Tips for the Novice Traveller

Last week we headed to Barcelona for our first every family holiday abroad. It was also mine and the children’s first time on an aeroplane, so it was all a little bit stressful. Would we pack the right things? Would we have enough money? Would we understand anything? So many questions whirred around inside my head.
In the end I turned to Google and my fellow bloggers for inspiration! Firstly, I read a post from Twin Mummy and Daddy, which gave me some packing inspiration! I also had a little look at the Barcelona tourist sites and they offered great advice about blending in to avoid any pesky pickpockets.
So, I’ll start with packing. I’m keeping it simple for a few reasons. For one, I have a fear of losing a suitcase (read all about our lost luggage here) so it makes sense to actually pack your least expensive items. Two, if you are holidaying in a place where you can use laundry facilities or you’re happy to wash a few bits in your sink, then less is definitely more! This is what we ended up packing for a family of 4 (one 5 and one 6 year old):
* 8 pairs of pants for each person (and bras of course!)
*Swimwear (two lots each)
*Vests, t-shirts, shorts, leggings, cardi’s for the kids (the weather can change last minute!)
*Be selective with adult wear, you’ll be beaching it or too busy to care, so less is more!
*Comfortable shoes for everyone.
*Outfits for each day, but don’t take your best clobber, remember it may get lost.
*Wetwipes, hand sanitiser. George and Molly got mucky quite a lot.
*A photocopy of your passports kept in a second secure place (hand luggage… keep passports with one person and copies with the other)
*Tissues in case the public loo has ran out. It happens.
*Sun cream.
This was my essential list, so not overly detailed!
Here are my general top tips, things I learnt before, during and after our stay…
*Weigh all your luggage once it’s packed and then pack the luggage scales into your hand luggage ready to weigh it before you come back. We totally forgot this and when we got to the airport we found out one suitcase was heavier than our allowed 23kg! Agghhh…
*Spread everyone’s clothes out across all suitcases. We did this and arrived with all suitcases at the other end, BUT when we arrived home we were missing a suitcase. If this had happened the other way around and we hadn’t spread out our clothes, then one person would have been without clothing…
*Seriously dress for comfort and don’t worry about looking glam, especially on a city break. Blending in is key, so chic and simple makes much more sense!
* Read up on the things you can take through airport security. I lost several bottles of water 🙁 the guy there said he takes loads off people every day…
*Research EVERYTHING! You don’t have to memorise the maps, but try to get prepared for the new surroundings, have an idea about the transport options and places to visit. Familiarise yourself with the must-see spots and how to get to the beach!
But most importantly, just enjoy yourselves!


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