The YHA have produced this video of the top 12 hostelling hacks. Some of these are useful tips for family travel too, as well as camping and backpacking.
1. Use coat hangers to create a bunk bed cinema
I can see this could sometimes be of use for entertaining the kids.
Download some videos of films for the kids to watch on an iPad or tablet, and hang it up so they can all watch it.
2. Take a USB Multi-Charger
Pretty obvious these days with all the gadgets we have.
When we went touring around the US, I got an extension with chargers built in. All we needed was to find one power socket in the hotel room.
It made things so much easier to charge phones and cameras than carrying lots of separate chargers and power adapters.
3. The Handy Hairband
If you have a daughter or two, chances are you have plenty of hair bands around.
This hack uses the hair band to keep the hostel locker key on your wrist.
A good idea for any locker key, such as family attractions that provide lockers.
4. Store Valuables in a Dry Bag
We always do this when canoeing….of course!
I also have a big dry bag that I put things in when camping too.
If you’re doing any outdoor activities, dry bags are very useful.
5. Avoid leaks in your luggage
I like this tip. I remember once when going on holiday, the suncream leaked in the bag.
Fortunately, we had wrapped it in a carrier bag when packing, so the damage wasn’t too bad.
This tip, however, uses a bit of clingfilm to place over the lid of the liquid bottle, and then you screw the top down on top of it, so it doesn’t come off. Genius.
6. Use a clip to keep headphones untangled
This tip uses a bulldog clip to keep headphones untangled.
Not tried this one yet.
However, here’s a technique that’s similar to coiling rope, and doesn’t need a bulldog clip.
And it works for me if the headphones are packed in a bag. Unfortunately, if your headphones have any ‘no tangle’ cables, the knot can come undone, and then you are left with tangled headphones!
7. Scour the free food shelf
This one is specific to the YHA.
8. Make yourself a cave
I can see the kids loving this one.
If you are staying somewhere with bunk beds, simply hang towels in front of the lower bunk.
I can see this working well with Tip 1 to create a bunk bed cinema.
9. Roll instead of fold
This is something we’ve used quite a bit, especially when trying to fit things into a small bag like a backpack.
The following video is the old ‘Ranger Roll’ or ‘Skivvy Role’ technique, which allows you to pack a lot of clothes in a tight space by rolling them together.
This is a useful clothes packing technique for a night or two of camping.
The following video takes the above rolling technique and applies it to all your clothes in your suitcase. This, they claim, also reduces creases.
10. Use a cup as a DIY phone speaker
I’m sure this will work equally well with iPods too.
Just make sure there’s nothing in the cup before your kids put their gadgets in it 😐
11. Use a button to keep your earrings together
Again, might be a useful tip if you have daughters who have earrings.
12. Pack Strategically
I think this tip is common sense really, but I’m sure it’s often forgotten.
In the YHA video, they pack a tablet inside a folded jumper to give it some protection.
Here is another video, this time from Heathrow Airport, which has some more good tips on packing your suitcase.
Do you have any more family travel tips? Share them in the comments below.
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