Though I am super busy with everything BUT our Summerholiday, I need to start thinking about it. Normally I would start packing a few days in advance, so A) I can sense that holiday-vibe and B) I am less likely to forget something. But now I am working on the day I should be packing our suitcases and we are also focussing on Joshua’s birthday! So my Holiday prep time is ….non-existent. Anyway, I think we will be fine and someone told me these reassuring words: there is nothing you can’t by abroad. Wise words, my friends.
To help me get started (at some point) I made this Holiday Packing list.
This list contains the ‘essentials’. To be honest, the only real essentials are related to the kids….Without their toys we are lost! But this list will get me there! Feel free to download my packinglist !
Now, I don’t know where you are going this year, but we are hooked on Italy. Last year we went to sunny Tuscany (a place called Gombitelli), stayed in a cute little old village in the hills and it was perfect. So this year we are going to Lake Garda and I am sure it will be just as perfect. To prepare the kids for this trip, and also have a pleasant trip :-), we always try a few things and I thought it would be nice to share these ‘things’ with you!
- Kind of obvious but tell them about the country you are going to visit. What is it like there, what is the food like, why is it fun for the kids etc. Maybe pay a visit to the Volkenkundemuseum in Leiden! A great way to get to know different cultures and of course a perfect Summerholiday familytrip.
- Try and cook the food they serve in that country. We have this great Dutch cookbook for kids called ‘Wereldeters’ by Marjolein de Vlaam. We or rather my hubs, came across this book and the writer a few years ago when it was just published. And we have been using this book a lot! Every chapter is about a country, its culture and its food with three or four recipes so kids can prepare it with you while you tell all about its country. Really very effective. It also contains passports in which the kids can put a sticker if they have tasted the recipe of that particular country. Not sure it is translated in English.
- Okay, this is one for the mommies like me! Buy the kids new Summer outfits, this will guarantee they will look forward to wearing that cool shirt in whatever country you are staying :-). This also applies on you, shopaholic mommies out there ;-).
- If you are staying in an apartment, like we do, in a warm country, bring a deflatable pool. Last year we were so glad we took that thing with us as it turned out to be 38 degrees Celsius in the afternoon!
Now the trip itself….by car! Now I have to say, our kids are very relaxed and easygoing, but even they, during a six hours journey in a packed car, get a bit restless (oh really??)! And so I discovered a few things that makes that trip so much easier:
- Portable DVD-screens!!! Hallelujah!! Need I say more…?
- Lots and lots of food and drinks! Especially food they normally wouldn’t eat so much like cookies, candy, drink packets etc.
- Give a little surprise gift every couple of hours. Gives them something to do for a while.
- Put on an Audio Book! A great way for kids to dream away while staring at beautiful landscapes passing by.
- A Car-sing-a-long! Kids love singing, so why not have a sing-a-long in the car?
- Try to do a few pitstops at roadside restaurants which also have play-areas for the kids. We’ve discovered a few last year and it made them so much more relaxed and less reluctant to get back in the car again.
Staying overnight in a hotel because a 12-hour drive isn’t really doable? Pack a bag with only the essentials for that night. So that you don’t have to unload the whole car for just one night!
I found a few examples of Travel Capsules on Pinterest. I always bring way too much clothes for everyone, so maybe this will help me narrow it down..??
That’s about it really! And now I am definitely starting to feel that Holiday-vibe!! How about you? I leave you with my Holiday-moodboard!
* Please see my Pinterest Holiday moodboard for sources.