As we head into the school break at the end of this month you might be contemplating a last minute holiday to either escape or embrace the Aussie winter. With two adults, two children, four suitcases and a limit of 40 kilos – the luggage challenge is on for the average family mini-break. But do not fear. We asked some of our nearest and dearest and put together our top tips for packing light for your next short break. Read this and make your family holiday prep easy peasy.
1.The best things come in 3s
Three pairs of socks. Three pairs of underwear. Three t-shirts. You get the idea.
Why three? One to wear, one to wash and one drying. Unless you are going to the middle of woop woop, you will be able to wash clothes (or worst case scenario, buy some new ones!)
Multi-functioning clothes are the key – maybe you wear your daytime t-shirt that night for bed so you don’t need to take PJs at all. Choose light, quick-dry cotton-poly blends in complementary colours that handle wrinkles well.
The exception to this rule? Only take two pairs of shoes (and that includes the one you’re wearing).
2.Roll, don’t fold
Apparently the army does it this way! And kids will love it.
Rolling minimises wrinkles and reduces the amount of air taking up space between layers of fabric when you squeeze the items into your case, making your suitcase or bag into a Tardis.
If you roll socks, underwear and other small items tightly, you can shove them into your (one pair of) shoes and save even more space. You’re welcome 😉
But beware of going over the weight limit once you’ve got this technique down.
3. Use packing cubes
Never heard of them? No neither had we. Well check them out for your next holiday
Why are they good? They help us stay organised! (Ahum…apparently). There’s no one rule for how to use them. You might pack based on item: underwear and socks in one cube, shirts in one, and bottoms in the other. Or maybe pack by category: daytime, evening, beach etc. Then as your holiday progresses, you can use them to separate dirty clothes from the clean ones.
If you really commit to this tip then you can buy different colour packing cube sets for each family member of type of clothes!
No toys (ok fewer toys than usual).
Because you’re going somewhere new, there is brand new exciting stuff to see everywhere. The most unexpected things become interesting and there is so much for the little ones to take in.
Bring a new toy especially for the flight to keep the kids interested for hours.
5. Beg, borrow and steal
Well ok, just rent. You can rent pushchairs and other things like that from most destinations so don’t bother struggling with those on the plane.
6. Wear all the biggest and heaviest stuff
It may be 40 degrees but that shouldn’t stop you getting your Michelin Man on in order to save a few more kilos in your case. Wear the largest pair of shoes, coats, jumpers…you know the drill.
7. No more wheelie suitcases
What? Abandon the greatest travel invention since sliced bread?
There are two problems with wheels:
1 – Like a supermarket trolly, you are lulled into a false sense of security and don’t realise how heavy the case is becoming.
2 – The wheels steal valuable space from you. Use a backpack and get an extra few centimetres.
A backpack is also an advantage where footpaths are non-existent, streets are cobbled and there are lots of stairs.
If you just can’t leave your trusty wheelie behind then at least put heavier items at the bottom, it’s easier to roll when the weight is down there.
8. You don’t need that. Or that. Or that either
This is your new packing mantra. You can never be prepared for every eventuality. The ‘just in case’ game will only lead yo
u to trouble. On the off-chance you find you do need whatever it is that you left behind, you can most likely buy it.
8. Pack a Turkish cotton towel
This should, of course, be a priority item. It’s a towel, a sarong, changing room, it’s a blanket, it’s a privacy wall, it’s a bag, it’s a sunshade, it’s quite possibly the most versatile thing that you will pack. Oh, it’s also a skirt, a buff, a super-lightweight scarf and bandanna.
Didn’t quite manage to pack the perfect suitcase afterall? If you don’t quite manage to go super light this time, book another holiday to hone your skills.
With love and light packing vibes from the Hammamas team x
Nine months into the year and it may be time to take a first (or even second) holiday. We’ve been exploring for you and have found 10 of the world’s most unique places to stay.
Whether your travel plans take you near or far; with family, friends, a partner or solo, there’s an adventure waiting for you.
Don’t get off the plane!
1. Hola! – it’s the 727 Fuselage Home in Costa Rica
In the jungles of Manuel Antonio you’ll find a unique hotel suite inside a refurbed vintage 1965 Boeing 727 airframe.
The classic aeroplane used to take passengers on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines. Now it sits elevated 50 feet off the ground, providing both jungle and ocean views from a deck that’s built on the wing.
The location offers the best of both worlds if you can’t decide what type of holiday you need. It’s nestled on the edge of the National Park and not far from the shores of Espadilla beach, just some of the 801 miles of coastline Costa Rica has to offer.
