As we went away in the Easter holidays we knew we wanted to go on a Staycation in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Its great for the kids to experience something outside of what they are used to, viewing new sights and also it breaks up the 6 weeks holidays – which I love.
But for me it is all about making memories. Trying new things we wouldn’t normally do at home or in Kent in general. So we decided to go to Cornwall. I few weeks before leaving I checked the weather and of course – it was raining the whole week. Typical. So I had to make sure I had everything suitable for the trip and to make sure the boys were comfortable. So I thought I would show you what and how I packed for our staycation to Cornwall.
So here we go…
As I have mentioned before I always pack in groups. So I plan what we are all wearing every day. So if we went away for 2 weeks I would always pack like this. I am not a 14 pairs of shorts, 14 tees, 14 dresses kind of packer. I go through all the outfits on the floor see what we are all going to wear and then pack them in the suitcase all together. So when we arrive it is so easy to unpack and know what we are all wearing. For Cornwall we only went for 4 days. So it was easy to pack the outfits. I do colour / palette match and I love doing it. So this was some of our outfits ready for when we arrived. We had a pink day and a muted stone day.
This day was a fun and colourful day.
In regards to packing in general I always stay minimal. The less I can bring the better. The boys had 2 pairs of shoes, me and Mark only had one. One jacket each. I hate lugging things around so the less I can bring the better. I do tend to fold the clothes so I can see them better but this time around I rolled a lot of mine and Mark’s clothes as I didn’t want creases – and it worked!
I brought these stacking packs from Lidl a few weeks ago but I know you can buy them from Ebay and Amazon – oh my god there were a life saver. I packed everything that was similar together. So the kids PJs, all our swimwear and when we were out I placed in them extra dry clothes and on the way home I packed them with dirty clothes. They come in pack of 8 different sizes and have zips and handles. So easy and just so amazing for travelling. I highly recommend! They are waterproof and also have a mesh detail on the front so the clothes (if they are wet) will not start smelling. You can pack different kids clothes in each bag but I tend to mix all our clothes together just in case we loose a suitcase.
A big tip I got from a blogger years ago was to put all your swimming accessories / swimming costumes etc all in one big bag or your beach bag. For this vacation I put all the kids floats, jelly shoes, goggles in this bag. All easy to find and then I use the bag of my dreams too. I used this straw bag (which was from Primark) to carry around lunch boxes and kindle in the car and I took it to the beach too.
The kid’s toy suitcase…
I pack the kids a small suitcase each. These suitcases never come out at home. They only come out when we go away. They have their own suitcases with their names on them and we make sure they carry them – its the little things like this to show them they also have responsibilities and when they can help us we appreciate it too. I mix everything up. So there is a lot of arts and crafts, LOTS of colouring in, toys from the poundshop so if they break or get lost it doesn’t really matter. Anything we do not use we save and then use them again on out next trip. For example, this time we used Easter sweets and the Easter hand puppets the kids didn’t use at Easter. I also pack Lego we already have and lots and lots of their favourite toys – transformers.
Here are the toys in more detail…
I am not one for spending money on crap, so I re-use a lot of things and make sure the kids only see them when we travel. The puzzles are from the Poundshop and the kids had them in Ireland. There are a some McDonald toys and books also included. The kids loved the packaway colouring sets. I got them a few days before we left from Lidl. They are great for both kids and I am so glad I packed them as I didn’t have to worry about bringing enough pens and sharpeners etc. Now they have their own – but only for travelling.
I brought these hats months ago from TU at Sainsbury’s and I love them because they came in both ages for both boys but they are also reversible. So the kids can get lots of uses out of them. I was not one for bucket hats but for kids they are amazing. Comfortable, sit on their heads all day long and shields them from the sun. My boys love them.
These sunglasses are special and I brought them from Primark last year for Greece. They fold up so small so you can put them in your hand luggage. The kids love them and I try not to give them to them often as I worry they will break but how trendy yet cute are they?
I purchased these sacks from Poundland – they come in packs of three and to be honest this bag would never hold any of my laundry – but it is perfect for holding my suntan lotion. So I packed one for us and one for the kids and slipped it in the suitcase.
Next up the car…
I love a good packed out car and we had a car full. We brought with us bedding and a pillow for Lorenzo as the lodge advised us to bring our own – we were happy to do so. We also brought a tent for the beach, just in case. We also packed all our wellies (as you never know with the British weather).
In this picture we had a 20kg suitcase and a 15kg suitcase. We decided to bring the stroller for Lorenzo. The boys suitcases were placed on top of the other suitcases and we had a bag with all the nappies, swimming nappies and I also packed some outdoor games and a wooden trainset. I wanted to bring things just in case it constantly rained the kids might get cabin fever. The trainset was amazing. We had it in the garage for years and even thought Khillian remembered it – Lorenzo has never seen it. He was loving it and it kept him happy and entertained for hours.
In front of each child we have these hanging bags. I brought them for both cars from Asda years ago when they had a baby event but I am sure you can buy on Ebay. They are so beneficial and perfect for long car journeys. I put colouring pens and notebooks in the zip along with some pipecleaners – which worked out perfectly when we were stuck in unbearable traffic. Headphones sit at the bottom, toy cars, sweets and small toys all go in the small pockets. They also have a bin each (amazing I know, from Amazon) we have had them for years. I also packed their raincoats, beach buckets and a blanket and placed them under the front seats for them.
In the middle of boys (on the floor) was a massive bag of food. Everything from the cupboards and the fridge. I didn’t want my food to sit in the fridge getting moldy so I packed it all up and did a lunch box for each child so when they were hungry it was right behind me and easy to access.
Before any day out I always check the weather. You never know with this country and Cornwall was tricky. It was basically hot and cold, windy and wet every day we were there. One thing I had to buy were raincoats for the boys. This was not as easy at it sounds. They had to be raincoats and not pack-a-macs and they had to have pockets. I finally found these from Amazon – I LOVE AMAZON PRIME – they came the next day and cost £20 each. The best thing is when they are wet they change colour. The kids love them and the link to them here. They have a great selection for boys and girls – I would highly recommend this brand.
There are so many things to think about when you go on a staycation, especially with kids but the main things I can recommend are…
- Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Put them in your bag, in the car, in the boot. As long as you are packed with snacks you and the kids will be fine.
- We also made sure we had a back pack each. It is not just the mums that do nappy changes. So I always make sure Mark has wet wipes and nappies in his back packs.
- Spotify saved the day. Not only did I download lots of mucic a. we all like. b. my husband likes but I downloaded lots of Disney songs, Pixar soundtracks and lots of audiobooks. The kids loved them! During our 10 hours of coming home stuck in traffic the audio books and nursery rhymes really did save the day, and so did Blink 182.
- Pack things like Snap, Connect 4 and Scrabble games. We all played them and it was nice to laugh and play simple things together. Khillian absolutely loved it.
- The Kindle Fire saved us. They are great for kids. They come with a great rubber case, 2 years warranty and ideal for all kids. We downloaded lots of series and films as well as games and learning apps for both kids – give them some headphones and they are happy in traffic jams.
- Always pack extra pants, socks and trousers – especially if you have boys. You will have a fall over or an accident and just having them in your boot will save your sanity.
I hope this blog post was helpful and if you are going away on Staycation let me know what tips and tricks you have.