So may I give you this opportunity to learn from my recent spout of 'If only I had thought to bring that' moments from our holiday to Disney Land Paris.
Shoes! Don’t waste your time on uncomfortable shoes. If you think there is a risk of the slightest rubbing or blister, DO NOT pack them. If you are going on a holiday where there is lots of walking, even your reasonably comfortable shoes will feel like you're wearing 6 inch stilettos by the end of the day, so go for extreme, exceptional comfort.
Bring lots of lightweight distraction aids. There are certain inalienable truths you need to accept as parents, your children willplay up at some point on the holiday, usually at dinner time when you’re sat next to the perfect family who all sit nicely and eat everything on their plate, or when you're travelling.
Children obviously get very excited and totally preoccupied with being somewhere new. After a few late nights and busy days the self-destruct switch is bound to flick at some point. A mix of educational toys such as colouring books, reading books, Top Trump cards, a travel version of guess who, and apps and videos for your tablet are a winner for traveling and dinner time, if you want any chance of a resonably relaxed meal. Be sure to download plenty of free apps and videos that don't rely on wifi and check that you're children enjoy them before your trip.
Bring your own headphones.
Despite my new talent, since having children, of an improved tolerance to hearing noises from all directions, I also appreciate that most people don't have this. So bring your own headphones. If you have two children who share a device, I recommend buying aheadphone splitter
so that they can both listen to the same film. I have linked to products on Amazon so you can pick one up at a good price.
A mini mode of transport for your minis. Particularly if you are going to Disney Land you will most definitely need a pushchair. If there was an adult sized one when I was in Disney I would have happily hitched a ride. Your feet will ache every single day, so it is no surprise that your tinies (even the ones aged six) will feel absolutely exhausted. To hire a pushchair from somewhere like Disney Land for just one day costs £25. Grab a secondhand one, pick up a very cheap one from a shop or bring a buggy board before you go.
Let them get cosy with a cushion. Don't forget their cushion and blanket for long journeys and evening travelling so that they can get cosy and sleep easy.
The thought of losing your luggage when travelling abroad and being left with the possibility of having to either squeeze into your kids clothes or wear your husbands is an interesting prospect. Play it safe and put a back up set of each family members clothing in someone else's suitcase. If you want to be scarily organised, you can purchase colour coordinated bags
to pack each persons things into so you can easily identify whose is whose.
Refillable water bottles. Let's save on the plastics people and go for the refill option...and on the cost!!
Babies and toddlers
Important items you need to pack plenty of are: nappies/diapers, wipes, food (lightweight options to avoid going over your weight allowance) bottles, travel sterilisers
Feel free to share in the comments anything else you recommend. Let's get a mammoth guide going so we can all feel calm and prepped before our escape.