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5 holiday packing hacks when driving with children

1
I am packing for the summer holidays.
I have been ‘packing’ for weeks, feel like I have to tell everyone I meet that I am packing, offer my close friends mini-updates on how the ‘packing’ process has been going.

The ‘packing’ is still reduced to a pile of – washed but random – pieces of clothing, for me, for my husband and the three children combined, hiding in the further corner of the bedroom.

Whenever I go to tackle said ‘packing’ I come back deflated. I pat myself on the back telling myself I have done a good job in folding

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2
and putting away some of the other piles of laundry that are sadly waiting on the other corner of the bedroom.
Now the last week of packing is looming. Want it or not, when school finishes we are leaving for a driving holiday, for a whole month.
I do have some tips on how to pack successfully when travelling, based on my other car journeys.

Pack minimalistically. Ours is a driving holiday. Even though we have a sizeable car, it will get filled to the brim with unnecessary things accumulated on the way. So less is more, ALWAYS. If you actually want

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3
to find that toothbrush at the bottom of the pile and not have to ask your children to brush their teeth with their finger smothered in toothpaste again, then you need to limit your packing. I aim for 5 different outfits, irrespective of how long we stay. It’s summer and we’ll wash them.
Fully separate your toiletries. I am always tempted to pack as if we were flying – all in a compact suitcase. The problem is that if you do not hit your destination immediately, your suitcase ends up at the bottom of the pile, underneath damp swimming gear,
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4
random towels, ripe watermelons and cuddly toys which were snatched into the car even though you had a ‘one cudlly per child’ firm rule.

I have my toiletries in a separate bag, the meds, thermometer and bandages in another and the snacks in yet another bag. Which brings me to the next point.

Always have a bag with snacks. And by that I mean, snacks for the kids, but nice things for the adults too. I find it keeps me sane to bite through a really nice piece of chocolate half through our night drive and feel like I was treated to something.

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5
That and a podcast, and the world is a better place.
These last two points are personal preference, but I find they really help. We have a hot water urn which we fill at home. It lasts a good 12 hours at least and can yield water for quite a few cups of tea. I know it’s summer, but when I drive I do overdose on hot drinks. It’s not hot in the car if you have the aircon on max and you can’t open the windows on the motorway. I also quite like my coffee, so I carry a few more of unnecessary necessities, such as a coffee filter …
I have found a
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6
picnic blanket and a compact picnic set (or make your own by putting together a few kiddie plastic spoons, forks and plates) extremely useful for unplanned breaks in Carpathian forests. On many such occasions, we put the blanket in the middle of the field, and simply devoured the beefy tomatoes, white feta-like cheese and hot bread.

 

That’s it, in a nutshell. Sounds easier said than done. My pile of clothes intact in the bedroom.
To read stories about family, extraordinary people and incredible kindness, head over to storisse.com.
 

SelfishMother.com
Alexandra Cuncev

By

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- 13 Jul 18

I am packing for the summer holidays.

I have been ‘packing’ for weeks, feel like I have to tell everyone I meet that I am packing, offer my close friends mini-updates on how the ‘packing’ process has been going.

The ‘packing’ is still reduced to a pile of – washed but random – pieces of clothing, for me, for my husband and the three children combined, hiding in the further corner of the bedroom.

Whenever I go to tackle said ‘packing’ I come back deflated. I pat myself on the back telling myself I have done a good job in folding and putting away some of the other piles of laundry that are sadly waiting on the other corner of the bedroom.

Now the last week of packing is looming. Want it or not, when school finishes we are leaving for a driving holiday, for a whole month.

I do have some tips on how to pack successfully when travelling, based on my other car journeys.

  1. Pack minimalistically. Ours is a driving holiday. Even though we have a sizeable car, it will get filled to the brim with unnecessary things accumulated on the way. So less is more, ALWAYS. If you actually want to find that toothbrush at the bottom of the pile and not have to ask your children to brush their teeth with their finger smothered in toothpaste again, then you need to limit your packing. I aim for 5 different outfits, irrespective of how long we stay. It’s summer and we’ll wash them.
  2. Fully separate your toiletries. I am always tempted to pack as if we were flying – all in a compact suitcase. The problem is that if you do not hit your destination immediately, your suitcase ends up at the bottom of the pile, underneath damp swimming gear, random towels, ripe watermelons and cuddly toys which were snatched into the car even though you had a ‘one cudlly per child’ firm rule.

I have my toiletries in a separate bag, the meds, thermometer and bandages in another and the snacks in yet another bag. Which brings me to the next point.

  1. Always have a bag with snacks. And by that I mean, snacks for the kids, but nice things for the adults too. I find it keeps me sane to bite through a really nice piece of chocolate half through our night drive and feel like I was treated to something. That and a podcast, and the world is a better place.
  2. These last two points are personal preference, but I find they really help. We have a hot water urn which we fill at home. It lasts a good 12 hours at least and can yield water for quite a few cups of tea. I know it’s summer, but when I drive I do overdose on hot drinks. It’s not hot in the car if you have the aircon on max and you can’t open the windows on the motorway. I also quite like my coffee, so I carry a few more of unnecessary necessities, such as a coffee filter …
  3. I have found a picnic blanket and a compact picnic set (or make your own by putting together a few kiddie plastic spoons, forks and plates) extremely useful for unplanned breaks in Carpathian forests. On many such occasions, we put the blanket in the middle of the field, and simply devoured the beefy tomatoes, white feta-like cheese and hot bread.

 

That’s it, in a nutshell. Sounds easier said than done. My pile of clothes intact in the bedroom.

To read stories about family, extraordinary people and incredible kindness, head over to storisse.com.

 

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Alexandra Cuncev

Stories about everyday life, causes that change everyday lives

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