Packing “Light” Tips For Holiday Travel



Ahh, the “joy” of holiday travel. The time of year when we magically try to pack winter clothing, toiletries, ALL the “necessities” for traveling with little ones, snacks, AND gifts all into our luggage! And if your family is like ours when I say “we pack,” I really mean “mom packs.” I dearly love my husband, and he helps me SO much around the house; however, when I’m up late packing before a trip, he’s typically been peacefully sleeping for at least an hour or two.

Don’t worry, Mommas. If you’re headed to Grandma’s house this Christmas, I’ve got a few tips to help you “lighten your load.”

  • If you’re exchanging gifts during your trip . . . and you enjoy shopping online (thank you Amazon Prime), consider shipping the gifts to your destination. This will save SO much room in your car/suitcase AND you’ll be less likely to leave a gift behind. Don’t forget to throw some cute wrapping paper and supplies either in with your gifts or pack some to take along so you can wrap the gifts once you arrive. *Keep in mind that if you are flying with gifts, it’s best not to wrap them because TSA officers may have to unwrap them during security inspection if they have any concerns. If you’re flying, here’s a helpful link with some holiday travel tips from TSA.
  • If you’re traveling to a cold climate, pack (or wear) an ultra-light compressible jacket that can fold into its own bag. These are SUPER convenient for travel and actually are really warm.
  • I understand you NEED 10 outfits for your five-day trip “just in case.” However, try to think “capsule wardrobe” when packing. Pack items that can be worn together in multiple ways to save space in your luggage.
  • Don’t underestimate the space-saving method of tightly rolling your clothes into your suitcase. Mom tip: roll your kids’ complete outfits into the largest piece of clothing (socks, underwear, shirt and pants/skirt) so that when they (or you) grab an item to get dressed, everything needed is there.
  • If you’re flying for the holidays, don’t pack your largest wearable item, wear them.  Traveling to a destination with lots of snow? Wear those bulky snow boots or thick sweater on the plane to save space in your suitcase. You can always layer your clothes and that cozy sweater makes a great travel “pillow.”
  • Clean out your purse prior to leaving. If you’re traveling away from home, you can likely leave all those local coupons and discount cards at home. I always switch out to a wallet purse when traveling that only contains my necessities.

Are you traveling for the holidays? I’d love to hear where your family is headed. Tell us in the comments below.

And be sure to check these great tips to bounce back from holiday travel.

I hope that your family has a safe and happy Holiday Travel Season!

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Jenni Watson
Jenni is an Independent Travel Agent with a deep passion for the Lowcountry. In fact, she and her husband love the Charleston area SO much that, after vacationing out on Isle of Palms several times, they decided to relocate their family from Illinois to Summerville. Since moving to the Charleston area in July of 2019, Jenni started a travel blog, Our Sweet Tea Life, where she shares her love of the area. Jenni is also a homeschooling mom to three daughters. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, spending time at the beach, volunteering at Magnolia Plantation and strolling the beautiful streets of Charleston.