It’s a predictable and all too common scenario. You arrive at a destination with your precious little cherubs in tow, only to find that you’ve forgotten some item of critical, earth-shaking importance. Perhaps it’s the pacifier of infinite silence, the hypnotic panda snuggly or Clarence, the second-generation stuffed raccoon. And you come to the realisation that without such treasures, you’re truly powerless in your fight against the tantrum. Faced with impending disaster, you resolve to never make the same mistake again. Refer to this handy list for help, and consider yourself lessoned.
Identify the cannot-live-withouts first
These are always the first to be left off the list of so-called ‘practical’ items because they’re usually whimsical. Falling into this category are the following: comfort blankets, favourite teddies, the latest bedtime book, handheld gaming devices, games, chargers and headphones. It’s these, and not clean pyjamas, which will see you emerge victorious from your journey. You should store these away safely in suitcases, and operate a strict ‘no tampering’ policy to avoid leaving things behind.
Make a list
Barring reaching up to pat yourself on the head, a list is the most potent form of self-patronisation, but for the sake of your sanity, just write one already. If you have a baby, nothing puts the damper on an endurance car trip or long haul flight like the indignity of a forgotten diaper bag. In order of priority: medications, changing kit, feeding kit, pacifiers, and bright, jangly distractions should be packed somewhere close at hand. Speaking of hands, in a crowded place like an airport, hand-sanitiser is nothing short of essential.
Whether flying or driving, the amount you pack determines the tread depth of your carbon footprint. On top of that, most people only wear half of what they take with them on holiday. Choose bright, distinctive items which will act like beacons to identify your straying lambs in crowded airports and bus-stations. For babies, the onesie is a packing cure-all which negates any unnecessary juggling of socks, pants, tops, cardigans and pyjamas.
With all the stress and pressure of packing for the kids, it’s easy to forget about yourself. Leave some room in the holdall for some little home comforts to soothe your journey. Your favourite scented moisturiser, a sleep mask, an iPod with some relaxing Chopin or Debussy to drown out the whines of your little waifs. After all, it’s your holiday too. Make sure you give yourself every chance to relax and enjoy it.
Image by Goamick, used under Creative Commons licence.
Written by Geri Gillies. Geri is a human resources manager and busy mum of four. She loves to camping and adventuring with the kids and their dog, Poppy.