “Monkey” and Noah jumped in with “Blanket” (which are their comforters). It did make me chuckle. 

The overflowing suitcase image is by Shutterstock. 

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