A weekend away isn’t quite the same once you’re a parent. Pre-kids you probably enjoyed long, relaxing lie-ins and lazy lunches on the terrace. Post-kids you get to experience sandy sandwiches on the beach and chasing them around the grounds before you’ve even had breakfast.
However, the key to enjoying your trip as much as possible is ORGANISATION! If you want even a shot at having a family weekend away that goes smoothly, do not forget any of these items for your youngsters.
If everyone gets a good night's sleep while you’re away, it’ll certainly help with your energy levels. PJs are a no-brainer, but don’t forget their sleeping bag and cot sheet if you have a little one and God forbid you don’t bring their favourite soft toys to snuggle up to. A baby monitor is essential if you’re not sleeping in the same bedroom and a warm blanket is useful for getting cosy in the car or on the sofa.
The Great Outdoors
The buggy will probably be the first thing you throw in the boot, and if you have a lightweight version that’s ideal. Make sure you bring the rain cover, footmuff or parasol too, depending on the forecast. Outdoor toys such as a bucket and spade, football, or bat and ball will keep them entertained for hours. If you’re staying on the coast or have an indoor pool then bring swimsuits, shorts, swim nappies, beach towels, armbands and goggles.
Let Me Entertainment You
We typically ask our boys to pack their own toys but only give them a small bag each, so they don’t get carried away. In addition, include books (paperbacks are best), colouring sheets and crayons. If you’re allowing screentime on your family weekend away, you’ll need their tablets and chargers.
If you have a baby you may need to bring bottles and accessories such as a bottle brush, sterilising equipment, bibs and soothers. Preschoolers will require their own beaker, plate, bowl and cutlery and older children should bring their reusable bottle and a lunch box if they’ll be eating in the great outdoors. Tupperware for snacks and an insulated picnic bag will benefit everyone too.
Babies need a huge amount and nappies are one of the main culprits for taking up lots of space. You’ll also need their wipes, nappy bags, nappy cream and changing mat. Bath time is another area that requires you to put your thinking cap on if you want to remember everything! Pack up their bath gel, shampoo, moisturiser, a couple of bath toys, their toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloths and hairbrush. To keep everyone (and everything) squeaky clean while you’re out and about, bring antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser.
Your Health Is Your Wealth
A first aid kit (including pain relief) and a thermometer is essential on a family weekend away. Also, don't forget to bring their vitamins, sun protection and nail scissors.
It's Not A Fashion Show
Clothing would be pretty hard to forget seeing as it takes up the bulk of the space, but you’ll also need extra items such as wellies, sandals, runners, raincoats, sunhats, sunglasses, woolly hats and gloves. Wouldn’t life be so much easier if the weather in Ireland was more predictable!