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Light Packing for Holiday

23 replies

Tillysmummy · 09/04/2002 15:47

Has anyone got any great tips on light packing for holiday ? We are going away with DD 7 months old in June to Portugal. Am looking for suggestions on toys and minimising them and also on food. We think we will probably have to take quite a lot of jars but basically want to try and get her to eat local food. Does anyone have any experience of what the local food is like. I was thinking things like pasta in plain sauces and jacket potatoes etc. She has 2 teeth already and about another 4 on the way and she will be 9 months by the time we go. I guess the food and amount we may have to take is my biggest concern. There'll be no room in the suitcase for anything else.

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Tetley · 09/04/2002 15:54

We've been to France and Spain when ds was a similar age, and as well as local food, the baby food jars in the local supermarkets were fine! A bit hit and miss with some of the flavours, but we certainly found that he'd eat most of them. Also, I took a couple of packets of baby pasta (nice & lightweight), and made sauces out there from local vegetables.

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Tillysmummy · 09/04/2002 16:05

Tetley - thanks for the advice. The problem I've got with taking things like Pasta is that it is a hotel we're going to so we can't cook ourselves but I am hoping that they will have some stuff she can eat. What do you think ?

Anyone had experience with hotel food?

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Enid · 09/04/2002 21:43

They do lots of nice soft risottoey type rice dishes in Portugal, also lots of eggy things - could she eat those?

I seem to spend a lot of time talking about food lately...

I wouldn't take too many toys with you, you can always buy a few things out there in the supermarkets. Is she crawling?

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SueW · 10/04/2002 01:18

Our DD was 8mo when we went to live in an hotel in the US (Virginia) for two months. We didn't take anything with us and we survived.

We just ordered food for ourselves and she ate whatever we felt was suitable from our plates. She tried everything - pancakes, grits, fruit, pasta, polenta, meat, veg, cereal, etc.

Basically, if it was good enough for us, it was good enough for her, as long as it was within whatever guidelines we were using at the time (which IIRC had gone out of the window the night before we flew whe she stole chicken jalfrezi indian takeaway from my plate).

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mollipops · 10/04/2002 06:58

Hi Tillysmummy
My advice would be maximise space in your suitcase by rolling everything - you'll fit heaps more in! And then with underwear and socks, leave them til last and just poke them in wherever you can (rolled up of course!) Bon Voyage!

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Marina · 10/04/2002 10:54

And, following on from Mollipops idea, you will get EVEN more in your case (handy for beach towels etc) if you buy a couple of compression baggies from Lakeland Plastics - I'm sure other people sell them too. They are like thick plastic bags with a zip at one end and a little valve at the other. You put bulky clothes etc in, then roll the full, closed bag firmly starting at the zip end, and the excess air is expelled through the valve as you roll. Result = squashed, compressed flat-pack of clothes. We were very pleased with the ones we got last year and they can be reused provided they don't get punctured.

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Demented · 10/04/2002 11:19

Tillysmummy, we went to Portugal when DS was 9 months. We were self-catering and ate out alot, they tend to serve a lot of meat and fish in their restaurants, meat and two veg type dishes. We found the jars of food available locally were fine, they seemed to be either smooth puree mixed fruits or varieties like sardines and vegtables (which led to some v interesting nappies). We bought Wheatabix for breakfast and the rest of the day DS either had a jar of food or some chips (I know not very healthy but we were only there for a week)in the restaurant. I would imagine if you were eating in the hotel they would probably have more things like pasta etc to eat or if it is the meat and two veg option you could always mash some of it up on a separate plate. I think I was just nervous as the last time we were on holiday, pre DS, we were in Turkey and got terrible food poisoning and didn't want to take any risks, we came back from Portugal unscathed and think they probably have higher hygine standards. We didn't take much in the way of toys either just a couple of books and a couple of small favourite things (I think they were Teletubbie dolls or something), he didn't seem to miss his toys as we were out and about so much and you can always buy a bucket and spade cheaply over there.

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Tillysmummy · 10/04/2002 11:30

Thanks all for your very useful tips. I'm sure it will be fine and I'm worrying uneccessarily - just seems like such a MAJOR expedition going away with baby now !!

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Lorien · 10/04/2002 15:20

On the toys front, have you considered one of those collapsible tents that normally comes with lots of coloured balls inside? They fold up very small, and I take one whenever we go away (minus the balls of course). First of all ds recognises it, so he doesn't feel so out of place, secondly, he loves sitting inside it and crawling in and out, and thirdly I throw all of his toys inside when I'm on a tidying binge.
Best, Lorien

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Tillysmummy · 10/04/2002 15:23

Sounds good Lorien - where do you get them ?

