“I am very hard on my bags because I tend to carry a lot of stuff with me.” Laura Linney
Free time? Check. Destination? Check. Bags packed, ready to go? Check? Oh, wait a second, hold your horses. That’s gonna take awhile, especially when packing for a faaamily vacation. Well, when you were alone, you could take or not pretty much anything. I mean who really cares if you took just flip flops and it rained the entire time you were away – leaving you to literally tread the water. With kids you better have those wellies stashed somewhere and a bunch of other stuff too, while still managing to fit it all and not leave anyone behind on the account of a stroller.
I am no master of the art. So, don’t be looking at me. But I have learned – from the painstaking experience – what to take and what to leave behind. OK, honestly, I still manage to pack way too much.
No, advice to give you, you think. I didn’t say that. Here is me sharing a few tips that make it easier:
2) Shoes: for the kids I do a pair of sneakers, a pair of shoes, wellies, slippers – always for everyone, flip flops – especially if you have to share a bathroom.
3) Medicine: paracetamol – a must for kids, saline, nasal spray, mosquito/tick repellents, bandages, sunscreen, sun lotion. I like to keep it pretty basic – let’s just call it superstition. If I have it, they’ll need it, if I don’t and they need it – well, there’s always a pharmacy around. Besides so far we always needed something I couldn’t even imagine.
4) Toys: here you could go nuts. I stick with the favorite/sleeping mate/couldn’t go anywhere with out them toys: aka the dog and the doll also known as the extended family. When I do the head count, I go: Stela, Tesa, dog, doll. Check, we can go. I tend to bring books as well to keep them busy and some coloring books and crayons. That’s about it, we bring some beach stuff if we are headed in that direction and Stela is pretty good with using our smart phones to keep herself entertained.
5) Miscellaneous: stroller, portable bed and mattress (really worth it, as it gets them more comfortable and they fall asleep easier), Stela’s bike (most often), enough food and drinks to last us a day but always too much, shampoo – I usually just take the kids’ shampoo and we use it too, since the other way around wouldn’t work, cosmetics for everyone…
6) Photographic, all technical and computer equipment – that’s hubbs’ domain and he is meticulous about it. I stay away as to not get blamed for anything.
7) Nook – my precious. I stack a bunch of books on and am crossing my fingers I have enough – books and time to read it all.
That’s it. But I guess you knew all of it anyway. Still, hopefully a helpful reminder for your long awaited trip. Have fun and remember the basics: money and documents. Everything else you can get on the road and just so often it happens that you end up not even needing half the stuff you forgot.