And for your morning pick me up, you will be drinking the famous Tarrazú – considered to be the finest coffee beans in the world thanks to the rich volcanic soil.
Match this holiday with our Hammamas Original in Flame
- Jumbo Stay on a runway
If you thought that you’d never get a good night sleep on a plane then think again!
This time a former Pan Am aeroplane and in rather a more Metropolitan location, Oscar Dios spent 6 months and £1.5m converting an old 747 jet into a hostel which now sits on a disused runway at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport.
There are now 33 rooms instead of 450 chairs and we suggest you make your stay really more memorable and book out the luxury suite.
There’s also a lounge and a bar on-board; and when you’ve played captain, head into Stockholm and start exploring one of the 14 islands.
Match your stay with Hammamas Classic Ash
- Float away at the Hotel Utter-Inn
Our second stop in Sweden, this time for an underwater holiday 60kms outside Stockholm at Västerås harbour in the Archipelago.
Book a mini-break at this floating mini-hotel with it’s underwater bedroom. You’ll get a panoramic view with windows on all four sides of the underwater room. Rise and shine to relax on the deck, and swim in the lake before taking the rubber boat to one of the nearby uninhabited islands for a Fika (pronunciation: [fiːka]), and meaning “coffee break”).
Translated as Otter Inn, you’re more likely to see pike, perch, zander, trout and salmon as you head off to sleep! Oh and there is no electricity, so you can digitally detox on this holiday!
Match your stay with: Hammamas Coast in Navy and Sand
- Live in Luxe at The Manta Resort Underwater Room
250 metres from the shores of Pemba Island, on Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago, you’ll find the luxe version of Sweden’s Otter Inn, at The Manta.
Floating off the coast of East Africa, The Manta’s underwater room is anchored to the ocean floor with deck and accommodation above.
By day guests will see coral reefs and plenty of marine life including coral which has taken up permanent residence on the anchoring lines. At night, the underwater spotlights help attract the shyer and more unusual visitors such as squid, octopus and Spanish dancers.
Match your stay with a nautical touch with a Hammamas Reef in Navy / Raspberry
In the air
- Float above the trees at the House in the Clouds
Built in 1923 to disguise a 30,000 gallon water tank, now you can get all your best mates together and stay in this Grade 2 Listed, five story fairytale house, nicknamed: the Home of Peter Pan.
Sitting on a Meare on the Suffolk Heritage Coast in the Eastern Counties of England, the House in the Clouds is one of the country’s most famous follies.
Once you’ve made it back down all 68 stairs, spend your holiday exploring the beaches, museums, abbey ruins, castles and ancient walled gardens.
For a house this tall, you’ve got to match this holiday with something from our Jumbo range!
6. Peace and relaxation in a Free Spirit Sphere
Ever wondered what glamping would feel like when combined with spherical hanging tree houses? Well wonder no more. Tucked away in the lush Canadian forest near Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, you’ll find four cool, quirky and truly unique “hotel rooms”.
If you’re seeking peace and relaxation on your next holiday then reconnect with nature, whilst reducing your human footprint to near zero in one of these spherical treehouse cabins.
Match your trip with Hammamas Circa in Daisy
7. Chill out at the Ice hotel
In the village of Jukkasjärvi, 200km north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, you will find the original hotel made of ice and snow. It’s “reborn” every year with the help of artists from around the world and you can take a tour of the hotel to take in the handiwork and even join a class with an ice sculptor!
By night the temperature inside the hotel hovers at a constant of -5 to -7 C and guests snooze away in expedition-style sleeping bags. By day you can try dog sledding, skiing or snowmobiling or fishing.
The northern lights season and golden autumn starts in September, as days begin to get shorter; so if you go now then you can catch the autumn aurora.
Match this with a towel to use as an extra blanket and take a Hammamas Luxe in navy
8.Do some Aurora Borealis-spotting in an Igloo
Holiday in a glass-roofed igloo, tucked into the snow at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland. The amazing frost-resistant thermal glass, means you get an uninterrupted view of the northern lights and starry sky.
You can browse the ice sculpture gallery for inspiration and then request your very own unique sculpture to decorate your igloo. If you’re going with the kids, they’ll enjoy a visit to Santa’s Resort where you can visit Santa’s house, sip hot drinks and munch on ginger biscuits made by elves whilst making friends with the local reindeer.
Go in late December and for a truly Nordic experience, book a reindeer-drawn sled ride. Match this with our Hammamas Aztec
If you don’t want to join the other 10 million Aussies going overseas then try these out for your next holiday:
The Pole House, a hovering property set on a single steel pole along the Great Ocean Road in Fairhaven.
With love from the Hammamas team x