Go Light On Holiday – Mark Warner And Kiddicare Blogging Challenge #1!

When you’re a new parent you literally take the kitchen sink out with you for just a day trip. I remember a tiny one week old Florence and I going shopping for a couple of hours and I had with me what was effectively a massive holdall! It needed to be HUGE to carry around all the stuff I thought I needed!

After a few months you tone it down a bit, then by the time you get to number two, as long as you have a spare nappy and a couple of wipes you’re good to go; but what about when it comes to holiday travel? Surely a simple couple of wipes and a nappy won’t suffice, but most of us can’t afford extra baggage and who wants to carry it anyway? I feel certain when Prince William and The Dutchess of Cambridge take baby Prince George to Oz that space saving won’t be an issue for them but for those of us who don’t have private planes and nannies on tap, thinking about what to take can be a real trial!

I have to say I’ve discovered less is so much easier though and totally do-able at that! When it comes to traveling with children you don’t actually need all the things you think you do!! Ok so you need a bit more than a nappy and a wipe, maybe a change of clothes for the plane of course but you really don’t need to take EVERYTHING!

The first holiday I took with Florence was to Menorca when she was 6 months old. My Grandparents and extended family on my Dad’s side took us and I naively thought, as she turned 6 months old when we were away, that it would be like a switch and breast feeding would stop then she’d start eating solids! (Little did I know she’d breast feed until she was 3 years and 8 months and she didn’t eat a thing untill she was about 1!). My luggage was packed to the rafters with all the gadgets and gizmos I thought Florence would need to use in a week including bottles, sterilisers and a breast pump… Oh my!

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My whole paternal side of the family holidayed together but I went without Jonny and realised how much harder it was on my own! We used next to nothing of the many, MANY items I packed!

Then the first time Jonny and I took Florence on holiday together, she was 9 months old. We still had the back up of family this time though as we traveled with lots of our close people to Portugal for us to get married. It was our first trip all three of us and yes, we still took the lot! What was I thinking?!

Wedding collage

For our first family holiday we had to take not only all the baby gear but all the wedding essentials too!

A travel cot for a baby who only co slept, about 400 outfit changes for the plane and we even packed home grown nappies in our suitcase because we feared for what a Portuguese nappy would do to the bottom of our child?! The car seat came with us, the buggy, all manner of sun protection blankets and shields… Oh you name it we took it! I even took two different types of sling for different moods… Good grief!

So… Next holiday and it was just me and Jonny with Florence. No back up of lots of friends and family to carry all the extra luggage for us and we HAD to pack lighter… Yet I still took way too much! Turkey saw us arrive with all the nappies we’d need for a week and again I’d packed enough clothes for about 4 children instead of one! I took massive bottles of sun cream and all sorts of potions and lotions for the baby bath of an evening! We were like a walking, talking advert for the baby products you ‘need’ on holiday! Did we use it all? Nope… Not much of it anyway!

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It was a lovely relaxed holiday but we didn’t half have a lot of things with us!

I did start to learn though… So I realised that really and truly children don’t need much at all! And for our next holiday I was much more conservative with the packing! It worked so much better for us to be relaxed about it all and to look at what we REALLY use, what we absolutely couldn’t buy abroad and to cut down on the clothes. These are my top 5 tips for holiday packing from the girl who got it all wrong more than once the first few times:

  1. Buy the bulk of your nappies abroad. Foreign children don’t go round with wet bums because the makers haven’t got the know how to make a nappy work. They’re often really cheap too!
  2. Same goes for sun creams, toiletries and baby food. Why bulk out a bag when you can buy it all there!
  3. Check with your accommodation about what they can provide. Is there really a need to take a travel cot or a car seat when they might have one to lend you just as they do hair dryers and irons?
  4. Pack light on the clothes, especially if you’re off somewhere warm! You can buy travel wash and things dry in the sun in minutes. The sun is also great for getting out stains that hand washing alone can’t do!
  5. Don’t worry about sterilising with special equipment. Use microwave sterilising bags or simple boiling water!

So for the plane these days I take a light weight change of clothes for the children, wipes, a couple of nappies, a drink, some snacks and something to be entertained with! We no longer take masses of toys and make do with one each and a compilation book with lots of stories suitable for both of them. We buy buckets and spaded when we’re there and then leave them for the next person to enjoy rather than bringing them home! Can you believe I even used to take a breast feeding shawl… Urrrr, why didn’t I just use a towel (which by the way are also often available for hire)?

I never take a big buggy abroad with me favouring instead, an umbrella fold for ease and I just don’t bother with a sling anymore because who wants to carry around a baby in the summer sunshine! A friend of mine doesn’t even take a buggy with her at all and banks on picking one up in a charity shop when in resort. She says she’s never been let down and then donates it back again at the end of her holiday – definitely something to think about!

But there are things I absolutely wouldn’t holiday without, luckily they’re all foldable and light weight!

I always think an SPF 50+ shade for the buggy is essential -much better than a bulky parasol and those little SPF suits are worth their weight! As well as being swim suits they’re an added reassurance about being protected from the rays! They usually come with brilliant hats with a flap at the back to protect the neck and although they’re quite pricey I would ALWAYS buy them!

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I love the little SPF suits!

I also make sure I have packed plug socket protectors with continental prongs. I think it’s probably wise to assume the electrics might not be quite what they are in the UK and these are so small and inexpensive it’s an added peace of mind.

Another thing I make sure I have packed is the children’s sun hats! I buy soft foldable ones so that they can be slipped into any bag.

Holiday Post

Sun hats!

But my ABSOLUTE must to take on holiday is a gaggle of family and friends who want to hold the baby while you eat, have a sun bathe or just read a book in the sun ;-)!

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Family and friends are a must for me on holiday!

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And the number one top person to take on holiday of course, is a Grandparent! Who else feels like you are doing them a favour by allowing them to baby sit?! (I’m saying that tongue in cheek if you’re reading Mum!)

This post is an entry into the Mark Warner and Kiddicare Blogger Challenge and is my entry for Challenge 1.

3 thoughts on “Go Light On Holiday – Mark Warner And Kiddicare Blogging Challenge #1!

  1. Wow you really have thought of everything! I completely agree that we always take too much but tbf I do it for me too not just Rocky or Kyd hahahaha I am a toys on plane freak though we did a 9hr flight to Florida and we couldn’t have done it without our random bag of toys but he was too young to watch the TV really so this year should be easier!

    Great entry into the comp Good Luck xxx

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