I fully admit that I am not the most organised of parents, mostly because I usually have several plates spinning at any one time, so rather than getting organised for a day trip the night before I am generally scrabbling around pulling together packed lunches and waterproofs 5 minutes after we should have left the house.
You’d think after 10 years of being a parent I would know that hand wipes are ALWAYS handy to have in a bag and that there really is no guarantee even a 10 year old can keep a pair of trousers clean enough to go out for dinner after a day in the forest, and you can’t trust an 8 year old to pack a suitable spare T-shrt even when she insists she has.
We’ve had MANY occasions where the kids have had to travel home half naked thanks to several layers of clothes becoming caked in mud and who knows what else from our days out. It’s not so bad in summer, but a bit chilly for them in the winter months and makes me most unhappy when a day out also involves needing to clean the car.
On the rare occasions where I have managed to pack waterproofs, wellies etc there is a real sense of accomplishment so it really is something I should aim for more often.
My top tips for being prepared for a day out with kids come from years of experience and from mostly not being prepared at all.
- Take a spare set of clothes including pants for each child. If you can leave a set in the car permanently.
- Have a secret stash of snacks for when the ones the children know about run out.
- Keep a first aid kit in the car, I was once very grateful for a friend having a cold compress after Zak had a nasty fall.
- Take as much water as you can carry.
- Always have an umbrella in the car.
- Hand sanitiser is a must.
- A pocket full of hair bands and clips is never a bad idea.
- Keep a couple of plastic bags in the car ready to transport dirty clothes/rubbish catch vomit etc.
- If you’re going on a long journey a audiobook is a good way to keep kids entertained in the car, or iPods and headphones if they can’t agree on music/audiobooks.
- Making sure you’ve got the right vehicle cover and some breakdown cover, just in case! It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re planning a longer trip!
Remember children are never to old for you to need baby wipes.
Do you have any more tips?