Packing can always be a stress, whether it is your hundredth trip or your first one. It is always helpful to have a checklist or a rundown of the important items to pack, that you can refer back to or check back on last minute so youíre missing an important item like your passport!
If you are planning a luxury holiday with your family at one of our villas in Italy, keep this blog bookmarked to refer to, giving you top tips on what to take and what to leave behind.
Step one: Important travel documents, cash and cards
Start by collecting all the important documents you will need for your holiday, from the passport, any travel insurance, ID, plane tickets, boarding pass, credit cards, cash, any reservations, contact information and anything else you are required. Keeping them all in one place means that all you will need to get from one place to the next is easy to find.
Before collecting these all together, check that passport, IDís and travel insurance has not expired. Inform your bank you are travelling abroad too, so they wonít assume any fraudulent activity on your card and cancel it. Also, have a digital backup of your passport, drivers licence and other information so you have access to them online, should something happen to the hard copy.
Step two: Your personal carry-on
The next step is preparing your personal carry-on bag with any essentials you will need for your flight. If you are travelling with small children, your bag might also have to contain their things as well. It is a good idea to have a spare outfit, a few essential toiletries or warm clothing if you are landing in Italy or France at night. It is good to have this bag for easy access to your person when travelling.
Things to consider packing in the carry on: chargers for tablets, cameras and mobile devices, headphones, electrical adaptors, travel pillows, eye masks and ear plugs, books or magazines, portable games, any travel or language guides you will need upon arriving at your destination, hand sanitizer, glasses with case and any medication in its original packaging.
If you are travelling with children, have changes of clothes for them in your carry on, in-flight entertainment for them and any snacks.
Step three: Your main suitcase
This suitcase is often the hardest part of packing, and donít worry as packing and repacking is part of this guide. Whatever holiday you are going on, having versatile luggage that is lightweight but big enough to hold your essentials is key. And if you are going to be going from cars to airports to buses and so on, having a suitcase you can roll or carry like a backpack is very handy.
If you are bringing children, you oversee packing their suitcase too, which adds to the stress. For young babies and toddlers, remember any sippy cups and cutlery they like, bibs, bottles or formula if needed, nappies, wipes and creams, a buggy, the lightweight and manoeuvrable the better and a baby sling. If you know you will be heading to the beach at some point on your holiday, pack in beach towels, beach clothes especially a sun hat and cover for the children, bucket and spade (these can be bought at the beach too) beach games, blankets for sitting on.
Step four: Organise your suitcase
On a holiday to our villas in Italy or villas in France you can expect to be doing a variety of activities from swimming to walking, and a variety of gear will be needed to be packed. One of the best things to do is use packing organisers, as this keeps all your clothes and accessories in compartments based on the outfit type of activity type. These are especially useful for bulky items like jumpers and jackets.
T-shirts, shirts, trousers and shorts, sleepwear, jumpers or cardigans, socks and underwear, dresses and skirts, belts, jewellery and swimming gear. Comfortable walking shoes will be needed, along with comfortable sandals and any other extra footwear you might need; when in Italy you should take the opportunity to dine out at a fantastic restaurant and dress up with a pair of glamorous heels.
If you are going on a longer holiday of 10 days to a fortnight, youíll want to pack a few clothing options especially if you plan on visiting various attractions. Having options doesnít mean overpacking, just pack smart. If you feel like it is too much, get your partner to check yours and vice versa.
Step five: Toiletries
It is best to keep toiletries light and flight-compliant, which means most items have to be 100ml or less per container, and stored in a clear, zip-top bag measuring about 20cm X 20cm. These bags can be picked up or purchased at the airport. Liquid containers over 100ml are allowed if they are for medical purposes, special dietary requirements or contain baby food and milk. Where possible it is best to put liquids for your toiletries in your hold luggage rather than any carry-on hand luggage.
Toothbrush and paste, floss, mouthwash, hair brush or comb, hair elastics, pins and grips, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, sunscreen, make-up, make-up remover, moisturiser, lip balm, hygiene products and spare contacts and solution if you need them.
Cologne/ perfume, hair products, shaving kit and razors, travel sewing kit, tissues, scissors, nail clippers and tweezer (these items must be in hold luggage).
Even when you are going to a hot, sunny country you will hope not to suffer any illness while on your holiday, but you can never be too sure. As such, it is best to be prepared with a few health essentials. These can include a first aid kit, especially plasters in case your kids gets a few cuts scrambling about the Italian countryside, prescriptions, pain relief (including childrenís) cold medicines and throat soothers, allergy medicine, insect repellent, sunburn relief, motion sickness pills, eye drops and be sure to check if anyone in the holiday party needs a vaccination. This is more likely for the younger travellers.
Step 6: Your day bag
Remember to bring a lightweight, versatile bag that you can use for everyday use when out and about on your holiday.
Step 7: Travel security
In popular tourist destinations, such as the south of France or Tuscany in Italy, there are often a few pickpockets around. The easiest way to keep your belongings safe is to keep them hidden, secure in an inside pocket of your bag or zipped up in a pocket on your person and close to you at all times. All these options mean any important belongings such as passport, cash and credit cards are kept safe.
Step 8: Prepare your home
If you are planning a ten day or two-week holiday, you should make some preparations for being away from home. These include getting the post office to hold your mail or asking a neighbour to take in parcels and setting up an e-mail or phone auto-response. If you have pets and plants that need taking of, you can use a kennel or cattery or again ask a neighbour or trusted friend to stop by. Be sure to pre-pay any bills and arrange any absences for children in school if you are going on holiday during term time. Also, turn off any electrical appliances, including central heating, and even empty the refrigerator. Before setting off, be sure to double check all outdoor windows and doors are locked, and store valuables in a safe place and away from windows.
Once you are all packed and ready, relax and have fun on your luxury holiday, creating memories to last a lifetime!