Hi and apologies for the radio silence.
Welcome to a new series on my blog. This will be a five-part series about the joys of travelling with children. We recently spent a week in France with our boys aged 5 and 2, so I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks I use to get organised and stay sane!
Today's instalment will concern the dreaded packing.
For me one of the biggest issues is leaving the house clean and tidy. I used to upend every drawer and wardrobe, root out what I wanted, and leave the mess behind to tidy up... em, never.
This does not work for us any more.
So packing clothes, foods, entertainment and essentials for four people while tidying as I go along is a new and interesting concept.
France in November is weather-wise like Ireland, so we have seven days worth of clothes, shoes and rain gear for us all. Including a second jacket and shoes each if the first need to dry out for a day or two.
I lay out the kids clothes and double check there are enough underwear, tops etc to do them the holiday, with a couple of spares and deviations for different weather.
For my clothes I tend to pack either tops and trousers OR dresses and tights for a holiday. This time round it's dresses and tights. The reason is it cuts down on footwear and variations, allowing me to pack light. So I'm bringing thermal tights in grey and black, about 5 breastfeeding-friendly dresses and my Doc's. Two oversized cardigans and a jacket and I'm set. I'll bring some cotton vests to layer under the dresses.
We'll all bring warm hats, and wellies and runners for the kids, and that's the clothes done.
There's also going to be a bag with a couple of pillows, a blanket and candles, matches etc to make the house seem homely. We love self-catering and I always feel the need to make a place my own.
We have two road trips either side of the ferry, so in-car entertainment will consist of magnetic drawing boards for the kids, books, figures and snacks galore.
Oh god the food... normally I bring essentials like oil, seasonings, pasta, beans etc so we can rustle up a meal on arrival. And snacks like fruit, crackers and cheese for the car. We also usually get comics and goodies in a garage near the start of the journey. But this time round we are bringing food for the weekend for we four, as the ferry may only have sausage and chips etc and my husband's on a very healthy diet at the moment.
So I've prepared: a mushroom omelette, carrot sticks, hard boiled eggs, roast potatoes, carrot soup (for a large flask), ... and this should get us through the weekend of travel.
It's also cheaper than buying every meal, and uses up what's in the fridge.
We will also bring a laptop with a large dvd collection and a few downloaded films. Totally hoping to get rained in for a few days so we can just chill as a family and not feel we have to be out sightseeing all the time.
I'm also packing my homeopathy kit, some plasters, a few medications and vitamins. Then there'll be a small makeup bag, a larger washbag with toiletries for us all. A plug adapter, phone chargers, books, a sling, a scooter, a buggy... all this plus four people has to fit into a normal saloon car!!!
Wish me luck!