“Shall we go on a Canvas holiday this year?”
“Let’s go to Holland. The boys will love Camping Duinrell.”
It seemed like such a good idea at the time. But now we’re travelling next week, and I haven’t even thought about what we need to pack or what we’ll do when we’re there. And I’m dreading the journey (overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam with two nearly-2 year olds and no travel cots…)
So I took a deep breath, and before full on panic mode set in (which almost involved me cancelling the holiday and retreating to Nanna & Grandpa’s for the week instead), I re-read this blog post I wrote last year in anticipation of our first family Canvas holiday. And remembered how much fun we had. And that the ferry crossing was just fine.
And surely I can’t be the only one who’s travelling abroad with toddlers for the first time. So I thought I’d write myself a pre-holiday checklist in the form of this blog post!
For the ferry
I’ll pack one bag with everything we need on the ferry, plus a small rucksack with drinks, snacks and toys which I can carry around on board. I’ll make sure this is at the top of the boot so we don’t have to unload half the car onto the car deck!
We’ve pre-booked dinner and breakfast – as the boys are under 2, they eat free, so it’s good value for all of us, so I don’t need to worry about feeding them.
There are no travel cots on the Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry, so the boys will have to sleep in beds with a bed rail. I have no idea how this will go, but it’s only one night. We’ll also take the iPad loaded with episodes of Peppa Pig & Mr Tumble (!) and emergency cans of G&T (for me!) Oh, and plenty of nappies & wipes…
For the campsite
We’re staying in a Select Plus with 3 bedrooms at Camping Duinrell. We’re hiring travel cots from Canvas (they’re free of charge, which is a huge bonus) and they will both fit into one of the twin bedrooms. The best bit about this mobile is the door which separates the twin bedrooms and 2nd bathroom from the living area. We shouldn’t have to creep around too much once the boys are asleep!
While we’ve hired linen and towels, I must remember to pack sheets for the travel cots – I forgot these last year…
We could have also borrowed high chairs, but have decided to take our travel booster seats. The boys prefer to sit up at the table with us now, and they are really useful if we’re eating out!
This is the really tricky one. As we’re travelling in early September, I have no idea what the weather is going to be like. I’ve invested in a couple of waterproof all in ones so the boys can still play outside if the grass is wet, and will pack wellies as well as shoes.
Otherwise, it will just be a selection of shorts, t-shirts and tops, and I’ll accept the fact I may have to do washing while I’m away!
Swimming suits, and swim nappies are a must, and I just read that all children who are less than 1.2m high have to wear arm bands in the pools, so I’ll be packing them as well. While they’re a bit small for the big slides, there are smaller water slides which I think they will love.
Food & drink
We’ll buy most of this over there. The boys eat what we eat, so no need to pack special meals for them, but I will take porridge and breakfast cereal, plus a selection of snacks for the journey.
I’ll also pack bits and pieces like cloths, tea towels and tin foil to save buying more, and am planning on taking our cool bag and storage containers so we can pack picnics for days out.
The ‘boring’ stuff
Travel insurance is sorted, as is car breakdown insurance. We’ve let our insurance company know we’re going abroad so have all the paper work in place.
I recently applied for EHIC cards for the boys (they just got added to my account) so they came in the post the other day. We have passports, plus passport-size photos for our passes for the campsite.
I do need to get a basic first aid kid – plasters, cold compress, antiseptic cream, and maybe some arnica gel (one of the twins is seems very accident prone!). Oh, and I mustn’t forget the sun cream! Or the buggy. Or the rain cover for the buggy…
Hopefully this will all fit in the car…
I’ll let you know how we get on and what we get up to on our camping holiday in Holland. Watch this space!