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Before I had my son I worked in Export so I was used to packing the bare essentials for a trip to customers or to an exhibition. Travelling light was definitely the best option. I always thought I did quite well with my little cabin case for a couple of days away until I did an Italian trip with my Sales Director and he turned up with his laptop bag. Where’s your luggage? This is it? What! His laptop was in there too. Quite impressive, but my argument was, he didn’t need to worry about a hairdryer, straighteners and the like. He was taking the whole ‘no excess luggage allowed’ to a new level. A level I will never reach.
Now I have different issues; travelling to visit family (with Mum’s long shopping list of the things she misses from England), having my son with me and having a husband who packs more clothes to go away with than I do! So with no excess luggage allowed (I’m certainly not paying for it!) I need to think of lightweight travel essentials. Here are some of my ideas!
For me and my bed head going on holiday without a hairdryer is not an option, and I’ve learnt from experience that not all hotels provide one and if they do they are fairly useless. But investing in a lightweight version certainly helps with the old weight issue.
Carrying on this theme – hair straighteners! I’m lucky that I have short hair, but it still needs straightening when I want to look a bit more sophisticated (I’m on holiday, after all, I want to look more like me, less like Mum, sometimes after all). I have some great little straighteners, they work really well and are tiny!
Next up – buy small empty plastic bottles and decant your shampoo/conditioner, bubble bath/shower gel and the like. Saves loads of room in your suitcase and is much cheaper than buying all those ‘travel’ sized options you see in the supermarket these days.
Footwear – I am well-known for my love of shoes, and other than a trip to the Maldives, I always take far too many shoes with me. So my answer is obviously to reduce the number of shoes that Daddy P can take with him! Now, something like the lightweight Hi-Tec Zuuk shoes is ideal in my opinion.
Firstly, lightweight, secondly, multi-purpose – great for travelling, pottering around the resort or for getting me a nice iced G&T from the bar. One pair of these Hi-Tec Zuuk shoes and Daddy P can leave flip-flops, sandals etc at home.
Now if I was going on a long haul, sit by the pool a lot, kind of holiday (the kind I had 2-3 times a year back in the day) then I would have to invest in a Kindle. I used to pack half a library in my suitcase, so I can definitely see the benefit of one small gadget over my mountain of paperback books.
Now that my son is getting to grips with using my iPhone for games, I can download some lovely books and games onto it, for him to look at too while we’re on holiday, saving more space in his suitcase for clothes!
Now I do like to take my own beach towels, I know that most hotels that I’ve visited will provide these for me, but I still like my own. Rather than a big bulky towel that takes up loads of room in your case, why not think about travel towels! They fold up to a fraction of the size of your normal towel and dry really quickly so you can use them right up until the last minute before flying home.
When he was younger and need to be in a high chair at mealtimes I actually took his booster chair with us, it folded up quite neatly and wasn’t too heavy but it still took up quite a bit of room in the suitcase. I wish I’d used something like a Totseat Travel High chair – it’s made of fabric, you just roll it up and it even fits in your handbag. That would definitely have been a better option, with less weight and less space.
Lightweight travel is essential in this house is a card game called UNO. I’m addicted to this card game and now we have my little boy its great family fun. He’s too young to really understand the actual gameplay, but we talk about the colour of the cards and it’s very good for colour recognition too. It’s obviously a small game so takes up very little space, but offers our family hours of holiday entertainment.
Finally, although we all go on holiday hoping for good weather, the rain can sometimes follow us as you can see in this photo from our last trip to Spain!
Rather than taking Daddy P’s bulky raincoat, this time around he’s going to tack a Pack-a-Mac. These are such a good idea, take up hardly any room in the case and weigh next to nothing. I usually leave a couple in the boot of my car when I take him on day trips, just in case.
So there you have it, ten lightweight travel essentials for our family! What would you put on your list?