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Tips for travelling light as a family of four with an 8-month old baby 

Ant and I decided that this holiday would be about us as a family, taking some time to re-connect and chill out. We weren’t going to spend masses of time exploring. We were going to stay close to our apartment, dine as a family around the table and enjoy the hot sun, the pool and the sea.

This meant a lot to us. And it also gave us the opportunity to keep things light. We didn’t want to be weighed down with luggage. Travelling with 8-month old Eli, we knew there was going to be a lot of extras to take. So we wanted to take less of our own things. 

We were incredibly successful, Abi packed her 10kg hand luggage case and we took 1 medium case for the 2 adults and baby. We put it on the scales at Manchester Airport and it came in at just 18kg!

How did we do it? 

I’m really pleased to say, we did it without too much drama. We simply thought through the week’s itinerary and went from there. 

The week was going to consist of us going from the apartment to the pool, to the sea, and back. We didn’t plan for any excursions or too much dining out. We were travelling on a budget but also, Eli isn’t great in the evenings. He sleeps really well (and through the night!) but he wants his bed by 7pm.

When we’re at home, I can wear a pair of jeans for 3 days, so why when I pack to go away do I have a pair of shorts or a skirt or dress for every, single day? Why fill up the case with an outfit for each and every situation. Surely, 1 outfit could serve 3 wears? This was the first mantra we relayed while packing. 

We packed, and then packed again. A bit like when I sort my wardrobe out. We piled up what we thought we wanted to take and then we reduced it again. We did this twice over. You might be thinking – it must have taken you twice as long to pack? And you’d be wrong, more clothing means more accessories, more shoes etc. 

My shoes. Anybody else struggle to keep these under five per trip?! I packed one pair of beach flip flops, one pair of beaded sandals for more formal, and I wore my trainers. They’re comfy for running after a cruising 8-month old, breathable and perfect if we went sightseeing. Reducing the amount of footwear I took, actually helped me whittle down the wardrobe. (I just wouldn’t wear some of my things without heels!). 

On a fly and flop holiday like this, you spend 90% of your day in your swimwear. Using this mantra we cut back on “regular clothes”. This was also especially helpful to remember with the baby. He was either in his batman swimwear or just a nappy, as the average daytime temp was over 30 degrees. We didn’t need daytime vests, just a handful of shorts and tees and a sunhat. 

So these were the things we did to help us travel light.

We didn’t get everything right though…

  • I packed my running shorts and a vest. I love to run on holiday, especially by the water. But it was too hot for that. 
  • We still over packed. We brought back items still folded in the case, clean, pristine and unworn. 
  • Abi packed her own bag. She forgot her swimwear. This resulted in an unplanned, very frustrating trip to the local mall! (I wouldn’t mind but this is the 3rd trip we’ve had to buy her new swimwear while away – we should know better!)
  • We planned a menu for the week, when we arrived and saw how well stocked the supermarket was. We should have used a checklist for our outfit planning. Lesson learned. 

I hope some of the lessons we learned and the tips we had help you when planning your packing for your next fly and flop holiday. Do you have any ideas on how we could do better next time? Leave us a comment below.

About the Author
I've worked in travel for 13 years. As a marketer I've worked for Thomas Cook, Going Places, Direct Holidays, Gill's Cruises, Virgin Holidays and cruise brands, Cruise118.com, sixstarcruises.co.uk and rivervoyages.com. Strawberry Holidays was born because I LOVE TRAVEL. In the last 5 years my family and I have been to 39 places and 17 countries.