FAMILY vacations require a lot of hard work, and that’s before you’ve even left home.
But these tips from well-travelled moms will get your vacation off to a good start.
Mumsnet users have shared their best packing tips to make sure you have everything you need – and save a few pounds in the process.
Eating al fresco often means encountering very dirty tables.
One mom recommends bringing a tablecloth to make dingy picnic benches that much nicer.
Depending on the fabric, the rolled up tablecloth can also be used as a picnic blanket or cushion.
No one wants to arrive at their vacation home to find the kitchen cabinets empty of cooking utensils including olive oil.
Even more frustrating is buying a two liter bottle at a staggering price at the local supermarket.
One mumsnet user recommends taking a leak-proof, travel-size bottle of cooking oil with you on your next trip.
Every meal needs salt and pepper, and most people want some ketchup and mayo with their food, too.
One mom suggested stocking up on gravy pouches when you grab a bite at your favorite fast food restaurant.
When the holidays are over, you’ll have a stash of your favorite condiments to stuff into every spare nook and cranny in your suitcase.
Decent size cups
Brits are notorious beer lovers, and one mum always finds cups in self-catering accommodation too small for her cup of tea.
This mom packs “decent-sized” cups in her suitcase to accommodate her caffeine fix.
She keeps her spare cups safely in her suitcase all year round so that they are always ready to hand for the next trip.
Noodles & Noodle Sauce
Many families arrive at their holiday home late at night after all the local supermarkets have closed.
Abandoned with hungry kids, you’ll be thankful for the pasta and jars of sauce you’ve tucked between your clothes.
A mother recommended using the empty jars to protect delicate souvenirs on the journey home.
A good breakfast is essential, but foreign supermarkets can be a godsend when it comes to their selection.
Pack your kids’ favorite cereal in your luggage to avoid tantrums in the aisles.
Cereal boxes are big and bulky, so buy the smaller multi-packs and split them between several suitcases.
Old sneakers for the kids
If you have luggage space, one mom swears by bringing an old pair of sneakers for her kids to run around in.
She packs sneakers that are on the way out and throws them in the trash at the end of the trip so she has more space in her suitcase.
Use extension sockets
Knowing which plug adapter to take with you when traveling abroad can be one of the most confusing aspects of a vacation.
A big family vacation brings with it a lot of electronics, and sharing charging adapters for everything from tablets and smartphones to hair dryers can seem daunting.
One mom suggested definitely grab a couple of 4-way power outlets, which offer plenty of plugs without having to buy tons of adapters.
Pack a collapsible laundry basket
Gathering everyone’s dirty vacation clothes can be one of the most frustrating ways to end a vacation.
To get around this, pack a hinged laundry basket to toss your family’s dirty clothes while you’re away.
Empty it into a suitcase at the end of your vacation and it’s all in one convenient place.
A travel clothesline
A capsule wardrobe is the best way to optimize limited luggage space.
Most moms recommend packing enough clothes for at least five days and then washing them when they need a little refreshment.
Self-catering stays often have washing machines, so be extra frugal and decant your own detergent before your trip.
To dry clothes in the heat, pack a no-iron travel clothesline in your suitcase to keep your family’s favorite outfits fresh.
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