family · Humour · Parenting · Rhyme

How To Pack For A Family Holiday*.

*This post contains no actual advice about how to pack for a family holiday. Just in case you were concerned.

Image shows a white sandy beach with a colourful parasol.

So the best way I find is to draw up a list.
To ensure that no items are possibly missed.

Note all the possessions of which you can think,
Including the frequently missed kitchen sink.

Lay all the things carefully, out on the floor.
Think “I’m sure that’s too much!?”
… And then go pack some more!

It might well be August but what if it snows?
Grab the earmuffs for luck,
And the sledge?
…In it goes!

“And what if it floods?” You ask.
What shall you do?
It would maybe be prudent to pack a canoe?

Bikinis and hats, 5 of each should be fine.
Umbrellas and parasols.
(At the same time.)

Take ALL of the outfits.
It’s okay.ย  They’re small.
They might spill their food or be sick after all?

And what about jackets and raincoats and shoes?
Best just take them all then eh?
So they can choose.

It’s good to let small people pack their own toys.
To help them grow up into smart girls and boys.

This small right of passage should not be denied,
But you might be alarmed when you unpack and find:

An old cardboard box and just one princess shoe,
A pine cone, 6 bottle tops, play-doh and glue?

Then 3 minutes later, the stuff that they’ve stored,
Will be kicked to one side as they state that “They’re bored!”

But still, soldier on, there is much more to take.
There might not be shops there?
There might not be cake?

An epic first-aid kit the size of a whale,
In case they get sneezy, or burny, or pale.

Don’t be phased by The Hub as he walks through the door,
To find half of the world on your living room floor.

Just whine that “You neeeed it!” and call him a star,
Then give him a nudge to get packing the car.

Let the challenge of champion Tetris begin!
It is “Man vs Car” and a toss up who’ll win!?

In no time the boot will be fit to explode
And will groan with the weight of it’s “All vital!” load

Then it’s best to do one final sweep of each room.
As to omit an item would be to foredoom!

Pack all of the items from each single shelf.

… Then completely forget to pack clothes for yourself!

No tops.
Not one top.



Thanks v much to Annette of 3 Little Buttons, Bridget of Bridie By The Sea and Nicola of All Things Spliced for their support in my moment of need. I realised when I was 3 hours drive from home and of course “Waaaaed!!” at them via twitter. ย They felt my pain (for about a minute) and then immediately suggested that I write a poem about it. ย You guys are the best. ย Well you – and Sainsbury’s clothing department in Oswestry!

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101 thoughts on “How To Pack For A Family Holiday*.

    1. I blame the fact that I was actually battling a nasty fever while I was packing. Oh and the little people were distracting me of course. Always! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I did manage to wangle a few nice new tops out of the situation though so it’s winning at packing really haha. Thank you Jean x

  1. You are very welcome for our “helpful” words of support. As you have quite rightly stated, these basically consisted of “write a poem about it”!! ? Xxx

  2. Ha, that sounds like my packing when the boys were kids. It sounds like you had an epic dissaster with your own clothes though, Ive never managed to forget to pack for me ?

  3. haha brilliant, the epic first aid that is me. And yes never let them pack there own toys, or if they do place a limit on stuffed toys, my 3 go nuts for how many teddies they must sleep with! #dreamteam

  4. Haha – sounds about right! Now that we have a child, we always pack WAY too much when we go on holiday – all for her, of course. When she was a baby we even packed our high chair (not a travel one, an actual, full-sized high chair) when we went away. It took up half the boot. #DreamTeam

  5. Hahahaha Brilliant! This is exactly how I feel before and after packing. I can never measure it right. I always remember my clothes but the space in my case is handed over to her and her things, so I end up with only a few tops. We find we need an air bnb with a washing machine now a days, otherwise I’d need an extra suitcase. #DreamTeam

  6. Oh no! I laughed and instantly felt bad for laughing. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d forgotten my own stuff when trying to ready everyone else! I’m slightly relived that I no longer have to lug everything about for a new born anymore, but I fear it may get worse the older they get? #DreamTeam

    1. I honestly don’t know how we ever fit all the newborn equipment in but we did somehow? Moses basket and stand, pushchair, bouncy chair, baby bath… There is definitely more room in the car now. Mostly down to the lack of my tops I suspect. ?? x

  7. Great stuff as always. Bringing a much needed smile. I hope it was fun when you got there? I always pack too much and then bow to remember what I didn’t need. And then totally forget and pack it all again next time! #dreamteam

  8. Haha! Dawn, this is priceless. Of all the things not to pack. Though would it have been worse if it was bottoms you were missing *hides behind hands. I take my hat off to you, you were so calm on holiday. I think I would have passed out. Thanks for being the bestest co-host. #Dreamteam xx

    1. Haha I was only calm because of Lord Sainsbury and it’s ample selection of emergency good value tops! ? I agree though. I can live without tops. Definitely not bottoms though. The world is not ready for that! ? Thank you for being the bestest superhost and buddy! ?

