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Holiday packing panic

(24 Posts)
iggitwotimes Sat 09-Jul-11 15:44:48

Not sure whether to post here or in Travel - hoping some people in GH can understand my panic! I've been away on many holidays, not sure why this one is getting to me so much but have been very stressed in RL so maybe this is why. Please tell me I can (in the next few days) work out what to pack for two adults and a toddler, on a self-catering holiday in France. I am convinced cannot fit all we will need into our hatchback car.
I will forget something essential, or bring a load of junk which will remain in the suitcase until we go home.
Just needing some direction really to stop the rising panic - if someone could get me started that would be great!

NickNacks Sat 09-Jul-11 15:47:50

Ok first thing to realise (apart from prescription meds and much needed comfort toys) that nothing is essential that you won't be ale to live without for a week or buy out there.

iggitwotimes Sat 09-Jul-11 15:56:05

You are right, of course. In my pre-child life I went to India and didn't fuss half as much as this. (glad you mentioned the meds!)

ChippyMinton Sat 09-Jul-11 16:11:02

For starters, what type of accommodation are you staying in? Do you need to take bed linen/towels?

cjbartlett Sat 09-Jul-11 16:12:42

Will you need a travel cot or highchair?
Does it have a washing machine?

follyfoot Sat 09-Jul-11 16:15:34

I think you are just at that point I get to before going on hols when if someone said 'its OK you dont have to go after all', you'd say 'thank god for that, far too much effort'....

NickNacks is right. Make a list of the essentials now, pack them first, stick in as many of the other things as you remember, and then you can just buy anything you forget. It'll all easily fit in the car.

follyfoot Sat 09-Jul-11 16:16:03

Oh and wine will help once you get there....grin

follyfoot Sat 09-Jul-11 16:16:24

Or possibly even now....

addictediam Sat 09-Jul-11 16:18:05

remember suncream and if there is a swimming pool/sea you will need swim nappies

ChippyMinton Sat 09-Jul-11 16:18:39

Driving-related stuff:
car insurance (green card)
car ownership docs
breakdown cover
spare bulbs, hi-vis waistcoats for each passenger, headlamp deflectors

personal travel insurance
tickets for ferry
directions to accommodation
credit card

bed linen if needed
towels if needed
bath mat if needed

beach towels
bucket & spade
beach mats

fave tea, cereal
sharp knife
starter pack of washing up liquid, sponges, tea towel, milton tablets

nappies & other baby stuff.

dvd player/laptop & dvds


iggitwotimes Sat 09-Jul-11 16:19:22

A gite, it says I do need to bring my own sheets/covers/towels. Which will swallow up a bit of room.

iggitwotimes Sat 09-Jul-11 16:22:09

Wow, just seen all the replies. Off to get my hair done (another thing on the list!) and will read them there. But thank you very much in advance, even just venting makes me calmer (dh not being very involved, I must say!)

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 09-Jul-11 16:25:32

Sometimes you can pay a supplement for them to provide linen and towels, which can be well worth it, as they do take up a fair bit of room.

I would also make sure that you take any key kitchen stuff - IME there's never a decent sharp knife so I always take at least two of mine. Also a cafetiere and some coffee and - most critical of all, a bottle opener!

We also used to take a picnic hamper/cool bag thing, with plastic plates and glasses for the beach.

iggitwotimes Sat 09-Jul-11 16:26:39

I'd like to take all of you with me, actually grin

addictediam Sat 09-Jul-11 16:32:03

when i'm doing self catering i also like to have some sort of meal planner and take things that they may not have ie sharp knives, pirex dish for pasta bake etc.

Amapoleon Sat 09-Jul-11 16:34:41

You can always sit on sheets, bedding etc. Take what you need for a couple of days and buy the rest when you get there. Take into account your arrival day. We arrived on a Saturday night once and found all the shops closed on a Sunday, that may not be the case these days though.

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 09-Jul-11 16:38:00

Amapoleon is right - depending on where you are, shops can still close on Sundays and Mondays in France (although this is changing), so it's a good idea to take the wherewithal to make a couple of days' worth of food - we used to take dried pasta and tinned tomatoes, and some bacon, cheese and milk in a coolbag.

ChippyMinton Sat 09-Jul-11 16:43:14

I forgot to put 'clothes' on my list! I'm packing at the moment too. I have a bag in the hallway which i'm chucking clothes into. Then next week I'll sort through, iron and pack properly. Also a box, for random bits & pieces and paperwork.

picnic blanket
waterproof jackets
beach shoes
water & snacks for the car
ipods & dock
chargers for everything
crayons/felt-tips (will buy a ream of cheap paper when I get there)
story CDs for the car
longwave radio (for sport-mad DH)
DC get one small bag each for any toys/books they want to bring
cricket bat & ball

ChippyMinton Sat 09-Jul-11 16:48:28

Also do a list for the supermarket when you arrive:

cold meats
fresh fruit
sirop (like squash only better!)
ice lollies
olive oil
balsamic vinegar/lemons
loo roll
kitchen roll
washing up liquid

And don't forget that the French don't have carrier bags, so take your own, or pick up some re-usable ones before the checkout.

iggitwotimes Sat 09-Jul-11 17:44:27

I hadn't thought that we could pick up food on drive down in France (arriving Sat eve) to avoid the Sunday closure.
Because it's a long drive down (Scotland) we are stopping in 2 hotels on the way down, and the same returning - should I pack a separate bag for that part?

PestoCaffeinisto Sat 09-Jul-11 18:20:16

Don't forget cool blocks so that you can freeze them again when you get there and use them when you take picnics out for the day. Also, you might want to take a flask/drinks container and your own teatowel.

Iwantacampervan Sun 10-Jul-11 07:25:13

Also, a plug adaptor (unless you know the gite has 3 pin sockets).
I would pack a small overnight bag for your stops - you don't want to be rummaging for things in your larger bag when you're tired.

I did read once about a family that didn't panic about taking clothes clean and ironed as they get creased in the bags. They would wash everything when they arrived (assuming a machine of course).

iggagog Sun 10-Jul-11 22:44:06

Have tackled one hurdle tonight by trying on every summery thing I own, and shoving them in my case (will wash tomorrow).

jalopy Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:47

Remember - there are shops in France if forget something.

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