How to pack simply and minimal for a family vacation

Minimal Packing

Packing for a family is probably one of the worst nightmares when you going on a trip. It gets even trickier when traveling with young kids.

There’s just so much to do and so much to remember. In this article I will share my own tips and tricks to make packing simple and minimal.

With the tips I am going to share, you should find that your packing experience would be totally transformed. You should be energised and exited to get ready for your holiday.

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Create a List

I think the number one tip is to make a list. That way you can be sure that you don’t forget anything.

In order to keep things simple and to make sure that you only pack what you need, start making my lists very early

I would suggest about 1 to 2 weeks before you have to start packing. Have a list for every member of your family and cross the list off as you go along. That way you can ensure that you will not forget anything!

TIP: A great place to create a list is on your mobile phone, this way if some one reminds you of an item your can easily just add it to the list.

Create a packing system


Rolling clothes when packing

One of the best ways to stay organised is to create a system. When I pack for my family, I set all the suitcases that needs to be packed out on the floor. Usually mine and my husbands together and then each child’s suitcase after that.

I usually do this about a month before we travel and I start packing the items I can pack and at the same time cross my list off.

I found this system to be very helpful, but you can use any system that works for you.

TIP: Use this during times when you are packing the bags to get exited for your holiday, while crossing off items that you can pack off your list. Victory!



Before you travel, do research on the whether and the activities you are wanting to do and pack appropriately.

Try to not “over-pack”.

Keep clothing items to the minimum and pack only what is needed. That will decrease the amount of luggage you take.

TIP: Research and planning is key, Getting this right allows you to enjoy your holiday with out the stress of “did we leave anything behind!”. Allow the family to join you in the research. Make it fun and get exited! 


Try and use the space that you have available as best you can.

Packing is like a jig-saw puzzle.

Use every inch of space available to pack something by using smaller packing cubes, folders, sacs, etc. Use all the available space you have.

When you pack clothing, roll the items up so that you can fit in order to maximise the space you have available and at the same time prevent overpacking.

TIP: Make it fun, as you pack what you can cross it off your list. Doing so should start the excitement that your holiday is getting closer.

Be organised

All chargers and cables in one place

Travelling with different devices can be a headache for a family.

I found a great tip is to pack all electronics and cables together in one bag.

That way everyone knows where it is and it can be found easily.

TIP: Become the super mom and dad by having the magical ability of knowing where everything is. Keeping the devices alive could really keep the peace while travelling.



Traveling with kids can be daunting. Make sure you pack some toys for the kids to keep themselves busy.

Kids also feel more secure and safe if they have their own toys with them,

that way you ensure happy travels to everyone. Please remember to keep the toy items small and compact as possible.

TIP: Keeping the kids feeling safe and exited is key to making sure the whole family enjoys the holiday.


When traveling with kids (especially mine), it is important for me to have healthy sacks for the family.

I typically pack stuff like nuts, dried fruit, biltong, droëwors and cheese crackers.

That way I know my child has food to nibble on and at the same time stay healthy.

TIP: If you are travelling in the car, remember to plan in more stops, perhaps share some history about each stop to create memories. Make sure every stop is a toilet break, it helps!

To round up:

We do hope that you find these tips helpful.  We would love to hear what your tips are and how you tackle packing for a vacation.

Feel free to leave your comments below, We would love to include your thoughts and if you know of a family that is about to go on a holiday please share this link to help them out.


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