Suitcase packing like a pro — 4 must-have items for a healthy family holiday

Suitcase packing for a family can become a bit of a science — keeping within the weight limit often means ditching some desirable items in favour of essentials. While switching superb stilettos for a functional pair of flip-flops is acceptable, cutting corners on health and safety is unwise. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a similar selection abroad to what’s on offer in your local stores — but there’s sometimes a dearth of direct equivalents.

So when suitcase packing here is four must-have items for a healthy family holiday.

  1. First Aid kit

Your first port of call for minor cuts, burns and grazes abroad is a quality travel first aid kit. Look for a product that’s approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) — this should be clearly confirmed on the packaging. Typically stored in a zip-bag, at a minimum, the kit should contain antiseptic cream, cotton wool, various bandages, scissors, safety pins and cleansing wipes. Provided you know how to apply the treatments, this crucial item provides peace of mind for any parent.

  1. Medicine

When travelling with medicine, over the counter painkillers like paracetamol are safe to pack for most destinations — but seek advice if you’re travelling somewhere for the first time and are unsure. However, different rules apply to prescription medicines for pre-existing conditions. They should always be stored in original packaging that bears the patient’s name — but some controlled drugs are banned without receiving official pre-approval from authorities at home and abroad. So seeking advice from a doctor or dispensing pharmacist as early as possible is recommended.

  1. Skincare

You shouldn’t abandon your beauty regime on holiday — in fact, it should be more robust than usual. Moisturisers containing gentle organic skin care products will keep your face fresh and hydrated during flights and ingredients like cactus, kale oil and coconut are a good pick. Sun protection really is a must — invest in SPF 50-rated cream for children and pack sunblock to provide an impenetrable barrier in very hot destinations. Hygienic wipes are also handy for clearing up spills and stains and compostable versions also protect the environment.

  1. Headgear

When you want to protect your head on holiday, get a hat — for ladies, there are endless varieties of floppy beach hats, baseball caps or cute visors available. But a cool keppi design is one of the best choices for children — the flap at the back protects the back of their necks, while a peaked front keeps harmful UV rays away from the sensitive facial skin. And don’t leave out dad — he might enjoy splashing out on an Aussie-style cork number that keeps the mosquitos at bay, or even a sea captain’s hat to help him skipper excursions to the beach.

Squeeze these four must-have items in a corner when suitcase packing and your family will stay delightfully happy and healthy for the duration.

What are your must-have holiday items? Share your tips in the comments section.