After a few years of holidaying with little ones now I almost feel I’ve cracked it when it comes to the most efficient way to pack so I’ve shared a few (well, 10) of my top tips to help you on your way.
1. How much to pack
As a general rule, wherever we are going, I pack 1.5 outfits per child, per day. The half outfits may sounds strange but for example if you are going away for 10 days pack 15 outfits for each child, if you are going away for seven days pack 10 outfits for each child.
Also add in a couple of extra mix and match tops and bottoms in case you have more accidents than expected.
2. Bag a bargain
TK Maxx is great for children’s summer shoes from Crocs to flip-flops. You may need to make a couple of trips or visit more than one store but you will find great beach shoes for children at great prices.
3. Buy (and try) in advance
If you buy new clothes before your holiday, make sure you try them on your child to make sure they actually fit. There is nothing worse than finding you do not have enough clothes to last because some pieces you bought, maybe last minute, don’t fit properly despite being their normal size..
4. Choose patterns and bright colours
To get the most out of every outfit while away and disguise any stains (is it just my children that insist upon Spaghetti Napolitana where ever we go) choose bright patterns which are great for hiding all the spillages. This way you’re not having to change your little one’s outfit every half an hour in order that your holiday photos aren’t full of stain-covered plain clothes.
5. But mix and match with plain items too
Unless you want to go for the clashing print look. Which is cute, but everyday may give you all a bit of a headache!
6. Pack clothes in outfits
This year I packed the girls’ clothes in outfits. Normally I pack tops with tops, trousers with trousers etc. but putting it all in the suitcase as whole outfits (tops folded around bottoms) made unpacking at our destination easy and my eldest could choose and dress herself without me then having to persuade her that X didn’t go with Y and she would need to change – which of course never works!
Top and shorts packed together, outfit-ready
7. Cotton tops with sleeves are yours and your child’s best friend
Be it blouses, tunics or cheesecloth shirts, a light cotton top is just right for covering shoulders by the beach or pool and for days out sightseeing, thus reducing suncream applications, which keeps everyone happier.
8. Let them choose their hat
In my experience, children are far more likely to wear something if they’ve chosen it themselves. So when it comes to a sun hat – which is an absolute essential – let your child choose their own hat in the shop, or as I do, offer them a selection to choose from to eliminate those you’d rather they didn’t have!
9. Find wear-anywhere shoes
Children in my experience are creatures of habit and mine, unlike me, tend to prefer to wear the same (favourite) pair of shoes all the time. Let’s face it, it’s certainly easier with less choice for them to argue over! Find a pair of summer shoes or sandals that are neutral enough to go with all their holiday outfits and will take them from day trip to dinner.
Minis and mama
10. Remember to pack travel wash
You can pack in the most efficient, economical way with mix and match printed outfits but you may still need to wash the odd thing or at the very least, attack potentially problematic stains rather than leaving them to fester till you get back home. Because if, like me, you still wanted your toddler to wear their brand new bright white cotton top out to dinner, then gave them a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce, well, you can imagine the rest…
I’m pretty sure hand-washing with Dr Beckmann’s travel wash is more effective than a regular cycle on my washing machine. After said white top incident, a wash with this in our hotel room sink left the top good as new with no trace of sauce. Result!
Dr Beckmann non-bio travel wash
Coco Mama Top Holiday Picks
Lighter, more flexible and cuter than Crocs, my youngest (20 months) wore her Igor ‘bondi’ sandals in pink every day on holiday and even now, 2 months after getting home she only wants to wear these. And yes, she has worn them with socks and yes, they do look seriously cute.
We love Next for ultimate ease when shopping for children’s clothes. Order until 11pm online (I mainly did it on my phone at 10.56pm before our holiday!) and get next day delivery as standard. Get your little ones to try it all on when they’re in the mood and anything you don’t want to keep can get picked up by the courier (free if you’re keeping at least one thing from your order) or you can return in store.
A cotton kimono is the perfect beach and poolside cover-up and this one was also great for taking the edge off an evening chill with a summer dress or tee and shorts.
The perfect poolside cover-up
A two piece surf suit is just right for babies and toddlers because it makes changing nappies quick and easy without having to peel off an entire wet swimsuit to get to the nappy. The sleeves, high neck and longer length shorts gave enough coverage while still allowing my little one to get some all-important vitamin D from the sunshine.
If in doubt, team your floral surf suit with a floral hat and floral shopper. #MimiRoseStyle
Mamas and Papas Tour 2 stroller
We needed a new lightweight pushchair and we definitely made the right decision with Mamas and Papas stroller. It’s sturdier than our previous one (the Mamas and Papas Kato) and the back is in one piece so when the chair is reclined it doesn’t curve around your little one’s head, keeping them cool in the heat.
What are your top tips for children’s holiday style and packing?
Take tips from Mimi Rose and go tonal with your dress and terrace chair.