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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I’m exactly the same! I was always an over-packer. But now I have my stuff really under control, but am always cautious and take everything imaginable for the two toddlers! #bigpinklink
I underpack. i would rather have to buy cheap items at destination that cart my own. My nieces came to visit recently and she had 4 diapers in her suitcase – enough to get us to a store on our way out for the day. Shampoo, toothpaste, etc. I don’t take any of it with me. I just hit a store before going to the hotel. #fortheloveofBLOG
I can literally pack what I need for a week away in a rucksack. L on the other hand gets a suitcase and more . It’s worse now he’s started to help me, demanding I pack certain things. I need to work on streamlining him #fortheloveofBLOG
What a fab list! So so useful for those with smalls. Obviously, now that mine are teens they do their own packing – they need to write their own post on this for sure because just a phone isn’t cutting it! #fortheloveofBLOG
justsayingmum recently posted…Toby & Roo Talks Teens!
Wow you are good at packing light! I need to take a leaf out of your book! #fortheloveofBLOG
Oh this is so helpful! I always overpack but I am trying to cut down! I love the backpack, what a great idea. I’ll have to get one once Jacob starts walking. #fortheloveofBLOG
Kelly | and Jacob makes three recently posted…Surviving pregnancy in a heatwave
It’s hard work packing for a toddler, I think I have it quite streamlined for my 2 and 5 year old, but my 5 year old needs just as much stuff too, though now its nice that he can pack his own backpack of toys. #fortheloveofBLOG
This is really useful. I’m an overpacker too and trying to relax and bring less. But we have started to favour driving holidays to caravan parks and this does not help me improve, because I’m totally allowed to fill up the car with all manner of things, and even my (usually light packer) husband joins in. He brought a melon baller on our last caravan holiday! #fortheloveofBLOG
I must admit I’ve always been pretty good at packing light… I think since we had the kids I started to veer way from my light habits a bit though, and had to reign myself in! We just spent a weekend in Wiltshire visiting our new home and staying with my sister and brother-in-law on their farm. We took the bare minimum, and everyone survived! Everyone was clean and well equipped, and I managed to do it all in 4 backpacks – 1 for each of us! I still don’t really know how haha!! #fortheloveofBLOG
Some great tips! You’re quite right about trying to find things locally. Now my daughter is older, I take fewer clothes and I know I can just rinse things out and dry them over night if necessary. I still take plenty of spare bedding and her ‘back-up’ bedtime cuddlies. She’s never had a stomach bug whilst we’ve been away but the time I don’t take them will be the time she does so they always go in the bag.
If we have space in the car then I tend to pack all the food and snacks we need because it means I don’t have to worry about getting to the shop. But if it’s a squash then they are the first things to go!
Thanks for sharing xx #fortheloveofBLOG
I’m so glad I don’t have tiny ones anymore – they need so much stuff! Now the kids have to pack and carry their own stuff! A great list though, and I’m sure I left so much off when they were little!
I have over-packed all my life and even now mine are teens I still struggle to condense everything that we and they need to the point whereby everyone leaves the house and lets me get on with it when we are due to head off on a family vacation. The toddler years bring back nightmares with all the stuff that you need to keep everyone happy and entertained. The trials of parenting. #fortheloveofBLOG
Hey, what can you say – Kids need stuff! We used to pack a packet of balloons to blow up and play with once we were away, they hardly take any room, are light if there are travel restrictions and provide hours of entertainment! #fortheloveofBLOG
Thank you, good tips for packing. I didn’t realise child’s farm do miniatures..
Isn’t it funny how our suitcase gets smaller as we get to take the kitchen sink for our kids!
Great tips. I’m an overpacker. Luckily though, Chris does most of the packing for us #fortheloveofblog
Sam – Stressy Mama recently posted…My Wish List of Gifts for Molly’s Birthday
Fabulous advice.Once upon a time I had 3 under 3 and packing was nothing short of nightmarish!!Mind you not THAT much easier for 3teens!!!#fortheloveofBLOG
daydreams of a mum recently posted…The perils of a teenage crush….. when you’re way too old for that!
There’s some great advice here and like you I used to pack so much, and took far too many clothes with me. Now that we have a little one I’m being a bit more sensible, especially when it comes to flying as we’re only taking two suitcases. I found that as they older you need less and less stuff, by then maybe that changes and becomes bikes and scooters. Argh! Thanks for being a fab guest co-host this week at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
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Oh gosh, I hadn’t even thought about that, the things they need will probably be ten times bigger!! Thanks for letting me join you!
I cannot believe how much packing a little man needs!! seriously! we went away for three days and filled a fiesta with seats pushed down for his stuff! Cannot wait until little man gets older and needs a lot less stuff… I miss packing my straighteners and more than one pair of shoes! #fortheloveofBLOG
It’s madness!! Oh I’m not going anywhere without my straighteners, no-one wants to see that!!!!
More is not less. Kids need so much stuff. I have finally got to the stage when I can pack one bag for all 4 of us for 1 night away. It’s a process I think.
Well done you, I can’t wait for that day to come!!