I am a serial over packer. I have always been the type of person who takes a whole suitcase for just a couple of nights away. Often, before Oliver came along, when we travelled to Stu’s mums in Wales, we would have a car load of luggage. Although the weather in Wales is pretty unpredictable, I never needed half the stuff I took.
Since Oliver has arrived I have managed to streamline my personal packing down, but my list for him is ever growing. As a toddler he needs so much stuff. A handful of toys to entertain him, plenty of clothes (as he inevitably will get grubby at some point in the day), snacks, nappies, the list goes on. Over the past few trips we have made I have managed to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we bring. Even though there is still a lot, I have learnt what we do and don’t need to take for a trip in the UK.
For a 5 day trip I take about 8 outfits, mainly because we are going on trips where we are staying on a farm, by a stream and Oliver isn’t great on uneven ground. So most days he has fallen in the mud or gotten wet in the water. I take 5 sets of pyjamas, one just in case . Even though we have never had to use the spare, the one time we don’t take it I’m sure we will need it! I also packed one pair of shoes and his wellies, an all in one waterproof suit and a pac-a-mac. Obviously if you’re going somewhere dry and warm, you don’t need to pack as many!
We have taken 2 of Oliver’s favourite toys that are little and then a couple of trains and cars to keep him busy. We have also taken 6 or so books, only because Oliver likes to be read about 6 books at bedtime!! Realistically we could reduce the amount of toys to just a couple altogether because he just plays with things like plastic tubs and boxes most of the time!
I bought a small pack of nappies to take with us and a pack of wipes. Oliver only has a couple of changes a day so this was plenty to get us through the trip. If the local supermarket was nearby I would have probably just bought them when I was here, but it’s about a 30+ minute journey there, so it’s easier to bring your own. I also bought the travel sized versions of the Childs Farm products we usually use which have lasted us 4 trips now with plenty left to go. You could also just use those travel sized empty bottles and put your usual bath products in there.
We always look at whether we will need to the pushchair or not. This time round we chose to bring the pushchair because we were stopping off in Bath and we knew we would need it there, but usually we come without it. The baby carrier we have will usually suffice, as we do a lot of off road walking here. Even if it wasn’t off road we would still consider the carrier to save space in the car. Another invaluable item we packed was the back pack reins we got from Kiddies Kingdom, it meant when we were walking through the fields we could keep Oliver from running off, or catch him before he fell!
We are fortunate enough that there is a travel cot and highchair here so we don’t have to worry about bringing our own. If we did need a highchair we would usually bring our booster/pop-up seat which is fairly compact. We do bring our own cups/plates/bowls and cutlery though. We usually bring two bowls, one plate, two cups and two spoons/spork. It’s always worth checking whether or not the accommodation has plastic tableware provided as this saves valuable packing space.
We brought some snacks from home, like the smoothie melts that Oliver adores because they were on offer in Waitrose, and I know there isn’t one nearby. However, things like fruit pouches and rice cakes, we get on our way through at the Lidl which is just down the road. If you know where you’re staying is nearby a supermarket you can take enough to keep you going for a day or so and then you can just get the rest when you arrive.
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