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France with 20mth old - travel/packing tips for 1st time abroad

(13 Posts)
spiralqueen Fri 12-Jun-09 11:28:30

Off to France in August with DD who will be 20mths then. Travelling overnight on ferry with a 6 hour journey the other end. Staying with child-free relatives who aren't used to having children staying so don't have any equipment/toys etc.

Trying to keep packing to a minimum - what are the essentials? Would you take a travel cot or one of those little blow up beds? How often would you stop for a run-around/break?

All help/ideas gratefully received smile

TBCoalman Fri 12-Jun-09 11:34:15

I would take a travel cot as this can double up as a playpen. May be useful if the place you are staying is not child safe.

hf128219 Fri 12-Jun-09 11:34:54

Stop every 2 hours. I would take a travel cot if you can.

All you need is a few toys, nappies, wipes, nappy bags, clothes, sun cream, sun hat, swimming suit, wash bag, first aid kit etc etc.

Don't forget her passport/travel insurance! smile

TBCoalman Fri 12-Jun-09 11:36:39

Oh, and if you are travellung by car, don't bother with suitcases. Ikea/laundry bags are lighter and take up less room.

[ This site] is useful for route planning.

TBCoalman Fri 12-Jun-09 11:38:19

spiralqueen Fri 12-Jun-09 14:43:58

Thanks for the link - that's great.

ilovetochat Fri 12-Jun-09 14:46:38


Corriewatcher Sat 13-Jun-09 22:20:42

I remember our first holiday to France with children when my DD was just 20 months old. What I wish I'd taken with me was a plentiful supply of Calpol/Neurofen and baked beans! She came down with a cold, and the local pharmacist gave me something to flush up her nose to get rid of the mucus. I've since heard that this is a good thing, but it didn't feel like it at the time. Calpol would have been a lot easier. Oh, and she was going through a fussy phase, and I just assumed I would find baked beans in local supermarkets - but there were none.

missusp Sat 13-Jun-09 22:39:39

I wouldn't worry too much about toys except for the 'cannot leave the house without Ted' one. She will be so interested in all the new things around her!
Definately a travel cot - safer and can be put up anywhere, on ferry, by the pool, the beach!! especially if it is the Nscessity UV Travel Centre - can't recommend enough!
Totseat totseat totseat! Love them, take anywhere portable highchair.
Emergency first aid pack. Calpol, antiseptic cream, antibac wipes, plasters, thermometer, mosi spray.

spiralqueen Wed 17-Jun-09 13:23:43

Missusp not seen totseat before - who sells them?

How do you entertain DD in the car? Normally she sleeps but we travel at times when she'd be asleep anyway but that won't always be possible on this trip. She loves her books and magic easel but I can see them constantly getting dropped and if I'm map-reading that's going to be difficult.

Will be getting ready for loads of verses of Old Macdonald and Wheels on the bus smile

Portofino Wed 17-Jun-09 13:28:41

With regards to toys - we have some stacking cups. They have been on every single holiday since dd was a baby. Obviously they can do stacking - but also great in the bath (plus hairwashing) and on the beach, and for throwing balls at in the garden, and peekaboo with a ball etc etc . They take up no room at all and though dd is now 5, they will still be going again this year. (if I can find them!)

Portofino Wed 17-Jun-09 13:30:26

too young for a dvd player and Teletubbies/In the Night Garden on a loop? Can she see well out of the window?

mumof2222222222222222boys Wed 17-Jun-09 13:39:20

Def take calpol / medised / kiddy cannot get it over there.

Remember that everything else you can get over there - although it may well be a bit more expensive.

Also - French motorway stations are brilliant for children - most cafes have a play area and outside there are playgrounds / bouncy castles. Admittedly, she may be a bit young for those.

Check out Bison Fute website which will tell you areas which are likely to be busy and may suggest alternative routes.

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