You at 20 years. Packing for a holiday. One backpack that contained all your "stuff", from clothes to essentials to entertainment.
You at 35. Packing for a holiday with kids. One suitcase EACH (at the least) plus a bag full of toys/ entertainment/ other kids crap plus a special 'journey-bag' containing food, toys and electronics to keep them entertained.
Planning and packing for a family holiday is very, very different to just taking off for a solo trip or a romantic getaway. There is a LOT of planning involved (is this resort child-friendly? Is the plane journey too long for a toddler?) and a lot of things to remember and take along with you.
So, from personal experience, here are 5 essentials that MUST tag along on a family getaway.
1. The all-important 'journey-bag'
I say all-important because this is the crux of any family holiday – you don't want a moaning, whining child all the way to your getaway and you definitely don't want to end your pleasant week away with more moaning and whining. So pack a 'journey-bag' (depending on your mode of travel) that has everything that will keep your little ones a little less restless (so they don't ask you "Are we there yet?" for the zillionth time!). Snacks – lots of them – electronics, games, activities, whatever you can think of and fit in!
2. It's all about the kids
Ok, journey over. Now, for the week ahead… If you want to enjoy your time away, make sure your child/ren will be occupied – if they are bored, there is no way you will get to enjoy/ relax/ feel like you are on holiday. Choosing a child-friendly destination like a beach (or at least a child-friendly resort) will make a big difference. But you will be spending a decent amount of time in your room so make sure you take their toys/ electronics/ board games to keep them busy till bedtime.
3. Appropriate outer wear
Of course, this depends on where exactly you are headed (if it's a beach in Florida in the middle of summer, you wont need a hoodie); but keep in mind that the weatherman often has different plans. So if you're not a 100 per cent sure of the weather, take jackets, rainwear, sunscreen and hat along – just in case!
4. The boring-but-essential stuff
Destination: decided. Hotel: Booked. Tickets: bought. These are the fun bits about planning a family holiday, but you cannot afford to forget the more mundane bits – insurance, first-aid kit, extra copies of your passports and the like. You don't want to go into a holiday expecting accidents but better to be safe than sorry, right? And we all know how accident-prone kids are! Pack a first-aid kit with all the essentials, and a separate medicine bag with something for everything, from colds to scraped knees to backaches. And don't forget your medical travel insurance…
5. If you're travelling with babies…
Travelling with kids is one thing, but travelling with a baby is an altogether different story! There are just so many things to remember and carry along! Besides the nappies and formula/ baby food and bottles and wipes (take as many packs of wipes as you possibly can – here's why) and medicines, don't forget your baby's favourite cuddly or blanket. Your holiday will be nothing short of hell if THAT cuddly or blanket doesn't tag along!
Besides, babies often feel insecure in new surroundings so having their favourite soft toy or blanket with them makes them feel comforted. Take extra dummies along if your child takes one. And travel blackout blinds – you don't want to be woken up at 4 am on holiday because your little one spotted a ray of sunshine through the window!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post
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