Pre children packing…
This is rather enjoyable, look at this adorable dress, I’ll fold it all up neatly, do I have matching items for outfits?
Packing post children…
Mummy is packing now, please can you put that back, maybe if I tip toe I can pack while you are asleep, did I pack enough of X, Y, X for you? What If I don’t pack enough of Y?
For the first time I have a spreadsheet to keep tabs on all the items I need to pack for all three of us, with the run up of appointments for Ariella (Hello Neurology, Hydrotherapy, Portage) and appointments for myself – some self-inflicted, I would actually like my hair done before I go too! Others not so much, perfectly timed appointment to follow-up about my thyroid right before we fly. It’s definitely starting to feel like time is working against me, but we will rewarded with a huge amount of downtime and relaxation – yeah I know, we shall see right?
The spreadsheet I’ve created is very simple, it lists items, where they are going (hold/hand luggage and who’s) whether they have been purchased and finally have they been packed. You can make things easier with a Yes/No cell format and have it highlight certain colours if something hasn’t been packed or hasn’t been purchased. I also tucked a neat little “To do” task list in there to remind me to make a Boots order to be collected airside, arrange travel insurance etc. This spreadsheet might be considered overboard for some people but I find it aids my ability to keep calm and in control.
Monday, the slippage in my plans already started to show, I ordered Ariella some Piedro sandals for her holiday but no word from Piedro so I thought, hey I’ll call them Monday and find out where they are. Only to be told that the sandals are custom-made (eh?) and would take twenty-one – working – days to arrive due to lack of stock. Which would definitely be too late, so I told the guy cancel them if they can’t be made before we go. He gives me a run off about custom orders cannot be refunded if they’ve been started, bemused I thank him for his efforts and wait his reply from the manufacturer.
Meanwhile I try to get my head around how I could possibly have missed this window that is “clearly on the website when ordering”. Alas I did not, I go to order the sandals again and right there next to them “14 days delivery” and off the shelf item. I phone back, explain that the sandals are neither custom and that the 14 day delivery next to the product is misleading. He apologised and now we wait to find out from the manufacturer as to whether they will arrive in time or be cancelled (with a full refund thank you very much). Still this leaves me with one pair of Disney sandals, purchased on a whim and certainly lacking any kind of ankle support. I’ll have to try hard to find something else before we go, but at least I know I did my very best!
Needless to say Piedro are leaving me quite underwhelmed in terms of the purchasing experience right now. If you know of any great alternatives I’d be interested to hear about them!
EDIT – Another twist in the ever eventful game of procuring Piedro sandals, it turns out that they are coming after all in time for our trip. I’ll believe it when I see it but apparently the system was wrong!
To keep Ariella entertained on the flight I’ve picked up a couple of things which I thought would be worth sharing. As Ariella won’t get a proper meal (she isn’t two yet so would only be able to have a baby meal on Emirates) I’ve ordered some meals from Boots for her, but I needed something to put them in so I bought this OXO Tot bowl set which has lids and seemed quite compact. We actually were able to change her meal from “baby meal” to “standard” but I’m not relying on this actually working, if it does I’ll update this! I’m really happy with the quality, I may make her some pasta and store it inside the larger one for her dinner. I also purchased a OXO Tot Flippy Snack Cup which I thought would be great for snacks, she tends to tip things out so having this little lid on it which toddlers can put their hands into is perfect. Although it’s taken Ariella a bit longer to master as her fine motor isn’t as developed she is starting to get the hang of it – I intend to let her use it at home a bit before.
I wanted to travel quite light but still have things other than the iPad to amuse Ariella during the flight, I thought stickers seemed a good plan however I didn’t want to get ones which she could stick everywhere. These reusable stickers Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker pad – Habitats are just right, they aren’t sticky at all but only “stick” to the surface of the pad. More like thing static sticking plastic than a sticky sticker. It works though and I’m happy with it! My only complaint is that it’s a little bit big for hand luggage, if it was just a bit smaller that would be better.
There are a couple of things missing which I’ll be packing last minute, a few more nappies, a blanket, more food, dummy and snuggle elephant.
Handy tips for packing with children
You would think it would be sensible to pack each of us into separate luggage, this is how I’ve always packed previously. However a handy tip is to pack things equally, this way if one piece of luggage is lost (temporarily or forever) then the impact on your holiday as a whole is minimised. I do like to build in redundancy!
Another tip which may be obvious but roll your clothes instead of folding, you’ll be surprised how much extra room you have if you do this and your clothes should be less creased.
Decant your large liquids into small travel bottles, there is no need to take your huge tub of shampoo all the way across the world with you. If you need more than 100ml then buy a smaller bottle and take them with you instead. I’ve decanted some suncream specially into my hand luggage like this so that we can cream Ariella up ready for the speed boat leg of the journey.
Make sure you pack appropriate clothing for the other side! You might well be sitting around for a while, you don’t want to be too hot or too cold so be sure to pack something that you can either take layers off (a dress with leggings for example) or take something to change into on the plane and if sunny then a hat/sunglasses.
Take spare sets of clothing in case there are any accidents! Bring along a set of PJ’s so you can keep the routine on the plane.
I should mention that we’ve agreed to ditch social media and our phones for the duration of the holiday but I’ll be updating on our return and may sneak a picture of two on The Unruffled Mum Instagram during our stay.