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Parents Panel: What's your one packing essential for a holiday with the kids?

Hand sanitiser, chocolate croissants and of course SPF.

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AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

This week, we asked our panel to share the one item they never forget when packing for a family holiday…

What’s your one packing essential for a holiday with the kids?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly

A baby sleeping bag: Charlie’s sleeping bag is a definite. It’s his cue that it’s time to wind down and time to go to sleep. Anything that can help him settle down and sleep in a bed other than his own is key.

- Kait Quinn

All the SPF: We pack suncream by the bucket. Every one of us seems to be extra prone to sunburn in this house. Plus, Nathan’s meds for his JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis) actually thin his skin and make him even more prone to burning.

- Ken Hyland

Our son’s favourite soft toy (and an identical backup): Our one essential is Lumpy Bunny, our son’s favourite soft toy. He’s had Lumpy Bunny since he was a few months old (in fact, we have two and swap them regularly so they are each equally worn).  Both of them come with us, one with him and one hidden in a suitcase. Anything else we forget can be bought while away, but Lumpy Bunny is one of a kind.

- Olly Keegan

032 Hanging out with Lumpy Bunny (one of two). Source: Olly Keegan

Passports, preferably in date: These days we always double check the passports. We had a panic situation a couple of years ago when, 24 hours before we were due to fly out to Ibiza, my wife realized that our youngest’s passport was due to expire while we were away… meaning that she might not make it back! Since it was a Sunday, there was no emergency passport option. We took a chance and flew out there and had my mother queue in Dublin for a new passport with all the documentation, which we had prepared and signed in a rush before we left.  We did NOT make that mistake twice.

- Alan Dooley

Porridge oats: Our holiday packing essentials are sun hats, sunscreen, buckets, spades… and porridge. Once they eat a good breakfast while we’re away, the rest of the day is always easier.

- Denise C

20170804_125542 Post-breakfast fun on the beach. Source: Denise C

Hand sanitiser, croissants and Granny: With four kids we find an essential item to pack is… granny! It’s not always possible of course but it sure does help us. Failing that, our one essential is currently hand sanitiser. Plus we would add a few hand-picked favourite toys in each child’s own rucksack, plus pencils, drawing pads and packs of chocolate croissants.

- Ross Boxshall

Mess-free markers: I usually bring mess free colouring markers on any trip with Ellie Mae. They will only work on the sheets provided with them so it keeps her clean. I discovered these during my time working in the toy industry and I can’t recommend these highly enough.

- Denise Cumiskey

I never forget the Calpol: Kids’ pain relief is a definite holiday essential. The last thing you want when traveling or away is a teething baby – or worse ,a child with a fever and nothing to help.

- Ríona Flood

More Parents Panel: What are your tips for air travel with kids?

More Parents Panel: What was your first ever holiday with the kids?

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