How to pack for a family trip

So today is the day - we are leaving for Noosa and I couldn't be more excited about spending some relaxing and fun time with my loved ones! This is actually our first family vacay outside of Melbourne. Throughout the year, we are lucky to have use of my parent's holiday house on the Great Ocean Road, so we spend a big chunk of our summer there, and weekends where possible. So, the challenge for me on this trip was having to pack for the 4 of us with a small amount of space! Usually we load up the car to the max, but this time of course suitcase space was limited.

With only one check-in suitcase and 3 carry-ons to work with, I needed a plan! So here are some clothes packing tips if you're lucky enough to be going away anytime soon.

First up, I typed out a quick list with 5 categories - one for each family member, and 'extras' e.g. toys, books, chargers, laptop & ipad etc. I literally went into each person's room and wrote down all the things that I needed to pack. This was the master list I used throughout the process to tick items off as they went into the suitcase.

Next, I started pulling clothes out that I wanted to bring. At this point, I wasn't worrying about whether there were too many items, but I did place them in piles e.g. shorts & pants, tops, dresses, t-shirts etc. Once I had the 4 piles, I did my final loads of washing and added in any extras.

Now for the culling! This was hard for me, as I always overpack! But because of the limited space, I was forced to be ruthless and really stick to the list.

Once this was done, it was finally time to start packing! I definitely recommend rolling clothes as opposed to folding them as it cuts down on the crease-factor, and takes up a lot less room. Pants at the bottom, tops on the second layer.

So from this...

To this (first layer)...

To this! All clothes in!

Socks and underwear were tucked into the corners of the bag or any space I could find. I placed our shoes inside plastic bags so the soles didn't dirty anything up, even though this time I actually packed them separately to the clothes in one of the carry-ons.

I always over-pack toiletries, but really tried to only take the bare minimum seeing as we will be spending most of our time at the beach or pool. Ain't no-one got time for make-up on the beach!

So there we have it - clothes all packed in one large suitcase and 2 carry-ons filled with toys, books, and all the other necessities. Didn't even need that 3rd carry-on! High-fiving myself, haha. My final tip is to lay out the outfits you are all going to wear on the plane the night before, so you're not running around the morning of departure!

How do you go packing a suitcase? Are you an over-packer or are you good at being ruthless and packing the bare minimum?

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