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Essentials I might need for s/c holiday in France?

(19 Posts)
Troubleintmill Thu 09-May-13 17:20:36

I have a fussy DS (2.5) which is probably not unusual and I can normally accommodate him while at home. However, we are going to France on Sunday and although I know we can buy variations of stuff we have here I'm not a seasoned traveller abroad since having DS so not sure if there's anything I should definitely take that wont be available there?
Any suggestions gratefully received!

LIZS Thu 09-May-13 17:32:46

Clingfilm , foil, toilet roll and kitchen roll, Flash wipes , washing up liquid, air freshener
tin opener, corkscrew (and stopper for half drunk bottles!), tongs, kettle, slotted spoon, sieve ,scissors, oven glove, sharp knife
Tea, coffee, sugar
Salt/pepper, herbs, ketchup/mayo Basic laundry - gel and nailbrush or tablets if you have access to wm , dishwasher tablets likewise
Any particular cereals or brands for ds although most have equivalents
Meal for first evening ie. pasta/sauce
Nappies and wipes for a few days in case local shops aren't open when you need them
Basic medicines

Much easier to take already bought, part used or small amounts than waste time and money buying afresh. Don't assume there will be an oven or kettle.

Sleepwhenidie Thu 09-May-13 17:35:36

They don't often sell Weetabix in French supermarkets, so if your DS eats that regularly, take some.

Nappies and wipes are hideously expensive over there compared to here so if you can I would also take them.

Tea bags are never as strong as ours so if you like a proper cup of tea take tea bags!

ADefiniteMaybe Thu 09-May-13 17:42:09

I keep going back to France because it is so beautiful but sometimes I do wonder why!! We still have bitter memories about the ridiculously expensive villa we rented one year - we drove 12 hours to get there and the villa had nothing, absolutely nothing in it. Drove 12 hours, arrived at 11pm and there wasn't even a loo roll waiting for us.
Take everything you would want to find in your own kitchen/bathroom - years of experience have prepared us well.
Still - it's all forgotten when we've cycled to the wine merchant the next day to have our plastic bottles filled with some excellent wine, the sun is shining and there is fresh bread on the table smile

ADefiniteMaybe Thu 09-May-13 17:44:46

Oh - and there has never been a kettle so now I take my own and tea bags, marmite and salad cream, proper salad cream, not this fancy mayonnaise muck smile

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 09-May-13 20:04:46

Squash is hard to come by so I take my own, also any favorite snacks / biscuits, baked beans or any tinned stuff your DS likes. I also chuck a few jellies in to make up while away as they always go down well!

My ds has autism and doesn't like change so we have to be sure of taking key items with us!!

sweetestcup Thu 09-May-13 20:20:31

Everything Lizs says I would take...well maybe apart from the stopper, I always finish the bottle wink

I also take diluting juice (squash) as Ive never seen it in the supermarkets there. We tend to take lots of tins e.g macaroni, beans etc and also plan some meals before we go e.g. have a lovely chicken satay recipe that we BBQ and I take the stuff needed for that. Also BBQ skewers and a roll of food bags, cleaning cloths.

I arrive expecting nothing, so anything there is a bonus! But yes to all the things you would use yourself, I always take my potato peeler.

33goingon64 Thu 09-May-13 20:24:43

Resealable sandwich/freezer bags are essential for any holiday with kids (great for clothes changes/pooey vets etc) but especially self catering as I rely at home on endless Tupperware for leftovers and opened packets of things, stinky cheese etc. Agree the French seem to favour providing nothing at all. Even salt and pepper.

sittinginthesun Thu 09-May-13 20:35:59

I think I must be unusual, as I don't pack any food at all! (Apart from some gluten free rolls for me in case I can't find any on the first day).

The major supermarkets have pretty much the same cereals etc, and there fresh food sections are good, so we usually stick to cooking from scratch.

I find it easier to buy salt, sugar etc, when we arrive, and then just take home what we haven't used. It saves having to think of everything when you go.

The squash thing - French syrups are really nice. My boys prefer them to English squash, so again I tend to buy in France and take back to UK, rather than the other way round.

I do take toilet roll, washing up liquid, dishcloth and clothes pegs, although in recent years we have stayed on campsites with Keycamp and the welcome pack contains the basics.

Troubleintmill Thu 09-May-13 21:14:43

Thanks for all the replies! I was thinking basic items and stuff I didnt think would be available for DS ie baked beans!!
I am hoping where we are staying (chateaux type place) will have a pretty well equipped kitchen...maybe better to be safe than sorry th

Troubleintmill Thu 09-May-13 21:17:33

Posted too soon...
though,, specially as one poster said their expensive place didn't have stuff available! I am meant to be recouperating from an operation out there so don't want to stress about finding things!
Any other suggestions welcome...

aliciaflorrick Thu 09-May-13 21:18:54

Typical British things, so yes baked beans, Weetabix, Cheddar cheese. If your DS is a big cereal eater take that because the cost of cereal is extortionate in France. English tea bags if you enjoy a cuppa.

You can buy dilute juices, they're called sirop and you can get a whole variety of different flavours, they don't come in a plastic bottle often, sometimes a glass bottle, sometimes metal, they're about 2 - 3 euros.

Lidl's nappies are cheap and great.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 09-May-13 21:19:44

All I have ever taken is my gluten free porridge oats for breakfast and my own tea bags (because I'm really fussy). I've never stayed anywhere without a kettle and all have had really well equipped kitchens.

jenpetronus Thu 09-May-13 21:32:46

I can't believe the stuff you're all bringing with you!
I live in France and run a gite here, for every booking I send an inventory so people know what they won't need. There's really nothing food-wise you can't get in the UK from a large supermarket - but if it's very English, you'll pay a premium for it.

sweetestcup Thu 09-May-13 21:35:19

All of the kitchens I have used have been equipped, some more than others but they have all had kettles. I prefer to take my own peeler though! Plus I take plastic cereal bowls, you know there type the supermarkets here sell at this time of year - much easier for the kids than worrying about them smashing the small ones usually provided. They are handy for taking on picnics to for food.

ADefiniteMaybe Thu 09-May-13 22:08:30

jenpetronus - it's not the food that's the problem, it's the total sparseness of the basics when we arrive. We have probably been to France 30 times in the last 15 years (we live in Lux) and are totally resigned to finding no essentials when we arrive - no washing up liquid, no loo rolls, no anything. Not a problem when the shops are open but a real pain at 11pm. Clearly it doesn't stop us coming, but we have learned to travel well prepared smile

alarkaspree Thu 09-May-13 22:12:48

Last time we went s/c in France I forgot dd's entire suitcase. I recommend you don't do that...

aliciaflorrick Thu 09-May-13 23:54:52

Adefinite that's really weird because all the gites I've stayed in and gite owners I know all have welcome packs of food with essentials in them. I looked at a lovely gite on Saturday where she made her own sausages to stick in the welcome pack!

frenchfancy Fri 10-May-13 07:25:17

If you have booked with an owner then why not ask them directly? They will know what is in the gite and what is available locally.

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