  9. Oops, forgetting to pack your own clothes is just a wee bit of an oversight. Glad you did though as we wouldn’t have been entertained with your fab rhyme this week (sorry). My favourite part is the cake bit. Cake is hugely important and only second to tea, preferably, they should always go together #DreamTeam xx

  10. You really do crack me up and I always look forward to reading your posts every week. Thank god for Sainsburys. I packed to go to Tenerife with the kids and managed to pack seven tops and no shorts/skirts. I had to either rotate two dresses or wear jeans #dreamteam

    1. It took me about 10 minutes to go from first realisation to actually admitting to myself that nope. I definitely did not pack any tops. We were in the car and hubs said that I just went into screensaver mode for ages while I tried to think it through haha. x

    1. Oh noooooo! I think to be fair my two will be in their 30s before I let them pack their own clothes. I’m too much of a control freak? Although apparently they’d do a better job of it than me most likely! ? ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  11. Oh Dawn this is hilarious! One of my total faves of yours for sure and that’s saying something! LOved your disclaimer at the beginning. Brilliant! Oh but yay to new tops! #DreamTeam

  12. As someone who is currently on holiday and went through this just two days ago – hilarious! Little Man has a suitcase for the first time and what he packed was quite ridiculous!! But very funny – apparently he only needs one t-shirt for the week! #DreamTeam

  13. HaHaHa! Love it! Reminds me so much of myself, only I’m usually so busy barking orders at the kids to get stuff for themselves I forget to pack my knickers!
    Fab post as usual, thanks for the linkyx

    1. I’m learning from this that all of my own packing needs to be done the day before. Then I can start on the showdown that is packing for the tots. Although I too shall still probably forget knickers. Meh. ? Thank you and thanks for joining us x

  14. Hahahaha this was me last night packing for 4 days at a caravan… genuinely trying to pack for every eventuality before finally giving up and collapsing into my bed! Brill #DreamTeam

  15. Love this poem – very funny! I always massively overpack because you just never know when they might need that huge first aid kit! But I know the one time I don’t pack it, I’ll need it! Mr S.H.I.T. can never quite believe how much I pack and how stressed out I get about it, but then he just pops in a pair of boxer shorts and a toothbrush for himself and away he goes – nobody else to think about!! #DreamTeam

    1. It is the source of an argument every single holiday. I spend days writing lists and packing the entire planet into a never ending heap of bags. He picks up a bag. Counts out 7 pairs or pants and 7 t-shirts. Couple of pairs of jeans and a hairbrush. Boom. Totally unjust if you ask me. ? x

  16. #dreamteam pre kids i went to the Maldives and took 24 pairs of shoes for 14 days….i wore one pair ๐Ÿ™‚
    However, i think i probably packed perfectly for our last hols. it all came back dirty and i even washed whilst i was away. No kitchen sink but a lot of sand came home with us. Fab poem as always

  17. Love the bit about Tetris! My daddy is an expert Level 9 at packing suitcases and cars! Especially for camping when we do actually relocate our house into a muddy field! My mummy once forget to pack knickers and ended up wearing bikini bottoms all holiday and that was BEFORE kids!!! No hope for her #DreamTeam x

  18. This is FANTASTIC!!!!!! Loved beyond words! Everything you said is me, the ‘what if it snows’ bit made me actually snort. That thought does cross my head and that concerns me greatly, although it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one. Thanks for hosting #DreamTeam xx

  19. Hahhaa are we sure it wasn’t your inner exhibitionist trying to come out!? I love how inspiration can manifest in the strangest of ways – this is completely brilliant #dreamteam

  20. Ha ha, my husband is the king of lacking light and I’m quite good at packing light for myself (although it’s probably because I forget stuff) but packing for the kids is a nightmare and I always try to take too much x

  21. Ha! Itโ€™s opposite in our house. My hubby can never decide what heโ€™ll wear so even if we are staying away for only one night, heโ€™ll pack umpteen t-shirts, jeans and shoes! Drives me crazy! And yes, we would also end up with pine cones (and sticks, what is it with sticks?) if my son packed his own toys!

  22. HAHAH take all the outfits – this is me! I always say if they are sick or spill their food we will need two changes a day, which with four kids and a ten day holiday is a lot of clothes! Luckily our holiday cottage has a washing machine this year! #dreamteam

  23. I bloody love this Dawn, you need to take all the poems from your blog and publish them as a book! Packing for the family is a nightmare, I always forget something and more often than not it is one of my things. Man vs Car is quite a stressful thing to watch, turns out Oliver isn’t very good at Tetris haha xx #blogcrush

    1. Haha Man vs Car is often the highlight of my holiday, although we are rarely still speaking by the time we get in the car… ?? I would love to do the book thing but wouldn’t have a clue where to start. I need to get googling. Thank you for such s gorgeous comment and for making me your #blogcrush Wendy. All the hugs xx

  24. Hahaha, I absolutely lobed this. It is just me all over. Found you on #blogcrush and though ‘ohhh packing tips, I need them, I pack everything’ pretty much nodded and laughed my way through this.

    Thanks for making my day!

    1. Haha oh I’m sorry not to have offered something a bit more practical and helpful. At least you might remember your tops though eh? ? Thanks so much Jade! So pleased you liked it and thank you for all the shares. *blows kiss* x

  25. Oh gosh, I feel your pain. I used to pack everything for all weathers and all circumstances. Now we have no space for adult things, its all about wearing the biggest, bulkiest things and rolling outfits together (put top, undies and socks flat on top of each other and roll into tiny spaces)… top tip right there – oh and stuff bits in any shoes! #dreamteam

  26. I’m trying to be a light packer, and my Mrs., she would bring the whole apartment if she could! You are hilarious! I hope your vacation was/is lovely. Know that in a few weeks time, I will be in this same mess as you! Headed to the beach! <3 #DreamTeam <3

  27. Just popping back from #blogcrush. I love that you managed to keep your mistake hidden until right at the end – a shock ending that really made me giggle and weep on your behalf! #blogcrush

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