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If you have read my latest blog post you’ll know that I recently took the children on a little weekend break to the Norfolk Coast. In doing so, I learned a lot about myself and my abilities as a mother. However, the biggest lesson I learned is that when preparing for a weekend break with kids, you need to prepare for every possibility! Take it from me, you’ll need the one thing you forget to bring…
I very quickly realised I needed to take control of the packing. My first idea was to get the kids involved, but that resulted in approximately 3464646 toys and 3847447 books going into the bag. Not a single pair of pants or socks made the cut, unsurprisingly. My idea of the essentials varies hugely to what the children believe is needed for 2.5 days away at the seaside in the middle of February.
Before I begin with the advice and recommendations, I thought I’d share how I chose to pack for the children. We were away for 2 full days, 3 nights, so I knew I needed to pack 3 x pyjamas and 3 outfits (one to travel home in). Sounds like plenty, right? Wrong! Kids will always be kids, they get muddy, they spill stuff, they tend to wear more food than they eat depending on the meal, so in addition to the 3 x daytime outfits for each of the children, I packed 2 pairs of spare trousers for both as well as 2 spare tops each. That way I knew I’d be covered clothes-wise for every eventuality. Packing cubes (aff) are a great way to keep clothes organised.
Before you start packing, you need to keep in mind the time of year. You aren’t going to need wellington boots in August, and you definitely won’t be needing shorts and flip-flops in December. Our February weekend break was incredibly windy and wet, so I’m glad I packed waterproofs and warm clothes. The trick is to pack enough to cover the duration of your trip, without bringing along anything that is unnecessary. Be realistic, we all know that the British weather can be temperamental but the chances of sunshine in February are slim.
Here is a list of essentials for a weekend break with kids –
- First Aid Kit (aff) – a first aid kit may sound a little extreme, but it’s the one thing I didn’t pack, in fact, I forgot to pack anything other than Theo’s eczema creams, inhalers and my medication. Everything other than the daily medical essentials didn’t even register in my mind, so when our game of miniature crazy golf resulted in Mia taking a miniature golf club to the mouth I was completely unprepared. I didn’t even have a plaster, so I ended up spending an eye-watering amount of money in the resort supermarket on anti-septic creams and pain relief. Next time, the first aid kit is going in the bag first!
- Portable DVD player (aff) – a portable DVD player is incredibly handy for both travelling to and from your weekend break and during your break. I had been under the impression that our caravan had a DVD player. Unfortunately it didn’t, so all of the DVD’s I had packed had no purpose. A portable DVD player will help to keep the kids amused when the weather is rubbish.
- Snacks, snacks and more snacks! If your children are anything like mine then no amount of snacks is too many. The last thing you need when away from home is ‘hangry’ children.
- Invest in a large, practical bag (aff) for ferrying items around. Carrying multiple bags is a hindrance for both yourself and your children. Using a bag that fits everything from drinks bottles to snorkels is the perfect solution.
And of course, make sure to tick off a checklist before you set off to ensure that you’ve done everything you need to do. This checklist needs to include:
- Ensuring windows and doors and locked.
- Making sure that your keys are left with a safe person or in a safe place.
- Double-checking that you have any travel documents you need such as booking confirmation, hotel reservations etc.
With all of the above in mind you should be all set. All that is left to do is make the most of your weekend break with kids and make memories!