Display vacation mementos that are too bulky for a book in a pickle or pasta-sauce jar instead. Paint the lid, label the jar with the time and place, and fill it with trinkets from your trip — including photos, sand, ticket stubs, even a tiny prize from the boardwalk arcade.
Ask your child to draw a picture of her favorite vacation moment. Use a piece of tracing paper to copy the image with an embroidery transfer pencil. Transfer the drawing to a tote bag with an iron and use embroidery thread to go over it with a simple running stitch.
Turn an old sneaker box into a souvenir suitcase. Paint it in the style of a vintage trunk or cover it with a collage of maps and tickets. Glue on grosgrain ribbon to make two straps on each box. Add a sturdy handle by gluing a 1/2″ piece of cardstock to each end of another length of ribbon and fasten it to the box with brads. Stow all your memorabilia inside and pull it out during the winter to reminisce.
Start your journey stress-free with these 11 hand luggage hacks
Pack for a week in one carry-on case and save both money and time on checking in suitcases and queuing at carousels. Here are 11 tips on how to pack light and travel smart.
1. Choose a soft bag
Skip the hard-shell case and take a soft bag with handy pockets inside and out instead. It’ll be lighter and – bonus! – much easier to squash into the overhead locker.
2. Ditch liquids
Solid versions of deodorant, perfume and body lotion are more concentrated than liquids so you can take smaller amounts. Or, if you have to take liquids, cover the lids with cling film and pop them in a zip lock bag to prevent leaks.
3. Take coconut oil
Take multi-tasking solid coconut oil: it works as cleanser, moisturiser, hand lotion, after sun, lip balm, hair mask, shave oil and soothes cuts, bites, rashes and stings. Plus it smells of the beach!
4. Bag it
Pack currency, passport, booking confirmations and sunglasses into a small cross body bag at the top of your cabin case. Slip it on when you land and hit the holiday running.
5. Smart about weight
Wear the heaviest items you’re bringing – jeans, jackets, cardigans etc – on the journey so they don’t weigh down your bag. Save space by wearing your beach sarong as a scarf on the plane: it’ll come in handy as a blanket or travel pillow.
6. Longer-lasting summer fashion
Plan your wardrobe in advance and pack for a week by colour-coordinating clothes so that each piece goes with everything. Choose items that work for day and night. Shorts, T-shirts, skirts and shirts, all in mix-and-match colours and prints = double the wear.
7. Roll clothes
Maximise space by rolling, not folding. Roll t-shirts together inside a plastic bag: it kills the friction that causes creases. And zip items into plastic bags or use packing cubes to make them more compact.
8. Shoe limits
Take one pair in the case and wear one on your feet – a pair for walking and a pair for dress up. And stuff the pair in your case with socks and undies to save more space.
9. Ready to recharge
Keep phone and tablet cables close to hand and knot-free by packing them into a glasses case and storing at the top of your case for easy access.
10. Embrace apps
Bag full of books? No thanks. Download app versions of guidebooks, magazines, maps, phrasebooks and travel journals.
11. Homeward bound
Store your house and car keys, airport parking card and spare change all together in a resealable plastic bag for an easy journey home.
Be ready for sun, sea and sandy beach trips with these helpful summer holiday tips
1. Cheat a beach sheet
Use a fitted sheet to protect your belongings from sand. Simply place your beach/cool bags in each corner of the sheet and pull the corners up over them. You’re left with a lovely, sand-free lounging space.
2. Talcum powder power
Sprinkle talc or baby powder onto sticky, sandy skin (and even hair) and rub skin in a downwards motion. It will help to dry the skin and the sand will naturally fall away.
3. Toothpaste trick
Check if your toothpaste contains eucalyptus, which will help to calm burns and stings. Discover other DIY ways to sooth sunburn, stings and bites here.
4. Soothe sunburn
If you’re yearning to stop the burning, you probably know to reach for the aloe vera. But to really make it earn its place in the cupboard, pop some gel in an ice cube tray and freeze. Melt into scorched skin for unbeatable soothing. Also works on bites and stings.
5. Nifty way to hide valuables
Clean out an old suntan/aftersun lotion bottle and you’ve got the perfect place to store money, cards and keys safely. Family holiday? Stash belongings in a rolled up nappy. It’s unlikely thieves will want to chance looking in there.
6. BBQ on the beach
Decant condiments, sliced onions and tomatoes into a muffin tray and cover tightly with cling film and there’s no need to cart big bottles to the beach for a BBQ.
7. Clever towel weights
Sick of your towel trying to blow away the minute you stand up? Don’t bother buying towel clips to keep it stable, just use those outdoor tablecloth weights, which will do the job just as well.
8. Pocket guide
Want somewhere convenient to store your book and sunglasses? Sew some pockets onto your towel (using an old towel or fabric) so you’re not constantly digging around for them in a giant beach bag.
9. Super squash
If you’re taking a drink for kids, make up a two-litre bottle and pop it in the freezer the day before. It will stay cool for ages and once finished the bottle can be used for playing in the water or sand.
10. Zip it
Protect phones, iPads and e-readers from the effects of sand and seawater by securing them in a zip lock bag (the ones you can pick up for free at airports). You’ll still be able to use the touchscreen but you won’t risk annoying scratches and water damage.