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Lorien · 10/04/2002 15:24

On a slightly different travel issue, does anyone out there have ideas for toys to keep a 17 month old occupied on a 14-hour flight? I keep reading that I should take a toy for each hour on the plane, but I can't think of that many compact toys/activities that don't come with features that are bound to upset other passengers. Any suggestions?
Thanks, Lorien

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Lorien · 10/04/2002 15:47

Hi Tillysmummy,

I just took a quick look on the web for places to buy said play house and none popped up immediately. However, toysrus are advertising an activity playworld, ref number 470740 at 54.99 which is along the right tracks. It has two tents and a tunnel, but they probably come apart and you could take one of the tents now and save the rest for later. The age recommendation is 3-5 years, and I'm not entirely sure why, because my ds has used his since around 8 months and I can't see anything dangerous about it. Best, Lorien

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Tillysmummy · 10/04/2002 15:56

Thanks Lorien

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Jaybee · 10/04/2002 16:46

Lorien - we travelled with 22 month ds on a very long flight, I took him a back pack filled with small toys but I wrapped them all up into little presents (filling time unwrapping them) I took some small crayons and notepads, a mini etch-a-sketch type thing (Early Learning do some keyring sized ones), a couple of small cars or die cast Thomas may be an idea or some plastic farm animals. The one thing that was really handy was a set of stacking cups - used to wash hair in the hotel, build sandcastles etc (square ones are better as they don't roll around the plane) - another thing I found good was inflatables i.e. ball, dinosaur, etc. I hid some of his favourite small toys a few weeks before we travelled which meant that they held extra interest on the plane - also, if they are a fan of cuddlies try to introduce a small lightweight one before you travel (and preferably take a spare). Enjoy it.

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bossykate · 10/04/2002 19:24

where are you off to Lorien? 14hrs - far east, south america, indian ocean? i've just been thinking about long haul travel for us and would love to know! vicarious thrills and inspiration!

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Lorien · 11/04/2002 00:36

Hi Bossykate,

Sorry to disappoint, but we're actually flying back to England from Malaysia where we live. Its all tropical and hot over here but not so exotic when you're used to it....
Still, I did take ds to China a while back and that really was quite an adventure (although a much shorter flight at only 6 hours)

Best, Lorien

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Kizzy · 11/04/2002 10:43

Hi there

re the pop up tents. The Early Learning Centre has a good selection, various sizes and even one that is extra sun resistant so very good for protection. I now have four plus tunnels!! Needless to say we don't bring them all away with us but they are very popular. On another note: does anyone know if the Air France 747's have in-built screens on the back of their headrests or power sockets for computers? Off to Cuba with our 2yr old and was hoping to provide a bit of entertainment that way.

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maryz · 11/04/2002 11:07

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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SueDonim · 11/04/2002 13:50

Ooh, Lorien, you're just the person I need to talk to! We almost ended up in Malaysia but are now moving to Indonesia instead, next month. Do you have any tips about the heat, humidity etc? Do you let your son outdoors or keep him out of the sun at all times? What inoculations has he had? What food do you eat - local or european? So many questions, sorry!

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Lorien · 11/04/2002 15:46

HI SueDonim,

Congrats on your impending move to Indonesia. Yes it is hot and humid out in these parts, but you will get used to it and you'll also appreciate getting up early with your kid(s) for those couple of hours before it gets too hot.
SUN: My son (17 months) plays outside till around 8am with no particular sun protection. If he goes out in the sun after that, then he gets suncream, but he spends most of the time in the shade or inside. Its basically too hot for kids to run about too much outside.
JABS: I think it depends where you are going in Indonesia. But I wouldn't be overly concerned. I'm sure you can get any jabs you need after you arrive.
FOOD: Also depends where you'll be. My son eats lots of rice and non-spicey local foods and loves them. There is a great selection of vegetables and fruit too.
HEAT WORRIES: I don't know how old your kids are, but heat and nappy rash are reasonably common. You'll also find that almost all your clothes from England are too heavy to wear unless you spend all the time in air conditioning.
Please contact me direct ([email protected]) if you have any other questions. I can probably put you in contact with some English mums in Indonesia if you want.
Best, Lorien

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Lorien · 11/04/2002 15:48

Hi Maryz,

Thanks for the playdough tip. I was dithering about getting some as the packaging says for over 3s only. BUt I guess thats just the manufacturer being over-cautious...

Best, Lorien

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bossykate · 12/04/2002 09:49

thanks for satisfying my nosiness, lorien. dh and i went to malaysia on our "final fling" pre baby holiday when i was six months pregnant. we had a wonderful time! we stayed in kl for a couple of days, then drove to the cameron highlands and wandered around up there. drove on to penang, then rounded it off with a stay at a beautiful place on langkawi. it was wonderful. when i was in labour, dh would take my mind off the pain, by recalling the holiday and the great time we had!

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SueDonim · 12/04/2002 12:37

Thanks for the info, Lorien. Gosh, it's all starting to seem rather real, now.......

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